The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a non-profit research institution with offices in Washington, DC and at Stanford University, whose mission is to promote responsible tourism policies and practices globally so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity.
CREST has developed 5 successful program areas:
Global leader in Travelers' Philanthropy.
Setting standards and strengthening responsible tourism
Analyzing impacts of different models of tourism and promoting innovation
Paid consulting and field research
Sharing expertise and providing leadership
The Center was founded in 2003 by two pioneers in the field of ecotourism who saw a critical need for intellectual rigor behind the growing responsible and ecotourism movements. Dr. William Durham, professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, and Dr. Martha Honey, author and then-director of The International Ecotourism Society, met at a Stanford event, agreed on the need for a new approach, and launched CREST shortly thereafter.
CREST’s programmatic and research areas include:
- sustainable coastal tourism development,
- travelers’ philanthropy,
- certification for tourism businesses,
- impacts of cruise tourism,
- indigenous rights and tourism,
- and research on ‘green’ trends in the broader tourism industry.
CREST views responsible tourism as a development and conservation tool that has the potential to address some of the most complex and compelling social and natural conservation issues of our times. Among the questions CREST addresses through its research, field projects, publications, and conferences are:
- How can we decrease the negative social and environmental impacts of tourism?
- How can tourism truly contribute to the survival of endangered flora and fauna?
- How can tourism help to empower local communities and alleviate poverty?
- How can we build tourism businesses that are environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and profitable?
In essence, CREST seeks to transform the way the world travels.