Sustainable development is particularly challenging for tourist destinations, with their various service providers, organisations, associations and offices. The aim of the project “Applied sustainability for Swiss tourist destinations” is to write a new handbook for destination management organisations (DMOs) with practical tools, indicators and recommendations for action for developing tourism successfully in the long term (an adaptation of the German standard reference work “Developing criteria for the sustainable structuring of tourism destinations in Germany”). Based on this handbook, a practice-orientated training course on sustainability in tourist destinations will be developed. The project investigates whether a ranking or award provides incentives and attracts media attention for sustainable tourist destinations. It also examines how a “Sustainability in tourism” centre of excellence could create the necessary interface between the various stakeholders and simplify the development of the destinations.