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Expand partnership mountain flowers

JHTTB expands partnership with George Washington University’s Institute of Sustainable Tourism Studies

Partnership expansion impacts SDMP process

June 28th, 2022

The Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board (JHTTB) and George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies have been working on a Sustainable Destination Management Plan (SDMP). Recently, the JHTTB voted to expand their project contract with George Washington University (GW). Below you’ll find an overview of the expanded partnership and process implications.

Additional Research Areas:

New research is needed in the following areas. These areas of research have emerged as important related to realities in these locations.

  • Socio-cultural and economic impacts of second home tourism; and, trendlines in growth of second home owners. These insights will help to better define what problems are driven by growth in population vs. visitors
  • Cascading effects of tourism in Lincoln County, WY and Teton Valley, Idaho. These insights will shed light on new issues and opportunities and help define the level of coordination needed to effectively manage tourism impacts
  • Assessment of the capacity of key organizations to represent all key stakeholder groups in the development of tourism governance options

Additional researchers will be brought in to conduct the new research needed in time for the submission of the 2nd draft Situation Analysis Report. The consulting team will also need an additional level of effort to integrate findings from new research in the final Situation Analysis Report. Research findings will help to inform the SDMP’s strategic framework.

Research Analysis:

The scope of the resident survey and social media listening projects should be expanded based on the requests of the JHTTB and stakeholders.

  • The GW/Confluence Sustainability (CS) original proposal considered analysis of a maximum of about 1,200 survey responses. The actual survey responses totalled 4,777. The survey included several open-ended questions with each question containing more than 3,000 responses to analyze
  • The GW/CS original proposal included a social media listening project to include a maximum of 12 attractions and sites. The JHTTB requested inclusion of 21 attractions and sites in this pilot project

More Thorough Inclusion of Marginalized Groups:

The JHTTB has prioritized engagement of the immigrant communities in the SDMP process. While Voices JH will help to identify participants and organize meeting logistics with the Eastern European and Latinx communities, the GW/CS team completed the following work in May and would continue to support the following activities:

  • Design and facilitation of a focus group in Spanish with the Latinx community
  • Prepare and print materials in Spanish
  • Conduct 8-10 interviews with members of the Eastern European immigrant community
  • Incorporate outcomes of the focus group and interviews in the SDMP planning process

In addition to the immigrant communities, elected officials and other key stakeholders have noted the importance of involving community youth, in particular high school aged students. In this context, the GW/CS team will facilitate 1-2 focus groups in September to ensure that the perspectives of the youth of Teton County are integrated into the SDMP.

Ongoing Engagement & Communications:

There are several components of work that are requiring additional support from GW/CS to the JHTTB based on place-based realities and JHTTB needs:

  • Communications and public relations associated with the SDMP process
  • General support for the Steering Committee and ongoing communications and engagement with the JHTTB Sustainability Coordinator team
  • The GW/CS team needs to invest time to ensure close coordination of efforts between our team and the JHTTB sustainability coordinators. We also provide technical inputs and prepare materials needed for their engagement with stakeholders. Our team also provides ongoing feedback, and guidance where needed, to ensure that their efforts are aligned to the SDMP development process

Project Timeline Expansion:

Steering Committee members have recommended that the JHTTB consider extending the timeline of the SDMP development process in order to provide adequate time for more extensive community involvement and engagement as well as providing adequate time for Steering Committee to review deliverables and other project outcomes. These revisions are as follows:

  • Shift the public presentation of the draft SDMP from August to mid-October to avoid conflict with high season and to ensure capture of all additional inputs
  • This shift in timeline will not impact the completion of main deliverables. Key deliverables will be submitted over summer for review by the JHTTB and Steering Committee
  • The SDMP project will wrap up by December 15 instead of end-September

For more information on the expansion of our work with GW, click here.