Report Overview

In the first entry in our “Fact from Fiction” series on sustainability issues relating to tourism we tackle the emergence of the “regenerative tourism” paradigm. 

Through a combination of expert consultation and primary and secondary research, Skift scrutinizes the claims of regenerative tourism, including whether it represents anything new at all and questions its viability as a paradigm.

We also tackle the problem from multiple angles, establishing what regenerative tourism means for experts in the field, consumers, certification bodies, businesses in the travel sector, and destinations who have pursued it as a methodology.

Finally we apply our analysis to what a successful regenerative tourism paradigm might look like and whether such a methodology could be standardized across the industry.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • You will learn whether regenerative tourism is a valid paradigm, pure greenwashing, or something in between.
  • Whether the skepticism and resistance is based on legitimate concerns.
  • What the risks are, if any, of regenerative tourism going mainstream.
  • Whether regenerative tourism is anything new or just a rebrand of sustainable tourism.
  • If the skeptics are wrong, what organizations need to do to move closer to regenerative tourism in practice.
  • What the market is demanding and whether regenerative tourism can meet its needs.
  • How regenerative tourism can scale and if this is even feasible.
  • If regenerative tourism is a viable concept, how can it be measured?
  • What other destinations and businesses have done to spearhead regenerative tourism, how they have gone about it, and what the results have been.

Executives Interviewed

  • Darrell Wade: Founder, Intrepid Travel
  • Susanne Becken: Professor of Sustainable Tourism, Griffith University
  • David Simmons: Chair, Earthcheck Research Institute
  • Piet Van Zyl: Associate, Earthcheck
  • Richard Edwards: Chief Marketing Officer, Untours
  • Sarah Payne: Director of Impact, Untours Foundation
  • Harold Goodwin: Managing Director, Responsible Tourism Partnership