Tourist Tuesday — Focus on Norway.

We are about 12 years behind Norway, the leader in the field of sustainable tourism.

“The effort dates back to 2007, when the country began working on a sustainable-tourism plan. In 2013, it became the first country in the world to implement a sustainable destination national standard, which is now the model used by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the international accreditation body for sustainable tourism.

“Norway has always been a sustainability trailblazer,” says Neil Rogers, a Stockholm-based consultant who has worked the past 40 years in eco-, adventure, and sustainable tourism. “Most Norwegians still live close to nature. They appreciate and care about the places they recreate in and understand that they must rapidly take actions to protect and conserve their environment and culture.”

The sustainable destination national standard goes way beyond leaving a note in a hotel room asking guests not to change their towels. It covers six main sustainability themes, 45 criteria, and 108 indicators in the areas of nature, culture, environment, social values, community involvement, and economic viability. Once a destination devises a viable plan, it implements energy-saving initiatives and projects that promote local food and culture, and it builds infrastructure, like signposts and trails or trail upgrades. Those upgrades are then monitored before receiving accreditation. From start to finish, the entire process takes two to three years. “The long-term goal,” says Sornes, “is that every destination in Norway is making use of the system.”  

This is a longer than usual article, and a bit complex, but worth the read. https://www.outsideonline.com/2401446/norway-adventure-travel-overtourism