THE ISLANDER WAY
Regenerative tourism, at its simplest, seeks to ensure travel and tourism delivers a net positive benefit to people, places and nature, and that it supports the long term renewal and flourishing of our social-ecological systems.
To regenerate is to renew, restore and create the conditions for all life to thrive.
Regenerative tourism, at its simplest, seeks to ensure travel and tourism delivers a net benefit for people, places, and nature. It stands in contrast to a focus on economic growth, profit and resource extraction, which only depletes the capacity of communities and nature to regenerate.
Regenerative tourism shifts away from the traditional approach where tourism is done to communities and nature. Instead, tourism is co-designed with and for communities and nature from the bottom up. In the process, business benefits by building deeper connections and respect for the essence of the special places on which tourism is based.
Regeneration becomes the objective, not profit, growth and extraction of resources.
A shift in mindset and system
Regeneration requires that we shift from the exploitative or de-generative mindset where nature and community resources are 'there for the taking' towards a system and set of practices that allow our ecological, social, cultural, and political systems to regenerate.
As a holistic approach, regeneration has the potential to strengthen local communities, build stronger connections with agriculture and food supply systems, implement circular economy principles, and contribute to human health and wellbeing by embracing our creativity and higher-order thinking. By making tourism regenerative, we can also care for our natural ecosystems, consolidate and grow local supply chains, and reduce our reliance on external markets. It makes plain good business sense.
10 Principles for Regenerative Tourism
What are the core values that guide the
regenerative tourism journey?
The regenerative approach adopted for this project adopts five core values:
1. BALANCE. Place-based, environment-centred and community-led.
We put people and nature at the centre of the process based on the belief that a local economy that is connected to the source of its uniqueness will flourish.
2. MULTI-FACING. Co-designed with and for all.
We co-design with, not for, the diversity of community interests in balance. Instead of drop-in drop-out consultants, a deeply engaged approach to community consultation is adopted, which taps into the creativity and ingenuity of local communities.
3. COLLABORATIVE. Collaborative, connected and courageous
The current challenges can’t be solved by adopting the same paradigm and practices that created the problems in the first place. Courageous, collaborative leadership often involves taking risks, challenging assumptions and choosing a constructive approach.
4. RESPECT. Respect for the story of place, identity and belonging.
The Islander Way speaks volumes about the extraordinary strength and resilience of the community, and the innovation needed to create the desired change.
5. HOLISTIC. A holistic systems approach.
We cannot deal with tourism in isolation. Tourism must be dealt with as part of a larger interconnected system of issues and challenges in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and at times, ambiguous world where communities and places hold special meaning.