Policy & Action Plan

Like the rugged mountains that nestle our community, La Plata County aspires to be the pinnacle of sustainable tourism destinations in The Southwest United States. 

The City of Durango has an overall goal of being carbon neutral and powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050. Visit Durango will leverage tourism to help the city achieve these goals through responsible tourism practices.

Using the United Nations Sustainable development Goals and Global Sustainable Tourism Council framework, Visit Durango is focusing on developing, measuring, reporting, and improving tourism’s impact on La Plata County.

We have just started this climb but we welcome you to join us on this journey.

Action Area: Local & Inclusive Decision Making

The tourism tactics should be determined by the shifting demands and interests of each host community, and tourism-led growth should always advance the long-term goals of the popular majority rather than a privileged minority.

What We are Doing

  • Building community partnerships and working relationships.
  • Engaging with community engagement software to provide tools for Visit Durango to engage with locals and tourists.
  • Working to hold Stakeholder engagement sessions across La Plata County to involve residents to shape the future of tourism and Visit Durango’s destination plan.


Where We are Going

  • Visit Durango will continue to work with partners and the tourism industry to improve residents' quality of life
  • Focus on developing and integrating more local decision-making when it comes to the tourism industry.
  • Working with partners to develop training for businesses and front-line workers on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility.
  • Engaging residents of La Plata County to help with Visit Durango's decisions and direction. 


What We are Measuring

  • County resident engagement.
  • DEIA pieces of training held.


Moving the needle

We know that with tourism comes an impact on the environment, and so Visit Durango will be focusing on improving our practices to reduce these impacts.

We will be working on making La Plata County more accessible, providing training for our front-line employees, and making sure our practices are inclusive and environmental-conscious.

What We are Doing

  • Collecting data in order to be able to make improvements in the social and environmental realm.
  • Working with other departments and organizations who hold events in order to minimize their impact.


Where We are Going

  • Visit Durango is working towards the Mountain IDEAL certificate
  • Working towards earning a spot and story on the Top 100


What We are Measuring

  • Mountain IDEAL certification
    • Destination Characteristics
    • Stewardship
    • Regulatory Framework
    • Impact Monitoring
    • Resilience Planning
    • Visitor Use Management
    • Natural & Cultural Heritage
    • Community Engagement
    • Community Equity
    • Waste and Recycling
    • Water Quality and Conservation
  • More measurements to come End of Summer 2024