In this episode, I talked to Stephen Hatfield, the founder of Ptarmigan Collective, which offers regenerative tourism solutions to foster thriving communities and vibrant regional economies. Stephen brings 25 years of experience designing, developing and managing programs and experiences related to regenerative tourism, community engagement, natural and cultural history, environmental stewardship, and outdoor recreation.
Regenerative vs. Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism has been around for a while and at its core is about mitigating the impact and reducing the harm. Regenerative however takes it even further, and rather than just reducing the impact of the lighter footprint, it’s about developing and generating value for communities. Tourism has long provided economic benefits, but those economic benefits can often come with some extractive side effects that over time can turn what was once an incredible place to live, travel and explore into a busy, overcrowded destination for people that call it home and for the people that visit.
Regenerative Tourism looks at not just the economic benefits, but also incorporates the holistic view of the social, cultural, and environmental needs of the community and visitors. Rather than just starting with the traveler’s needs, it starts with the residents and the communities that live there and call it home as they are the natural stewards of the place. It finds ways to find their values and what the values of the place are and develops new systems and ways to travel to these destinations. It started in Europe and New Zealand and has now become a global phenomenon.
An example of Regenerative Tourism at work:
In Oregon, outfitters worked together with communities and developed regenerative multi-day itineraries where visitors could come to the McKenzie river and do adventures like rafting, mountain biking, and day hikes along with opportunities to rebuild trails, plant trees, remove invasive species and other restoration projects. They worked in close partnership with the local dining facilities and supported the overall local community and businesses.
We can all begin to think differently about how we travel to new destinations, which destinations we choose, and the impact we leave on the towns/cities and wild places with our tourism.
If you’re an outfitter and would like to develop a Regenerative Tour or Itinerary, we want to hear from you! Reach out at [email protected]com and let’s work together to promote Regenerative Outdoor Adventure Tourism.
Connect with Stephen Hatfield:
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/tripoutside/message