Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP)

Crowded tourist destination

It is becoming increasingly essential that we move beyond managing tourism demand and bring a whole new generation of management skills to the question of managing tourism’s impacts on global climate and fragile tourism assets, such as water, global heritage, biodiversity and protected areas worldwide. Megan EplerWood, Managing Director, STAMP

The Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP) is developing a global knowledge base, online professional and student training, as well as the research and technical support for destinations to more effectively manage tourism assets in the face of endemic poverty, ecosystem degradation, climate change and public health crises. STAMP supports applied research and engagement to develop sustainable tourism models which incorporate the cost of managing vital destination assets in the development of all sectors of the tourism economy.

Launched in 2017 in partnership with EplerWood International (EWI), STAMP is committed to engaging the tourism industry to ensure it protects the environmental and social assets on which the industry depends – the reasoning for which is articulated in Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden, a report published in 2019, with support from the Travel Foundation.

Publications and Guidance Documents

Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism

A commissioned report which changed the global view of how destinations must manage their hidden costs, Destinations at Risk, The Invisible Burden of Tourism set out the challenge to tourism destination managers worldwide to better manage and protect vital destination assets. Published in 2019 with support from The Travel Foundation, the report summarized the risks brought about by tourism’s growing pressure on ecosystems, cultural wonders, and community life and how those risks weaken the tourism industry’s economic foundation over time.

The report uncovers root causes of problems facing the industry and offers logical and integrated analysis of why it is transpiring and delivers action strategies to enable change. It concludes with a call to action to destination managers to sit at the new nexus between data on tourism demand and the supply of resources to support the tourism economy.

Learn more about the invisible burden of tourism in this animated infographic.

DOWNLOAD Full Report

STAMP Industry-Sponsored Projects

STAMP offers public and private organizations in the travel and tourism sector short-term consulting engagements focused on a discrete organizational business challenge rooted in an environmental or social context. Leveraging Cornell graduate students, past teams have worked on projects in Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Palau and the US focused on issues such as strategic impact assessment, business model development, branding strategy, financial analysis, and more. In some cases partner organizations have also been involved such as Sustainable Travel International and the Tourism Area Protected Specialist Group (TAPAs).

email us to inquire about engaging on a project

STAMP Research Programs, Forums, and Destination Technical Support

STAMP designs research programs which benefit destinations, facilitate local climate action planning, and support local application of the STAMP certificate training program on Sustainable Tourism Destination Management (Link Above).

STAMP seeks to bring the highest quality of research, governmental leadership, and science-based approaches to destination management. We organize research forums at Cornell’s outstanding campus facilities both in Ithaca, NY and New York City; invite global leaders in sustainable tourism to speak and interact with faculty and students; and offer webinars worldwide with our partners.  Our team attends key forums online and in person, including the Glasgow COP 26 Climate Summit.

Interest in supporting or getting involved in STAMP research programs should be directed to our email.

Headshot of Mark B. Milstein

STAMP has allowed EplerWood International and the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise to collaborate on travel and tourism business needs in the future. Our goal is to create practical, research-based tools to guide investment in maintaining the competitive value of critical destination assets- both natural and social — to assure long-term value for the industry. Dr. Mark Milstein, Clinical Professor of Management & Director, Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise