WORK IN PROGRESS! Welcome to an emerging community of practice.

Transformative visitor management

- an integrated, participatory and anticipatory management cycle
The following steps set out an integrated, participatory and anticipatory approach guiding visitor management for the protection of heritage commons and local community benefit. 

1. Establish baseline / assess progress

Make use of the UNESCO Visitor Management Assessment & Strategy Tool (VMAST) to establish a visitor management baseline. This will generate insight into how site management currently is achieving against sustainability indicators specific to World Heritage, and what can be done through ongoing management activities to protect heritage values while localising the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

VMAST hosting plans
2. Involve key stakeholders in collaborative prioritizations

Do a stakeholder analysis, and upon the outcomes of the VMAST assessment identify key stakeholders that should be involved in the prioritization of management objectives, strategy formulation and implementation. 

3. SWOT analysis & stakeholder priorities

Upon VMAST results, do a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Involve the identified stakeholders in a collective and anticipatory effort concerning the future of their community informing goals and priorities for the visitor management strategy.

4. Develop an open strategy with a SMART action plan

Upon the identified goals and priorities, make use of VMAST to develop an integrated strategy including SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time related) action plan.

An open strategy will allow a broader spectre of stakeholders to extend the strategy through activities and efforts outside the World Heritage site management organisation. 

The prioritised strategic objectives could also be formulated for later potential presentation as a solution in the IUCN Panorama platform.

VMAST resources
5. Incentivise strategy implementation 

Strategy implementation should not only rest upon site management authorities, but be designed as a collaborative efforts involving a broad set of community stakeholders. VMAST include a number of indicators pointing out opportunities to incentivise strategy implementation.

Apply the World Heritage Exchange Trading System (WHETS), developed in parallel with and complementing the UNESCO VMAST, to enable and incentivise World Heritage stakeholders in efforts realising the overall vision set out through UNESCO and objectives set out through the strategy.

6. Maintain the strategy & celebrate progress

Best practice visitor management is not a status. It is an aspiration and ongoing commitment to improve practice.

The strategy should be maintained and if necessary revised as an open and dynamic document engaging a broad spectre of stakeholders. It is therefore recommended that site management authorities make use of VMAST on a regular basis, and ideally once a year.

As VMAST focus on strengths, opportunities and achieved progress, there will always be something to celebrate.

Where significant progress has been made in the achievement towards management objectives this should be considered submitted as a solution in the IUCN Panorama platform.