Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas
Status of initiative: On track
Description/achievement of initiative

In 2013 Sustainable Travel International saw an opportunity to bring individual destinations together in an effort to collaboratively address the challenges of climate vulnerability, environmental degradation, and reliance on tourism - to be known as the Sustainable Destination Alliance for the Americas (SDAA). The SDAA shows how sustainably managed tourism can be efficiently scaled at a hemispheric level while improving lives and protecting the environment.

Implementation methodologies

The SDAA takes an integrated approach to destination stewardship that educates and empowers local leaders to improve the management of tourism impacts and ensure that necessary policies, programs, plans, and systems are in place for the long term. The SDAA is focused on building local capacity and destination competitiveness, which includes the implementation of an extensive Destination Stewardship toolkit in each destination. This toolkit: • Engages local leaders to identify destination-level risks and priorities, and embrace locally-developed tourism best practices • Aids in the design and implementation of solutions to tourism challenges that generate tangible, quantifiable results • Ensures that success stories are communicated locally and internationally to add value and return on investment to sustainability programs

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Destinations participating in the SDAA commit to appointing key counterparts from the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Boards and government agencies responsible for tourism statistics to work hand-in-hand with Sustainable Travel International on all phases of the project. On-site knowledge transfer of tools and methodologies is a core component of the initiative. In addition, destination-level multi-sectoral Destination Stewardship Councils are established. These leaders from private sector, government and civil society, commit to oversee work on destination sustainability beyond the time horizon of the initiative and also are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the action agendas and Destination Monitoring System.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

Sustainable Travel International is the SDAA’s leading convener and implementation partner.


• Sustainable Travel International (convener and lead) • United States Permanent Mission to the OAS • Organization of American States • Caribbean Tourism Organization • Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States • The Secretariat of Central American Tourism Integration • G Adventures/Planeterra
7 destinations chosen for the initiative
5 destinations in the Caribbean undergo destination assessment, develop action agenda, participate in online training, and establish a destination monitoring system
2 destinations in Central America undergo destination assessment, develop action agenda, participate in online training, and establish a destination monitoring system
Communications and storytelling about the journey of these 7 destinations
Resources devoted to implementation
In-kind contribution
Caribbean Tourism Organization, Secretariat of Central American Tourism Integration, Sustainable Travel International, Organization of American States
Staff / Technical expertise
Sustainable Travel International is the implementation partner
Financing (in USD)
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: ongoing
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Soraya Shattuck, Sorayas@sustainabletravel.org

Copyright 2017 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs