Sustainable tourism & destinations

Harbinger analyzes, promotes, and cultivates collaboration around sustainable tourism and successful, authentic destinations. This is a natural outgrowth of our long work in areas rich in history, culture, and natural assets—the kinds of places we like to visit. We use our expertise and networks to support the people and organizations that keep them real and promote tourism that helps them thrive.

How Harbinger can help

• Evaluate your destination, promotional efforts, and the potential impact of changes you are considering.

• Look at your peers to compare performance, learn how to make progress, and generate new ideas for action.

• Use information and analysis to help open the door—or make the case—for investment, collaboration, management decisions, community and government support, new protective designations, and other changes.

• Find, develop, and manage partnerships for collaborative tourism development and promotion.

• Connect tourism development and promotion with conservation and preservation, to protect and enhance the resources that make your place appealing to residents and visitors alike.

Services include

• Custom-designed research, analysis, and reporting—or working with your researchers to design, interpret, and present findings.

• Design and implementation of partnership development, community engagement, and regional collaboration programs.

• Design and production of publications, digital content, and digital or print communications.

• Workshops, seminars, and strategic planning.

Sample projects

Scenic Wild Delaware River geotourism initiative—Assisted in partnership development for this nine-county, three-state collaborative destination development and tourism promotion initiative spearheaded by National Geographic, National Parks Conservation Association, and three dozen local partner organizations. Helped organize a regional Geotourism Stewardship Council to promote both the destination and policies and practices that will sustain it. Managed the website, including organizing over 700 entries provided by local contributors; developed a monthly newsletter; created an evaluation plan; and created systems so the site, communications, and evaluation could be managed locally. Client: National Parks Conservation Association.

Economic impacts of World Heritage status— Developed three scenarios for likely economic impacts of designation for the five Spanish Colonial missions in San Antonio, Texas, which have been nominated for recognition as a World Heritage Site. To maximize the potential benefit of World Heritage status, the study recommends a slate of collaborative actions to promote the site and expand cultural tourism offerings. Client: Bexar County, Texas. Download report.

Visitor map—Assisted in project design, organizing, fundraising, and content development, and served as chief editor for Buttes, Breaks, and Badlands: Off the Beaten Path in Southeast Montana, a geotourism-style mapguide that offers travelers and locals a guide to nature, history, culture and outdoor recreation in this less-visited corner of the state. The guide highlights little-known, often wilderness-quality wildlands in this remarkably varied landscape, helping build awareness and support for conserving these places. Client: Montana Wilderness Association.

Economic analysis for historical site redevelopmentPreliminary economic impact analysis of the potential for redeveloping an historical hot springs resort. Findings supported a successful bid for county funding of a proposed public-private partnership. Clients: South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Foundation and James Lifshutz.

Analysis off off-season assets and economic opportunities—Collaborated with a regional economist and business and community leaders in 25 counties surrounding Yellowstone and Grand Tetons national parks to produce Turning On the Off Season. This research was the first phase of a project that aimed to help business and community leaders grasp the nature and implications of regional growth trends—particularly in the off-season months—and identify strategies for regional collaboration and evening out seasonal slumps. One result: a focus on regional transportation that resulted in new services for residents and visitors. Client: Yellowstone Business Partnership.