Episode 176: The Invisible Burden of Tourism, with Tanner Knorr

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Tanner Knorr manages EplerWood International’s new business, develops the newsletter, and continues to build a presence for the company via public relations, social media, and events. Tanner holds a Bachelor’s in Archaeology and a Master’s in Administrative Studies, concentrating in Economic Development and Tourism Management from Boston University. He was also a Teaching Assistant at Harvard Extension.

He owns a business called Off Season Adventures that strives for sustainable tourism practices in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Nepal, and is the President of Second Look Worldwide, a 501(c)(3) organization that sponsors infrastructure improvements around tourism destinations in the developing world.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Tanner Knorr, the Program Manager at EplerWood International and the Founder of Off Season Adventures, joins us to talk about Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. He discusses the impact of crisis scenarios and overtourism on destinations, and explains what we can do to manage unaccounted for destination costs to provide local infrastructure and protection of eco and sociocultural systems for tourism and local people.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to access The Invisible Burden Report, a report that helps destinations uncover and account for hidden costs to protect and manage vital assets worldwide
  • Why The Invisible Burden Report can help DMOs support responsible tourism growth
  • The primary goal of The Invisible Burden Report and how it came about
  • Who was involved in the collaborative effort it took for The Invisible Burden Report to materialize
  • The individual subsectors of a destination that are affected by overtourism
  • Phase two of the research report and what we can expect to see
  • The key findings of last year’s research report
  • The concept of holistic accounting and how it works
Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Tanner Knorr is the Program Manager at EplerWood International and Owner and Founder of Off Season Adventures. He is a self-proclaimed sustainable tourism entrepreneur who is dedicated to making infrastructure improvements around tourism destinations in the developing world. Through our conversation, Tanner discusses the recently-released research study, Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. At a time when our industry is in turmoil due to the impacts of the global pandemic, there is an opportunity to open our minds to new ideas and possibilities. Download the research report and start understanding what we can do to support responsible tourism growth.

The Invisible Burden

The Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism report was put together by EplerWood International, the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and The Travel Foundation in the UK. The main goal of this report is to uncover the “invisible burden” of tourism which Tanner defines as the unaccounted for destination costs to provide local infrastructure and protection of eco and sociocultural systems for tourism and local people. It is difficult enough for destinations to find those pieces of the puzzle, so EplerWood International and its collaborators are stepping in to help them manage and finance more efficiently.

Overtourism

When we talk about The Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism report, there are a number of different subsectors of a destination that are affected. When tourism populations exceed the populations of the destination, we start to see destinations crack under the weight of it. It affects things like energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, solid waste, sewage, and other natural and social capital. Tanner Knorr and his associates are working diligently to mitigate the risks of overtourism and manage the issues that have already arisen. Currently, they are working on phase two of The Invisible Burden where they will provide the necessary skills training to people on the ground.

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