DestiNet was originally designed in 2002 to present and disseminate the results of the Sustainable Tourism Information Portal (European Environment Agency - EEA) and the Network Evolution for Sustainable Tourism - NEST (Nordic Industrial Fund). The Portal definition was finally oriented by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, which developed an Agenda 21 policy line that included tourism (Item 43 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation). In response to this, the European Environment Agency and ECOTRANS formed a public-private partnership for the further development of DestiNet. The partnership was registered in 2004 as a "UN Type II Partnership for Sustainable Development" which is now supporting the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Since 2005 ECOTRANS, as executive directors of the partnership, has developed the coherent international content structure and has feeded DestiNet with information. EEA has further developed the technical content management system and the design. In 2006 the World Tourism Organisation WTO and the United Nations Environment Programme joined the partnership.