Tourism and Economic Growth

DOI-ITAP works closely with local governments, civil society organizations, and local communities to improve the management, visitor education and economic benefits from sustainable tourism in protected areas and encourage long-term economic development. Below are some selected examples of DOI-ITAP's recent work on tourism and economic growth!



Georgia National Parks and Ecotourism (Georgia) 

Since 1998, DOI-ITAP has supported well-managed protected areas in the country of Georgia, through the National Parks and Ecotourism (NPE) Program.  

Both visitation and the number of protected areas are increasing in Georgia, in part due to cooperation in the NPE Program, which has contributed to improved management of over three million acres of public lands through workshops, mentorship opportunities, and study tours. These protected areas serve as attractive tourist destinations, creating sustainable economic development opportunities for local communities.

The effort is a collaboration with USAID Georgia and the Government of Georgia. 

Promoting Sustainable Tourism in the Arctic (Greenland) 

DOI-ITAP is supporting sustainable tourism development in Greenland to help diversify its economy. 

Leveraging DOI’s deep technical expertise in protected areas management, DOI-ITAP is sharing best practices on trails development and maintenance, building trail networks, and policies and regulations regarding the potential creation of new protected areas. 

Capacity building activities take place through virtual and in-country workshops and training, U.S. national park site visits, and conference attendance.  

Additionally, DOI-ITAP will support the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in resource protection and revenue capture from cruise ship tourism.  

This project is funded by the Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE).  



Environmental Education in Jamaica

DOI-ITAP developed educational materials that were adopted by Jamaica’s Discovery Bay Center, a popular environmental education center for tourists and students. Educational materials projected climate change impacts and mitigation options for the facilities, as identified through a DOI/National Park Service vulnerability assessment.  

  • Primary Partner: State Department/Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA)


Marine Turtle Protection in Oman

DOI-ITAP improved protected area management for tourism and scientific research for marine turtle conservation.

  • Primary Partner: State Department/ Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)


Park Roads Design & Maintenance in Tanzania

DOI-ITAP trained local staff on the design of heavily-used vehicular tourism access roads in Tanzania's national parks, limiting maintenance and minimizing the impact on tourism resources.

  • Primary Partner:  USAID/Tanzania


Strengthening Indonesia's National Parks and Wildlife Protection

DOI-ITAP strengthened park management in Indonesia through the establishment of two “sister protected areas” with U.S. national parks and wildlife refuges. Provided advanced, field-based training and technical assistance on hydrological restoration, peatland management, species inventory and monitoring, and sustainable tourism.

  • Primary Partner: USAID/Indonesia


Enhancing Tourism Experience in Bangladesh Protected Areas

DOI-ITAP designed and developed state of the art regulatory and interpretive signage for use throughout the country's protected areas system to enhance the Bangladesh protected area units as appealing domestic and international tourist destinations.

  • Primary Partner:  USAID/Bangladesh


Regional Business Forum for Coral Triangle Countries

DOI-ITAP supported the “4th Regional Business Forum,” a global event on sustainable tourism development in the Coral Triangle countries. Over 300 stakeholders from over 20 countries participated to promote ongoing multinational dialogue to strengthen sustainable tourism and coastal and marine conservation in this region.  

  • Primary Partner: USAID/ Regional Development Mission Asia (RDMA)


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