Crafting a Nature Positive Tourism Strategy

If you want your business to work for nature, you need a strategy. Powerful statements and piecemeal actions, however well-intentioned, can only take you so far. To make meaningful changes, there has to be a proper plan. But what does that look like? And where do you start?

Why do you need a strategy?

Having a business strategy for nature is increasingly common. From consumers to investors, many people look for this when deciding whether to use or support your business. A strategy can also help with your environmental reporting – a requirement that is constantly expanding, especially after the global adoption of the Biodiversity Plan in 2022 and with the EU working on new far-reaching legislation

Isn’t it a lot of work?

Creating a strategy for nature may seem like a huge job, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. For a start, it isn’t just one more sustainability-related strategy. Sustainability is all about nature, so a nature strategy unites all your sustainability initiatives under a single set of goals and provides a context to streamline and prioritise them.

Ultimately, a nature strategy is an investment. It puts your business in a strong position to respond to the ever-increasing focus on these issues. From public communications to ESG reporting to regulatory compliance, once you have it you won’t know how you lived without it

Where to start

The basic steps for integrating nature protection through a business are straightforward. They have been presented in many different ways over the years, but recently several expert organisations have rallied around the ‘ACT-D’ formula – Assess, Commit, Transform and (continuously) Disclose. This is the presentation used by Business for Nature and their Now for Nature initiative.

At ANIMONDIAL we use the Nature Positive Tourism Roadmap. This has been developed specifically for the Travel & Tourism sector and is endorsed by the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership (the World Travel & Tourism Council, UN Tourism and the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance). The Roadmap follows the same principles as other guidance but is designed to be more accessible for smaller businesses and focus on issues that are particularly relevant to T&T.


Before creating your strategy, you need to have some context. What does the strategy cover and what is it intended to achieve? To answer these questions, you need to make decisions on issues like materiality, scope and value chain. This last one is especially important for T&T where so many businesses can be involved in delivering the overall service, and hence be responsible for the impacts it has.


Now you need to make a full assessment of your nature-related risks, dependencies and impacts. There can be quite a lot to consider at this stage, so make sure you have suitable internal expertise and capacity or use an external consultancy to help.

One tried and tested solution is ANIMONDIAL’s Natour Impact assessment tool. This is tailored to the T&T industry and provides a comprehensive evaluation of your business processes to safeguard nature, animal welfare, communities and sustainable consumption. We will walk you through the process, with all the information submitted through our online portal, before providing you with a full report, debrief and individual recommendations for next steps. (To find out more, just drop us a line.)

Defining your policy

Based on the findings of the assessment, you need to define your response. This is likely to take the form of a commitment or a nature policy, which sets outs the overall goals that the strategy will enable you to meet. This should cover all the key issues in ways that are relevant and practical for your business, and specify actionable goals.

Developing meaningful, progressive policy statements is something we have lots of experience of at ANIMONDIAL. Whether or not you have done the full Natour Impact assessment, if you want help creating a policy statement that gives you purpose and direction, don’t hesitate to get in touch !

Getting to work

Now you are ready to start work on the strategy. This will lay out the actions that you plan to take in order to achieve the policy goals.

Remember that existing strategies, for instance for carbon emissions, plastics use or energy consumption, can be slotted into the nature strategy as they are. There is no need to reinvent the wheel! However, this may be a good time to review them and ensure that they align with your overall business goals for nature.


Obviously, a critical element of the strategy will be reducing your negative impacts. The key principle for doing this is the Mitigation Hierarchy. This is defined slightly differently in different contexts but for Nature Positive Tourism it is presented as Avoid (the best option), Minimise, Restore, Regenerate (the last resort). For more detail on the hierarchy and how to apply it, see page 40 of the World Travel & Tourism Council report Nature Positive Travel & Tourism (2022).


The strategy should also look at ways that the business can help to restore nature and enhance biodiversity. Simple ways of doing this, like giving to charities or purchasing biodiversity credits, are only part of the solution, at best. It is important to look for restoration opportunities on your sites, in your operations and through your value chain. The goal is for restoring nature to be part of your business, not a drain on your profits.

Pick your partners

Partnering with nature restoration projects in destinations opens up many opportunities to support their work beyond just funding. The ability to share important messages with travellers, and often to connect them directly with restoration activities, can unlock huge benefits. Logistic support can also be very valuable, as can strategic support and advocacy within the business community and political sphere. Partnerships like this can benefit the travel business as well with enriched visitor experiences, technical support and local knowledge.

ANIMONDIAL can facilitate partnerships like this through our Animal Protection Network of approved on-the-ground organisations and our bespoke Biodiversity Partnerships service.

Things to think about

Other issues that your strategy should consider include:
• Engaging your supply chain to ensure that they align with your values and goals;
• Connecting with destinations to ensure that your actions are felt in the same place as your impacts;
• Setting SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound) and where possible validating them through the Science-Based Targets Network;
• Including actions to monitor and report on your actions and to communicate the outcomes to customers and the business community.

It is also important to make sure that you mainstream biodiversity values throughout your organisation. Implementing your strategy will much easier and more effective if it is understood across departments and especially at senior management level. One way to do this is through trainings offered by ANIMONDIAL. We can provide anything from a one hour introductory presentation to a multi-day workshop built around your unique policy and strategy. Just contact us and we’ll explain all the options.

Of course, embarking on a journey like this can be a lot easier if you have an experienced guide. That’s why ANIMONDIAL is always here to help. Whether you need a full strategy development service or someone to fill specific gaps in capacity or expertise, we can tailor our services to your situation. Just drop us a line for more details