Doughnut Economics applied to Sustainable Tourism

While the COVID-19 crisis has brought tourism to a standstill with all kinds of repercussions, at the same time the pandemic creates momentum for destinations to steer tourism towards sustainable development. An opportunity presents itself for destinations that were already facing some of the negative aspects excessive tourism can bring, but also for destinations that are still in the development phase of tourism and want to integrate sustainability from the beginning. 

Even though many destinations are looking to develop tourism in a more sustainable matter, clear guidelines on how to do so are often still missing. Sustainability is a complicated and sometimes fuzzy concept. What does it mean for a destination to be truly sustainable? How can the successfulness of a destination be measured in other ways than counting visitor numbers and expenditures? What metrics can be used for that? And who needs to be involved?

As part of my Ph.D. research project at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, I try to find answers to these questions in co-creation with the destination itself. I do this by offering workshops based on Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth, an economic model that envisions a sustainable society and considers both the ecological as well as the social aspect of sustainability. In collaboration with the destination, in these workshops, the theory is applied to the context of tourism. Subsequently it is translated into metrics and action steps for the destination to apply in practice.

The workshops are currently being offered to Destination Marketing Organisations and/or Municipalities of cities in the Netherlands and Flanders. It is possible to include a multitude of relevant stakeholders. The aim of the workshop is to collectively work towards a product that can be used in practice, for example: a vision statement, outlines of a touristic strategy, or an action plan.

Interested to participate? More information about the contents of the workshop? Have a look at the table below or send me a message directly.

For whom?Destinations (DMO’s and/or Municipalities) that want to develop tourism more sustainably, and are looking for ways to do so.
What can be expected?An interactive workshop with ‘co-creation’ at the core, to think about the ‘how’ of developing tourism more sustainably, based on Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth.
Learning goals of workshop
  1. Understand the theory of doughnut economics and the relation with sustainable tourism.
  2. Apply the theory on doughnut economics to the touristic destination and define the boundaries of sustainable tourism for that specific destination.
  3. Design a vision statement or action plan for sustainable tourism development for the specific destination based on doughnut economics  theory and destinations specific insights.
Outcome of the workshopTo be determined in collaboration with the destination, based on the phase they are in (for example vision statement, outline of a touristic strategy, action plan).
Duration2-3 hours
Contact details

Shirley Nieuwland,, 06 5759 1085

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50

3062 PA Rotterdam


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