Sustainable Tourism

San Juan Islands Kayaking, courtesy San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

San Juan County is creating a Sustainable Tourism Management Plan (STMP) to thoughtfully guide tourism that both supports and enhances the unique quality of life, environment, and cultural heritage of the San Juan Islands. The goal for this project is to deliver a plan of action to tourism that meets the needs of our community, environment, economy, and visitors.

A series of three sets of community meetings were held in April-May 2022. Meeting #1 provided background on previous work and the current planning process. At Meetings #2 and 3, we honed in on strategies and potential actions that will help us work towards the shared vision and goals for tourism. 

A summary report of the public engagement was completed and posted on the STMP website at  All background materials for tourism-related planning over the last 5 years can be found at that website. You can view the STMP planning process and timeline here.

STMP_What We Heard
Tourism is a major economic driver in the County that helps support year-round livability for Island residents. It is also a management challenge for our sensitive natural and cultural resources, our limited public and utility infrastructure, and for those seeking consistent employment and affordable housing in the Islands. 

Each of the ferry-served island communities in the County hold differing interests and preferences regarding tourism but retain commonly held values they wish to protect. Coast Salish Tribes are also interested in protecting their ancestral lands and waters, and the rights they hold here. 

The Sustainable Tourism Management Plan will lay out the impacts and opportunities that tourism presents in San Juan County and provide a comprehensive roadmap for sustaining our community and resource needs, now and into the future.