“The DMO got out of the way, and we let the passion of the resident talk to the passion of the visitor, and where that passion meets is where the transformation happens.”
— Kristin Dunne, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
If you've been paying attention to the sustainability discussion in tourism for the past five years, then you know that during the pandemic, it not only became one of the most pressing priorities for destination organizations but also took on a new mantle — social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
And if that isn't a big enough challenge for destination marketing organizations (DMOs), consider this: we're barely two years into sustainability as a mainstream discussion, and already it's not enough.
There's a consensus that DMOs must focus on regenerative tourism, tourism that actually leaves a place better than the visitor found it.
There have only been a few successful regenerative tourism initiatives worldwide, but one that stands out is the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
As the former chief executive of Tourism Bay of Plenty, Kristin Dunne has lived the experience of working closely with her community to build a regenerative strategy and implementation for the better part of half a decade. Dunne has a deep and abiding love for her community and a desire to help tourism unlock its full potential to create holistic and regenerative opportunities for destinations and people worldwide.
What is the lived experience of developing a regenerative tourism strategy and working with your community to see it implemented? What are the high points, the low points, the challenges and the opportunities?
For that, we turn to Kristin Dunne.