2021 has been the year of the Destination Resilience Index Project. As a member of team from the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism engaged to produce a DRI that includes UNESCO’s new Visitor Management Assessment Strategy Tool (VMAST) we have assisted with post-COVID recovery and build climate change resilience. Project is funded by the Organisation for World Heritage Cities (OWHC), based in Quebec.
How do you get to plan the cultural tourism you want? You can do that by building long term resilience by using a Destination Resilience Index (DRI). A DRI is a strategic tourism planning and visitor management tool that helps you survive the bad times and capitalize on the good times. It incorporates the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Cultural Tourism Charter key principles. For over nearly 50 years, these principles have been used to guide sustainable cultural tourism. The 2021 version of the Charter is linked to UNESCO’s new and innovative Visitor Management Assessment Strategic Tool (VMAST). This has been achieved in a ground-breaking project for the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) by expert members of ICOMOS’ Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism.
The DRI will assist World Heritage city managers/planners in building cooperation across different domains or sectors (transversality) to sustain local economies. It does so by enabling a focus on relevant information and actions for a big picture approach of current circumstances, which all stakeholders can understand and endorse. The pilot testing approach with six World Heritage cities will provide examples of how the DRI can be applied on a real time basis. It is intended that the regular application of the DRI will lead to greater resilience for OWHC member cities in the face of future challenges in the short and longer term, such as climate change.