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There is only one world, protect it

Celebrate Earth Day… Everyday!

For most people, Earth Day is just another normal day. We might celebrate by posting an aesthetic earth infographic on our Instagram stories or remembering to drop our disposable water bottle in the recycling bin.

Our earth does so much for the people of this planet every single day, providing all the essentials we need to live a happy and healthy life. It deserves to be given a grander celebration than just one day a year, but instead a daily show of our appreciation that will bring us through hundreds more Earth Days to come!

At Solimar International, we celebrate Earth Day every day by developing strategies of sustainable tourism that boost local economies, preserve cultural heritage and protect the natural beauty of the destinations to keep them healthy and thriving for future generations to enjoy. 

How to Give the Earth Some Love:

Celebrating Earth Day every day can seem like a daunting task. Here are some simple ideas to get you started TODAY!

Shop Local 

One of the best ways to love our amazing planet is to support the people closest to us that keep it alive – the locals!

Shop Local on Earth Day
A locally owned business in South Dakota 

Solimar International understands this, so we work with local artisans in destinations like Morocco to increase revenue directly. Locals use this added revenue to build up and preserve their community. People who buy the goods from locals gain a greater appreciation for the destination & want to preserve the community as well. 

Obviously, not everyone can celebrate Earth Day with a trip to a Moroccan craft market, but there are many ways to support your community. Finding local businesses to support can be as simple as walking or driving around town. You can look up the local chamber of commerce for a directory of local businesses, or visit Yelp’s recently created sustainable resource hub, where users can easily look up eco-friendly small businesses in their area. 

For those who prefer online shopping over in-person shopping, try online shopping from B-Corp companies. B-Corp companies are businesses that have been certified for their commitment to positively impact our planet in measurable ways. 

Protect Nature

Earth Day is not only a time to celebrate the Earth, but every living thing on it. Species are currently undergoing the highest extinction rate in 60 million years. As citizens of Earth, we must participate in efforts to preserve the biodiversity of our planet through making sustainable choices.

The endangered Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tigers are one of the thousands of endangered species on Earth today

Solimar International is currently working with USAID in the Sundarbans to sustain the mangrove habitats biodiversity of Bengal tiger habitats and the surrounding communities. Through this project, Solimar will capitalize on the country’s natural, cultural, and historical endowments to develop a more inclusive tourism value chain that integrates local communities and maximizes conservation benefits.  

You may live far away from any Bengal Tiger habitats, but you’ve surely seen the trash scattered around local parks and nature reserves, putting animals and ecosystems in danger. It is not necessary to do a complete turnaround and start a 100% sustainable lifestyle overnight. Small and simple actions like using a reusable water bottle, participating in ecotourism for your next vacation, or watching sustainability documentaries on Netflix to educate yourself on global environment challenges, can lead to big change.

Share your Earth Day Story

Individually, our actions towards a more sustainable future may seem futile, but together our actions can lead to great change. This year, challenge yourself to share with your friends and family the ways you’ve found to celebrate Earth Day every day! 

Our Earth brings us together
Our Earth brings us together and creates life-long memories

Through our Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail project, Solimar International has discovered the power of storytelling in driving more sustainable tourism. On this website, we provide locally-owned businesses, tribal communities and nature preserves with a platform to tell their story to the world. Travelers planning trips along the Lewis and Clark Trail read these personable stories on our website and feel the desire to be part of supporting these stories. 

Sharing stories online or through conversation of the small ways you celebrate Earth Day every day is powerful. It will inspire others to live and travel sustainably, as they see examples from those they know and trust most. Just think about it– are you more likely to accept a challenge to live more eco-friendly from a random stranger or a good friend? 

Our Earth not only provides us with everything we need to live, but also ample opportunities to make memories. Hiking through thick green forests with family, swimming in a cool ocean on a warm day with friends. Protecting the Earth means creating these memories today and preserving the opportunity for future generations to do so as well. Together, we can ensure that we have hundreds more beautiful Earth Days to celebrate together!

So – what will you do to celebrate Earth Day every day?

Keep up with Solimar to receive more inspiration on how you can contribute to the daily celebration of our Earth by liking us on Facebook and LinkedIn

COVID 19 tourism industry

Two years since COVID-19 began, how has the tourism industry changed?

People love to travel, and in the modern world it has never been easier. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought our expanding globalized world to a screeching halt, it has become clear during the past two years that the international tourism industry is not going anywhere, and we all hope COVID only impacts us in the short-term.

Modern tourists experience benefits including learning about our shared world and understanding other people’s perspectives in addition to the quality time spent relaxing with family and friends. At Solimar International, we resonate with all these goals and help build our projects accordingly. We focus on sustainable economic growth, inclusiveness, mutual understanding, and resource efficiency. 

tourists safety city center covid

A Changing World for a Pandemic Tourist

As lockdowns are lifted and new variants appear in news headlines, tourists are met with an ever-changing set of protocols before they can travel abroad. Boarding airlines, trains, and crossing the border require vaccine passports, a negative COVID-19 test, face masks, and in many cases government forms, which have complicated the travel process.

It is often confusing for both the traveler and the staff facilitating the journey, especially when documents are in varying languages and formats. However, travelers and the tourism industry have done a remarkable job adapting to this new era and finding acceptable solutions that have kept travel possible in many cases. 

These procedures add several steps to the already planning-intensive process of international travel. These measures add a basic level of security and mental reassurance that there are COVID-19 safeguards in place. Every country operates differently, but for European countries, the Re-open EU website is a good summary. 

These restrictions have also made some tourists feel extremely hesitant. Between rolling lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions tourists worry if they will be able to make it to their destination. This has caused many tourists to move away from air travel and towards domestic holidays. This takes away the stress of potentially getting sick or being stranded in another country. For some people, domestic travel is the only option, with flight bans still in place from country to country. For travelers based in North America, Solimar has helped to create sustainable tourism projects around the United States.

Travelers largely remain eager and determined, even in the midst of COVID spikes, to explore the world and get the most out of their vacation. Governments and tourism companies are doing their best to accommodate this, with socially distanced tours and promises to open to other countries as soon as possible. Tourism companies, airlines, hotels and restaurants all desperately wish to return to pre-COVID crowds and profits.  Countries find their governments under constant pressure to re-open for this reason. Everyone has an interest in maintaining our past level of global tourism and returning to the way things were pre pandemic.

tourists walking masks covid 19
Tourists taking on new responsibilities to travel

How can I be a responsible tourist during the pandemic?

Tourists and companies know international travel is possible. The emphasis is on how to do it responsibly, more than ever before. It has always been commendable for travelers to learn about the country they are visiting and to try to be culturally sensitive. However, now safety is also at stake. It is paramount that as tourists, we follow the rules and procedures of the country we are visiting. Often this means wearing a face mask in shops or crowded public spaces, or maintaining a distance on tours. These rules may not always be in place, and there is optimism that after Covid-19 the travel industry will come back even stronger.

As countries look at their tourism recovery strategies, there is a growing movement to reboot the tourism industry in a sustainable way. Due to the drop in traditional tourism, water consumption and CO2 emissions have decreased during the pandemic. This gives hope that after COVID-19, tourism can reorient its priorities to tackle other global issues like climate change. This scale of change relies on companies and tourism boards to move towards sustainable alternatives, but it will also take a shift in behavior for the tourists themselves. The first year of COVID travel showed that tourists are willing to try different travel plans. Instead of energy intensive activities such as cruises and luxury hotels, tourists opted for bike trips and camping. This shows that if the tourism industry provides, customers are willing to engage in more climate and COVID responsible behavior. 

beaches are excellent covid safe destinations
Solimar International will continue to work with our partners to make travel safe and sustainable.

Early in the pandemic, island destinations became a haven for international tourists because of their isolation and better ability to control COVID-19. Solimar is working with our partners in Timor-Leste to establish a safe and sustainable destination for travelers to experience tropical island life. In addition, new players and destinations are entering the tourism industry, focusing on responsible ecotourism for the long term. We are here to facilitate that journey. Our partners in Guyana are creating an eco-tour to showcase their natural environment to small groups of travelers that make a huge impact on their economic recovery from the pandemic.

Solimar is committed to reinvigorating and expanding the international tourism industry. We also wish to help with any country’s destination recovery strategy. Our primary focus throughout this pandemic has been on safety and sustainability. Our partners are affected by the pandemic in similar ways, but with different challenges. 

Interested in how we can help your destination recover from the impacts of COVID-19? Contact us to learn more.

COVID 19 tourism industry

Tourist in sunglasses sits on a boat in Thailand surrounded by trees and nature

How Can Tourism Be Regenerative?

Last year, Solimar International’s Director of Conservation & Community Development, Chloe King, conducted a first-of-its-kind study of 30 tourism operators around the world. These tourism businesses—ranging from Destination Management Organizations to community-based homestay networks to high-end eco-lodges—were assessed via in-depth interviews and surveys to understand how centering nature within their business models enabled them to shift from “sustainable” to “regenerative” tourism practices. Led alongside researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, this study did not seek to define what regenerative tourism is, but rather how tourism can be more regenerative by embracing nature as the solution. While “regenerative tourism” seems to be the latest buzzword in the industry, this study sought to ground our aspirations as an industry with practical examples from around the world.

Realigning Our Values with People and Nature

In 2022, our society—and the tourism industry embedded within it—is at a crossroads. The COVID-19 pandemic, once expected to bring about a sweeping “green” transformation of our economy, has failed to catalyze this transition, while further deepening inequality across the globe. As vaccine access remains unevenly distributed across the world, travelers from the Global North feel secure in their ability to travel to the Global South for a vacation, assured in the fact that their visits bring economic opportunities to those who may otherwise lack them. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide emissions worldwide—following a temporary steep drop in 2020—have rebounded, alongside the tourism industry that contributes an estimated 8% of global emissions each year.

Tourism is both a place-based and global industry: it has hyper-local impacts (providing job opportunities to local people) with global ramifications (contributing to climate breakdown that limits the ability of the same communities to adapt and secure a just future). In a stark illustration of this juxtaposition, a recent study found that each Antarctic tourist effectively responsible for melting 83 tonnes of snow. For too long, we have justified these impacts through the economic benefits that the tourism industry brings, once responsible for employing 1 in 10 people globally.

Two elephants crossing a road in a safari park
Less than .5% of the total annual tourism turnover is needed to fund a global network of protected areas. However, emissions from tourism significantly contribute to climate change impacts in the same destinations.

Tourism must begin to fundamentally realign itself with the people and nature it claims to serve, to both rectify the impact it has on our global climate while driving more than just economic gains in the destinations in which it operates. Tourism is more than just money: it can be an opportunity to protect nature and demonstrate its intrinsic value; it can bring people together towards a common vision, such as through the establishment of a DMO;  it can build social bonds, bridge cultures, and raise awareness; and it can bring greater agency to local communities, to bring the life they aspire for into existence.

Regenerative tourism has the potential to transform how we value the act of tourism in itself, beginning a shift from a “visitor economy” to a “resident economy”, where the needs and values of local people are placed above that of temporary visitors. Regenerative tourism seeks to place greater value on nature and human well-being than growth and profit through a whole-of-the-system, place-based, community-led, and environment-centered approach. These regenerative practices can also help to reconcile tourism’s impact on climate with its positive impact on place, by both increasing industry responsibility for reducing emissions while helping communities adapt to climate change impacts that are already underway.

The research we conducted, through in-depth interviews with 30 tourism operators around the globe, shows how this shift is possible.

Embracing Nature in the Regenerative Shift

A regenerative shift across all sectors of our modern economy—from construction to agriculture to transport—will be essential to addressing both climate breakdown and the destruction of wildlife across the globe. This past decade saw the hottest temperatures on record as more species of plants and animals were threatened with extinction than any other time in human history. The research is clear that from ocean to alpine forest—our global ecosystems that collectively absorb 56% of all human emissions each year—we cannot address climate change without protecting and restoring nature.

Nature-based solutions—defined as actions that protect, sustainably manage, or restore ecosystems to provide both biodiversity and human well-being benefits—will contribute a significant portion of total emission mitigation needed over the coming years (estimated at 5 to 11.7 GtCO2e per year by 2030). This must happen alongside deep and far-reaching decarbonization of industries like tourism. But the nature-based solutions utilized by the tourism industry do so much more than just absorb emissions from the atmosphere: they can help communities adapt to climate change, like mangrove forests protecting against storm surges; they can diversify business revenue and enhance destination resilience against crises like COVID-19; and they can protect the intrinsic or cultural values of nature that go beyond attempts at economic valuation, such as the traditional significance of a forest or the beauty of whale song.

humpback whale jumping with a nature reserve in the background
When we value both nature and tourism only in economic terms, we bury things that money cannot measure, such as intrinsic or cultural values that destinations carry.

By embracing nature in the regenerative shift, tourism can begin to center local communities and ecosystems in its response to global challenges like climate change. This will require deep and far-ranging discussions with local stakeholders to engage in conversation around what to protect, restore, and let go of as they strive towards a common and just future. Whether using tourism revenue to restore 200,000 hectares of once pristine wilderness or using tourists themselves as citizen scientists to monitor a small path of coral reef near a resort, centering nature will be key to the regenerative shift in actively improving destinations, rather than just sustaining them.

As the economist and Harvard University professor David Korten wrote:

“The only valid purpose of an economy is to serve life. To align the human economy with this purpose, we must learn to live as nature lives, organize as nature organizes, and learn as nature learns guided by reality-based, life-centered, intellectually-sound economics.”

Regenerative Tourism: Seeking Net Positive Impact on Destinations

By quantifying tourism only through its economic impact, we obscure other aspects that money cannot measure, from vibrant intercultural exchanges and friendships to the nature of collaborative partnerships capable of protecting vast ecosystems. The Regenerative Tourism Framework born from this research process seeks to provide a guide for tourism destinations that wish to measure the impact we must begin to achieve, as the planet warms and wildlife is lost at an alarming rate. Each of the Five Principles, which will be expanded upon in an upcoming white paper publication, are inspired by nature-based solutions and seek to guide tourism practitioners in the regenerative shift. The principles echo other research in this space, underscoring that tourism can no longer be “done” to local communities; it must be done “with and for” them.

Regenerative tourism framework with five principles for tourism practitioners, surrounded by the UN Sustainable Development Goal symbols
The Regenerative Tourism Framework, born from an academic study conducted by Chloe King at Solimar International, aims to guide tourism practitioners in their regenerative journey.

In asking how tourism can be regenerative, we are not arguing that tourism practitioners forgo all attempts at sustainability; efforts that reduce negative impacts, such as transitioning to renewable energy, reducing food waste, or recycling products will be essential in achieving the transition we need. Instead, a regenerative mindset requires simply asking the question: When I travel, or when I receive travelers, what can I do to make sure I have a net positive impact on nature and people in the destination?

Simply sustaining our current system will not be enough to address the scale of all that could be lost if we fail to act quickly. Tourism is capable of doing so much more than just providing economic benefits to a destination, and in fact measuring the other ways it positively contributes to place will be essential in building a more resilient and diversified industry. Regenerative tourism asks us to take a step back and see the bigger picture, and the ways in which the health of communities, nature, business, and visitors intertwine.

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that many facets of the modern economy—interconnected borders, international travel, the office workspace—are not permanent features. With crisis comes an opportunity to reimagine tourism as what it can—and must—become.

If you are interested in reading our upcoming publication with the results from this research, including guidelines and examples of the Five Principles within the Regenerative Tourism Framework for tourism practitioners and destinations, please add your email to an announcement list here. A second blog will also later be published summarizing this report.

Spring 2022 Destination Development and Destination Marketing Internship

We recently kicked off our Spring 2022 Destination Development and Destination Marketing Internship cohort, working with 18 of the most talented budding tourism professionals from around the world. Our interns are from 12 different countries (such as China, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, and more) and live, study, and work spread across the globe.

Spring 2022 Destination Development and Destination Marketing Internship

Each season, we are amazed at the vast talent and promise our interns share, and this semester was certainly no exception. We received a record-breaking number of applications for this cohort, and have selected the most qualified candidates. These ambitious professionals are joining some of our projects and helping with communications campaigns, DMO development, research, and content writing. They are working on our projects around the world from supporting Friends of Wallacea in Guyana, to Liberia, to Timor-Leste, New Hampshire, and beyond!

Without further ado, get to know the spring 2022 intern cohort and discover the amazing skills that make each one of them unique and talented.

Meet our Spring 2022 Destination Development and Destination Marketing Interns

Destination marketing internship

Eliot Heiss – has significant experience with journalism and communications, as he hosts his own podcast! He has studied in different countries, including Canada and Austria. His degrees are in Political Science, with a specialization in international relations and environmental politics.

Jess Moore – has extensive experience in the field of tourism, with over 19 years working in the field. Her background is in Leisure Studies, and she has dedicated a big part of her career to working on luxury tourism. She has recently discovered a passion for sustainable tourism and wants to use her career to generate an impact.

Hannah Lambert – is incredibly passionate about adventure tourism and sustainability. She is an avid traveler and she is currently traveling through Asia teaching English. Her studies are in Natural Resource Tourism with a minor in Business Administration. Hannah is excited to see her work have an impact on the world.

Kylie Blank – is a junior at Cornell University. She is Majoring in Hotel Administration and minoring in Sustainable Business and Economic Policy. Kylie was inspired to take this internship to gain knowledge in the area of sustainability. She hopes to apply this knowledge into the area of hotel management that she has been actively involved in for many years.

Thomas Kalchik – is an experienced young professional. Most recently, he has been involved in social responsibility in hotel chains and other types of non-profit work related to the tourism industry. He is extremely passionate about the power of tourism and wants to bring people together through travel.

Kim Sucré – looking out for the best study and research experience, Kim has adventured herself to study abroad in the UK and Italy. Her degree is in International Tourism Management, and her passions involve foreign cultures and languages. She is a member of her city’s Council for local tourism development, and she wants to continue to work in tourism development. She has already been applying her vast knowledge of tour planning and development to the Destination Marketing Internship!

Asfar Ahmad – is from Bangladesh but is currently based in Copenhagen, where he is completing his Master’s in Tourism. Asfar is looking forward to contributing with the projects and is hoping that his time with Solimar will boost his career.

Célia Hulin – has strong experience working with a DMC in Myanmar for over five years. She is ambitious and is completing her second Master’s in Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Most recently, her interests have been focused on working directly with local communities.

Emma Barfus – has lived in multiple places across the United States, which enticed her interest to explore the world. She is currently finishing her degree in international studies. Emma believes that her time in Solimar will give her the tools to become a better professional in the future.

Adam Pudi Luddy – is an activist with a degree in Tourism Business. He is moved by issues such as inequality, human rights, climate change, gender, people empowerment, and poverty alleviation. Adam wishes to address these social issues through tourism and become a sustainable tourism specialist.

Alexandria Kleinschmidt – is passionate about earth science, and she graduated in Geological science from Boston College. She spent two years teaching English in Germany. During her time abroad, she was able to rekindle her passion for cultural and nature tourism, which led her to explore all continents on earth.

Antony Noyes – is very proud of his Japanese, Filipino, and Swedish heritage. Raised in San Francisco, he made sure to keep his family traditions alive by cooking traditional food and spending lots of time outdoors. Antony is very keen on sustainable tourism and is eager to help develop the World Heritage Journeys Silk Road project.

Janis Rehme – is a skilled and experienced young professional in the areas of customer service and event management. He is currently studying International Tourism Management in the Netherlands where he balances his studies with his passion for traveling, exploring nature and meeting new people.

Nina Wang – is based in Hong Kong, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism. She is passionate about exploring different cultures and being around nature. She hopes to contribute to sustainable tourism and envisions her internship at Solimar as a way of doing so.

Greta Dallan – has recently finished her Master’s in International Tourism Management at the University of Surrey. She is well traveled and eager to learn more about sustainable tourism and destination marketing and management. Her career goal is to improve the state of tourism in Italy, her home country.

Lisa Elmes-Bosshard – was born on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. She has dedicated her life to the tourism industry, an industry in which she has occupied different positions throughout her career. She has traveled the world, from the Caribbean all the way through to Nepal. Now, Lisa dedicates her days to pursuing a Master’s in Sustainable Tourism studies at George Washington University. Her skills make her an ideal Destination Marketing Intern.

Jessica Pool – has great experience living abroad. She has lived in six countries in the last two years. She is currently pursuing an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Latin American studies. Jessica strongly believes that tourism has the potential to improve life in communities if properly managed.

Caitlyn Marentette – is an undergraduate majoring in South Asia Studies. Her research interests center around the history of colonialism in modern India, Pakistan, linguistic diversity in South Asia, and the Gunpowder Empires. Caitlyn has been an editorial intern for an academic publishing journal for the last year and a half. After graduating, she hopes to continue her studies, pursuing a career in academic research on modern South Asia.

two Destination Development and Destination Marketing interns talking about strategy

Did you enjoy reading about our interns? You can read their full bios here. If you have similar interests in gaining real world tourism experience, visit our internship information page and join our next season of virtual interns!

Solimar International tunisia tourism desert

Kicking off 2022 in New Destinations

Happy new year! As with nearly everyone in the tourism industry, the past two years have been filled with uncertainty for Solimar International. With the volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was uncertain when and if the world would open for travel again. Fortunately, we find ourselves entering 2022 as busy as ever and excited to work in a number of new destinations around the world.

Highlights of several of Solimar International’s 2022 projects include:

1. UNESCO World Heritage Journeys Silk Road

Looking to highlight precious UNESCO World Heritage sites across Central Asia, Solimar is working towards sustainable tourism development of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in six Central Asian countries: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan. Working closely with stakeholders from these countries, we are promoting a series of workshops to assure sustainable governance, conservation and promotion of cultural and natural heritage sites. The knowledge will be synthesized and promoted to the public in a website that will feature top aspects of each destination and local attractions. To supplement these detailed learning courses, we have brought several tourism experts to be guest interviewed. This expands upon the work we did to create World Heritage Journeys in Europe and South Asia. Stay tuned for our Silk Road site launch and start planning your trip to Central Asia!

Solimar International uzbekistan tourism project showing islamic architecture

2. Visit Tunisia

Our new Visit Tunisia project aims to increase Tunisia’s tourism competitiveness profile and establish the country as a promising destination by highlighting its cultural heritage, history and rich natural resources. Working closely with the Ministry of Tourism, Solimar is working to develop strategic planning, branding, and tourism products, including events, local businesses and festivals. The project aims to develop areas of the country where tourism is not well established yet. Working together with the public and private sector, fostering sustainable tourism innovation, encouraging new technologies, and stimulating women and youth entrepreneurship will be key factors to the project’s success.

Solimar International tunisia tourism desert

3. Colorado CRAFT

This project, in partnership with Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (CRAFT), was launched to assist Colorado’s recovery after COVID-19. It consists of a series of workshops, consultancies and action plans to restart the destinations, restart industry associations and reimagine tourism in the destinations. One of the most unique parts of this project is the constant contact with the local community and working together with different stakeholders to establish what is the best way to build a better future for tourism in Colorado. Solimar has a history with this destination through our Lewis and Clark projects so it is good to be present in such crucial moments and help develop a strategy that will benefit the community.

 

4. Tourism Marketing Services for Friends of Wallacea

Have you ever wanted to participate in a unique tourism experience that has real impacts on conservation in one of the world’s most wild places?, venturing down a river deep into Guyana’s pristine rainforests to stay with an indigenous group? Now is your chance! We are working with world renowned tourism for conservation group Friends of Wallacea to bring their Warapoka, Guyana tour to market. Throughout 2022, they are offering incredibly unique opportunities to take conservation minded tourists on a truly unforgettable experience found nowhere else in the world.

 

5. UNESCO World Heritage Journeys Visit Khiva

This project, in partnership with UNESCO, aims to promote cultural tourism in the city of Khiva in Uzbekistan. The city had an increase in tourism flows in 2018 and 2019, which grew stakeholder’s interest and community involvement in tourism related activities. Unfortunately, after COVID struck, the destination observed a decrease in tourism activities. In order to recreate the momentum Uzbekistan was building in 2018, UNESCO partnered with Solimar to help rebuild the tourism sector in Khiva. The involvement of various stakeholders will be essential as we develop a destination marketing brand, website, and marketing program.

 

6. Development of a Regional Ecotourism Development Plan for the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia

Ecotourism is an important product for Cambodia, as it has the power to harness growth in rural communities, diminish overtourism in urban centers, and improve income opportunities in rural areas. With this in mind, Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment in partnership with Solimar and Emerging360 has invested in research that will help the country develop a plan for ecotourism in the Cardamom mountains. The project will consist of building a six-year Regional Ecotourism Development Plan for three priority destinations that are to be developed as hubs for ecotourism in the country. Solimar’s role will be to assist in detailed desk research about the country’s ecotourism, research on tourism products, and conduct workshops/ interviews to better understand local needs.

 

7. USAID Republic of the Congo

With a more financial and economic side, this project aims to assess potential development and investment opportunities in the Republic of Congo. It aims to follow an innovative approach of adaptability according to different phases of implementation. Solimar’s role will be to create a bridge between the tourism industry in the Republic of Congo and international investors, mobilizing experts in ecotourism to help build a sustainable tourism background and develop a National Tourism Strategy. We will also play an essential role in creating links between the private sector, national government, and local communities to identify the country’s touristic potential and improve regulations that will allow the development of sustainable tourism.

Solimar International project tourism republic of congo

 

8. USAID Liberia Conservation Works

With the primary focus on conserving biodiversity and enabling sustainable economic growth, this project aims to engage the communities in the management of protected areas in Liberia. With an innovative approach, Solimar, USAID and various partners in the field of development and conservation, want to build an easily replicable model that will promote ecosystem and species protection, facilitate equity, and increase prosperity and local ownership. This will be done through the development of a business and investment environment in the country, building tourism infrastructure and supporting activities related to the management of protected areas. We recognize the important role that tourism plays in environmental protection. Because of that, we are working towards building a path that will lead to effective policies, helping tourism maximize its potential.

 

9. New Hampshire Sugar River Region

With its newly established Sugar River Region Destination Council (SRRDC), Sullivan County in New Hampshire is seeking to position its regional offerings as a growing destination for the US market. With its vast experience in building DMOs, Solimar will work closely with the SRRDC and students from local universities for capacity building. The project will take place through various workshops that will display best practices from DMOs from the US and abroad.

 

10. USAID Bangladesh Ecotourism and Conservation Alliance

The Sundarbans forest is an ecosystem that is essential for local livelihoods and culture. The importance of the Sundarbans is recognized on a global scale, as it is the world’s largest remaining mangrove forest. The lack of regulation in touristic activity in the region has resulted in diminishing biodiversity and negative impacts against the life of fisherman who depend on this ecosystem for subsistence. Keeping this in mind, Solimar and USAID are working to build lower impact tourism in the region by mapping sites that require interventions, creating strategic plans to increase visitation, establishing a DMO and conducting campaigns that promote conservation. To achieve this, we will work closely with both the public and private sector to secure investments.

Solimar international Sundarbans project

 

 

“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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