Tourism for Development Blog

Solimar News, Project Updates, and a New Website

It is shaping up to be a busy and productive year at Solimar. We wanted to take a moment to share a few updates with you on our current projects and officially announce the launch of our new website to showcase the latest information on our tourism development and marketing services. In addition to our project work […]

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Solimar Rolls out New Website for Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

  Since 2016, Solimar has been working with the National Park Service to develop and implement a tourism strategy for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The Trail, which currently extends from St. Louis to Cannon Beach, Washington, traces the route that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery followed during their 1804-1806 expedition […]

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SEE Turtles wins Tourism for Tomorrow Changemakers Award

Solimar is delighted to congratulate SEE Turtles for their recent winning of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Changemakers Award at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony. The Awards, now in their 15th year, took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. […]

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World Heritage Journeys of Europe Website nominated for Webby Award

The World Heritage Journeys of Europe Website was recently nominated for a Webby Award, recognizing the travel site for its excellence by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators. Developed through our program with UNESCO and National Geographic, this innovative website is the first […]

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Visitor Centers We Love

When working in destination marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the initial phases and to focus your attention and energy upon attracting visitors to your destination. But what happens once the visitors arrive? Your visitors need a physical place to begin their trip, to get comfortable with the location, and to plan their […]

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Your Road Map to a Great Tourism Business Plan

Any great tourism business begins with a great “road map.” This road map serves as your business plan with actionable steps for moving forward with developing the enterprise. There are seven key components to your road map. 1. Clear Concept- Before you can dive into the road map, the essential first step is to clearly […]

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The Basics of Integrated Marketing Programs

Solimar has been talking a lot about our work with integrated marketing programs recently, so you might be wondering, what exactly is an integrated marketing program? And why is it important? Simply put, an integrated marketing program in the travel trade is a comprehensive marketing solution specifically designed to ensure that all messaging and communications […]

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Best Practices in Integrating Sustainability in Tourism Management and Operations

The importance of sustainable tourism development is increasingly recognized throughout the sector. However, it has been a challenge for many organizations to integrate sustainability into tourism management and operations. Here are a few tips and examples on how to incorporate sustainability in your destination’s tourism management and operations. Involve Local Residents and Communities in Tourism […]

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The Importance of Measuring Tourism Impacts

Measuring tourism impacts is often perceived as a tedious and complicated task by some tourism professionals. Since tourism is integrated across numerous sectors, there are many aspects to consider when analyzing the results of tourism development. At the broadest level, tourism affects the economy through employment and investment. It also impacts the environment as many […]

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How Sustainable Tourism Development Protects the Wilderness

Sustainable tourism, when done well, celebrates cultures, alleviates poverty, empowers women, enhances education, creates jobs, improves the wellbeing of local communities, and conserves natural resources. This is a cornerstone of Solimar International’s work.  Understanding these transformative effects is mostly intuitive. For example, sustainable tourism development often showcases local culture and employs local people in doing […]

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Environmental Indicators in Measuring Tourism Impacts

The task of measuring tourism impacts is often conducted by identifying certain economic indicators, such as the contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the overall employment, and measuring their base before tourism, after a tourism project begins, and monitoring them as the project progresses. With sustainable tourism development, we aim to manage the […]

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Why Do We Need Public–Private Partnerships in Sustainable Tourism?

What is a Public Private Partnership and Why Is It Important? In sustainable tourism development projects, there are inherently multiple goals in which an array of parties maintains interest. From tour operators to local governments and communities, these stakeholders all have expected outcomes for tourism development. In order to properly represent these interests and create […]

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Tourism Services Training for Sustainable Tourism Development

In sustainable tourism development, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council maintains that an enterprise is considered sustainable if it impacts the local economy by employing capable local people. Sustainable enterprise development requires tourism services training in order to equip staff with the capacity to manage and operate the enterprises and organizations. The challenge in developing countries, […]

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Christmas Where We Work

With the holidays coming up, we decided to look at traditional Christmas celebrations in some of the places where we work! Colombia Christmas in Colombia is largely structured around the Catholic calendar. The Christmas season starts on December 7th, with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, widely known as “El Dia de las Velitas” or […]

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Four Ways to Become the Hottest Destination of 2025

With the tourism industry booming, competition amongst destinations is fierce. Hundreds of variables and thousands of runners in this race means that by 2025, anything could happen. But the good news is that with the right preparation today, any underdog has a shot at being the winning destination. Here are some tips to help you […]

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Amplify Your Roar: Leverage Social Media to Market Your Destination

In this generation, social media is more important than ever, especially for tourism marketing. People are spending over four times more time on Facebook than Google – today there are about 1.3 billion people on Facebook. Is Facebook really useful for businesses? Let this number convince you – 52% of businesses have acquired customers through […]

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How to Select a Destination Marketing Representative

It’s getting easier to communicate with travelers around the world, but destinations looking to target specific markets often turn to destination marketing representation firms. A destination marketing representative (or “rep”) is your destination’s tourism ambassador within a certain region who can effectively reach local consumers, outbound operators, and local media – all in an effort […]

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8 Tips for Organizing a Fam-Trip for North American Tour Operators

Fam-Trips (short for Familiarization Trips) are integral and familiar strategies to anyone involved in the tourism industry. The concept is simple: Members of the travel trade are invited on a free trip to become familiar with a destination and to meet potential inbound partners with the goal being that they’ll add it to their portfolios. […]

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Solimar’s Six Models that Link Tourism to Conservation, Part I

Solimar’s Six Models that Link Tourism to Conservation, Part I One of the ways that tourism benefits destinations is by augmenting conservation efforts. After conducting an analysis of both internal and partner projects, Solimar has identified six principal sustainable tourism models that link tourism to conservation: 1. Improve Tourism Operations and Guidelines: This model emphasizes […]

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Solimar’s Six Models to Link Tourism to Conservation, Part II

If developed and managed properly, a sustainable tourism strategy can aid conservation efforts. A destination’s natural environment,often the catalyst for tourism development in the first place, must be preserved to sustain tourism in the long run. Part I of this article discussed the first three of Solimar’s six models that link tourism to conservation: Improve […]

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The Solimar Team Shares Their Favorite Cultural Tourism Moments

A destination’s culture is manifested in its art, local traditions, colorful landscapes, and the diversity of the human intellect. Its most unique and alluring elements are derived from culture- and perhaps this is why the demand for cultural tourism in increasing. Now, more than ever, it is vital for tourism industry leaders to preserve the […]

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Solimar to Assist Timor-Leste through new USAID Program

Solimar is proud to announce that we have won a bid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop sustainable tourism in the island nation of Timor-Leste. The project titled “Turizma ba Ema Hotu”, translated to “Tourism for All”, will be implemented by Chemonics International in partnership with Solimar International and Planet […]

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Life as a Solimar Intern in Armenia

Photo by Hayk Melkonyan, My Armenia Last week, the My Armenia program kicked off a seven week-long tour guide training in the three regions of Armenia where we are currently working; Syunik, Lori, and Vayots Dzor. Each week, current and potential tour guides of each region will get training on different topics, starting off with […]

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Destination Videos Matter: a Selection of Solimar’s Favorites

Videos are increasingly becoming important to travel marketing. Effective and catchy videos, especially those that go viral, can increase brand recognition. An example is Turkish Airlines’ classic viral video, ‘The Selfie Shootout’ between Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi. Released in the first week of December last year, it is said to be the most viral […]

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A New and Improved SAVE Travel Alliance Website is Live!

Solimar and the SAVE Travel Alliance are thrilled to have recently launched the new and improved SAVE Travel Alliance Website. We have partnered with the SAVE Travel Alliance team to create a fresh, updated, and comprehensive website dedicated to linking travelers from all walks of life to amazing experiences at our seven global destinations: Jamaica, Nicaragua, […]

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Solimar Launches Tourism Development Project in Sri Lanka

Originally Posted: January 21, 2016  Solimar International is starting off the New Year right – we’re proud to have just launched a new project in Sri Lanka on January 4th of this year! This project is called Entrepreneurship and New Product Development in the Tourism Sector of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. […]

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Pacaya Lodge & Spa Celebrates Successful Soft Opening

In January, Pacaya Lodge & Spa celebrated a soft opening with a New Year’s party for staff and guests.  The resort, located 20 minutes from Granada, Nicaragua, overlooks the iconic Laguna de Apoyo and offers stunning views over the canopy to the crater lake below and Granada in the distance. The 26-room luxury resort features […]

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Solimar’s Project Highlights of 2015!

2015 was an exciting year for Solimar International! The past twelve months have taken us around the globe–from tourism strategizing in Tanzania, marketing the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal, training Ethiopian officials, to launching a new ecolodge in Nicaragua. Check out our recap of some of the amazing projects that kept us busy this past […]

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New Year’s Celebrations Around The World

Working in the tourism industry has opened our eyes to the overall diversity of times, customs, and traditions that are associated with welcoming the New Year around the world. For many in the United States, New Year’s Eve will be celebrated with friends and family over a bottle or two of bubbly, Chinese food, and […]

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Innovating at the Travel + Social Good Summit

On Friday, October 24th, innovators from the travel, tech and impact worlds convened in New York City for the Travel + Social Good summit. The event, organized by Gilad Goren of Only Six Degrees and sponsored by industry heavyweights, begged the question: how do we guide our industries to adopt meaningful social good into our […]

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Characteristics of a Successful Online Marketing Campaign

Being flexible and current are two important characteristics to a successful online marketing campaign. The social media landscape is constantly evolving—whether it is the changing of an algorithm, a new feature, new trend, or even the inception of an entirely new social media platform. To run a successful online marketing campaign you must be knowledgeable […]

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From Three Hours to Three Days in Bethlehem (The Original One)

When I first told people that I was heading to Bethlehem to help develop a strategic plan to grow visitation from roughly half a day to multi-day visits, most people thought I was talking about Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was, in fact, the original Bethlehem in Palestine, but it was an easy mistake to make. If […]

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Tourism Conservation & Planning at Peak Park in San Andres, Colombia

Solimar was recently contracted to support the development of a 5-year management plan for a protected area on the Caribbean island of Old Providencia, in the Colombian Department of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Solimar is tasked with developing innovative ideas to engage stakeholders working within the park to generate a sustainable source of […]

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Solimar Completes Second of Five Sustainable Tourism Courses for Ethiopian Officials

Following the first training Solimar launched in Ethiopia, Matthew Humke delivered two individual 23-day Integrated Destination Planning and Management courses as part of Solimar’s Short Term Sustainable Tourism Training Program. . Each course covered seven modules, including Destination Typology, Tourism Assessment Techniques and Tools, Tourism and Resource Conservation, Tourism Product Development, Destination Marketing, Managing the […]

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Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Land of Thunder Dragon

The number of international tourism arrivals in Bhutan has steadily increased since the early 2000s but only 50,000 international tourists visited Bhutan in 2013. (RA Online Bhutan). This is a surprisingly low number given the country’s rich culture, picturesque landscapes, and location between the two largest countries in the world, India and China. The low […]

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Join Us! Discover How Tourism Supports Cultural Heritage in Georgia

  At the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle-East is the country of Georgia, tucked between the Caucasus mountain range and the Black Sea. Georgia has a long and rich cultural history that can be seen in its vibrant culinary traditions, dazzling dance, haunting polyphonic music, and soaring early-Christian cathedrals. Georgia is also widely […]

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Culture Matters: An Afternoon Symposium with The Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a celebration of cultural arts from exemplary destinations; destinations that are diverse, authentic, and home to living traditions—both old and new. This year’s Festival highlights the cultural heritage of Peru – and to accompany the theme, Smithsonian created a symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art to emphasis the importance […]

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Cultural Tourism Leads the Growth of Travel Industry

With the tourism industry growing steadily, we became curious to see if cultural tourism is a key contributor. Over the past couple of weeks, we have found that an expanding number of travelers are more interested in cultural heritage and cultural activities when planning a trip now than ever before. Their search for cultural exposure  […]

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Cultural Tourism: Four Examples of How It Works for Destinations

The World Tourism Organisation tells us that cultural tourism accounts for 37% of global tourism, and furthermore affirms that it will continue to grow 15% each year. With all of this market interest, destinations should leverage what makes their societies unique and invest in developing cultural tourism programs. What is Cultural Tourism? Cultural tourism allows […]

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Johnny Cay Regional Park: Strategies for Conservation in the Caribbean

Johnny Cay, a small Colombian island in the Caribbean, faces significant conservation challenges. Although the park is a protected area, currently no license system or code of conduct exists for the tour operators who bring tourists to Johnny Cay from nearby San Andres. This lack of a tourism management plan has led to negative environmental […]

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Solimar Conducts Workshops in Malawi to Develop Five-Year Tourism Strategy Plan

Solimar International has partnered with Via Via Tourism Academy, at the request of the Ministry of Information, to develop a five-year tourism development strategy for Malawi. From February 1-8, two workshops were conducted with over 100 individuals from the private, public, non-profit, and donor sectors to identify the country’s unique tourism assets and create a […]

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Five of Solimar’s Conservation Projects

As Earth Day took place this week, it’s only natural to think about how tourism is used to support conservation. When done sustainably, tourism serves as a powerful tool to support conservation of the ecosystems upon which it depends. In this spirit, Solimar has collaborated with a large number of hotels, tour operators and destinations […]

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Tourism’s Important Role in Conservation Projects

Baby sea turtles Conservation projects are currently taking the world by storm due to greater awareness and the unstoppable growth of global tourism. Did you know that tourism is one of the planet’s biggest industries and one of the largest drivers of economic growth all over the world? You may be surprised to learn that […]

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Solimar Conducts Research to Help Tourism SMEs Improve Their Marketing Practices

Solimar International is conducting a study on behalf of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) to analyze information and communication technology (ICT) tools used in tourism marketing by SMEs in member countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). As online marketing is considered a crucial tool for destinations and tourism businesses to […]

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Opening of Myanmar Tourism Federation Office in DC

Last night, Solimar International had the pleasure of opening the Myanmar Tourism Federation’s (MTF) first North American Office in history. This was a momentous occasion for both Myanmar and Solimar International, with bright expectations and hopes paving the way for a thriving future in this country. The turnout at the event was spectacular, with representatives […]

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Four Benefits that Sustainable Tourism Development Ensures for Cuba

The story of international tourism to Cuba is a complex one. From the pre-Revolution Tropicana Club and casino days to tourism’s eradication under Castro, and now back again with predominantly Havana and all-inclusive resort promotions, the island’s relationship to international tourism has constantly evolved. Cuba received more than three million international tourists in 2014, more […]

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Why Washington DC Is The Perfect Place For US Marketing Representation

In this day and age, tourism’s growth is a force which simply cannot be ignored. This year, the tourism and travel industry will accelerate faster than the global economy, making up 10% of Global GDP and 9.5% of employment worldwide. It’s clear that the decisions affecting tourism will have tremendous impacts on lives everywhere. Washington, […]

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How to Tell if Your Marketing Representation is Working

So you have successfully selected a marketing representative for your unique destination. You have been working with them for a few months now, but how do you determine if the work they are doing for you is paying off? You want to ensure that they are marketing your location accurately and effectively. In order to […]

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Wrapping Up The Namibia North American Destination Marketing Program

After four amazing, rewarding years, Solimar wraps up its work in Namibia. Last week, the 4-year North American Destination Marketing (NADM) Campaign came to an end. The project was managed by Cardno and implemented with four other companies, including Solimar. In 2010, when the campaign began, traditional source markets for Namibia, specifically European tourism, were […]

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Three Natural Heritage Sites Our Grandkids May Never See

Natural heritage sites are changing in this ever-evolving world, and not for the better. Organizations like the PUP Global Heritage Consortium are working to revolutionize the way these sites are managed, with a holistic, adaptable approach. They are the ones working to ensure that our grandkids will get the chance to see these sites. But […]

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Solimar Delivers First of Five Sustainable Tourism Training Courses to Ethiopian Officials

On January 3rd, Solimar wrapped its Tourism Planning and Implementation Course, our first of five courses scheduled under the Ethiopia Short-Term Training Program. The 14-day course was delivered at the Ethiopian Management Institute in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, to a group of 35 participants from the Ethiopian government. At the national level, there were representatives from the Ministry of […]

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Solimar’s Top 10 Destinations For Your 2015 Bucket List

Can you believe we’re already a month into 2015? We hope your year is off to a great start and that you are still keeping with those New Year’s Resolutions. One resolution we think you shouldn’t forget about: Travel more! To help you out, Solimar has compiled a list of the top 10 places we […]

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Big Payoffs For Rwanda After A Solimar-Hosted Familiarization Trip

In December 2014, Solimar hosted a group of 11 tour operators and travel agents from East Africa and the United States to explore Rwanda first hand as part of a program with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to expand global awareness of the country’s diverse attraction, increase the number of available Rwanda itineraries, and boost […]

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Guidelines for Improving Tourism Operations

A great business plan and strategy are important first steps in developing sustainable tourism in an area, but real results are a direct reflection of the operations and management on the ground. Take for example, Solimar’s work in the Pearl Cays region of Nicaragua or Big Bend-Rio Bravo, Mexico. Both of these projects, which started in […]

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Solimar’s Experience at the 2014 Adventure Travel World Summit in Ireland

Last week, 700 international delegates from various sectors of the tourism industry gathered in Killarney, Ireland for the 2014 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS). The Summit aimed to promote Ireland as an adventure travel destination, connect hundreds of like-minded travel leaders from around the globe, foster peer-to-peer exchanges on best practices and operational strategies, and […]

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Destination Video Launch for San Andrés, Colombia

Solimar, in conjunction with the National Geographic Society Maps Division, recently wrapped up work in the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. The Geotourism program focused on improving market access for small and medium sized tourism businesses on the islands by sharing and promoting the stories of local people and the unique […]

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Workforce Development and Training in Chocó, Colombia

In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, it is difficult for destinations to compete without a well-trained workforce capable of delivering quality experiences for visitors. This is especially true when developing sustainable tourism in remote destinations—which is a challenging task. Engaging in sustainable practices requires a relatively high level of education and residents of remote destinations […]

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Solimar Begins Work With The Great Himalaya Trail In Nepal

In late 2014, Solimar International began working with the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) in Nepal.  The GHT is a network of trails that currently span across the Nepali Himalayas. The experiences offered along these trails are rough, but unforgettable. Trekkers are afforded spectacular views of the most breathtaking mountain range on earth, they have meaningful exchanges […]

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Myanmar Investment Outreach Forum with Don Hawkins

On September 24th, Solimar International Chairman Don Hawkins was a panel speaker at the first Myanmar Investment Outreach Business & Investment Forum, held in New York City. The event, which was headed by Myanmar Minister at the President’s Office U Soe Thane, was organized to promote and encourage foreign direct investment in the Southeast Asian […]

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Solimar Signs North American Tourism Marketing Representation Agreement with Myanmar Tourism Federation

Solimar International is pleased to announce that we have signed a three-year contract to represent the Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) in North America. Together, MTF and Solimar will work to position Myanmar as an exciting, exotic and undiscovered destination for North American tourists. Myanmar has an untouched quality that gives visitors the experience of feeling […]

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7 Components of a Great Integrated Marketing Program

What is Integrated marketing & why does it matter?   Integrated Marketing is a strategy that reinforces your company’s ultimate message and is consistent across all communication platforms. It is important because consumers are present online as well as offline. In the tourism industry, in order to be competitive, you need to be where the […]

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3 Questions Your Tourism Plan Should Answer

1. Where are we? After you have identified an area prime for destination development, one of the next steps should be conducting a destination tourism assessment. This assessment will provide an analysis of the competition in your region as a tourist destination and help implement the steps you need to take for your tourism planning. The market […]

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The Importance of Measuring & Evaluating After Marketing Training

Has your destination just completed a marketing training exercise? Or maybe you’ve just begun creating a new marketing campaign? Or perhaps you are even in the weeds of implementing a marketing plan. No matter where you are in the process, it’s important to make sure you aren’t leaving out the final key step of marketing […]

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Taking the Next Steps in Tourism Operations and Development in the Republic of Georgia

One of Solimar international’s current projects is helping develop tourism strategies for two fairly small regions of the Republic of Georgia, Mtskheta Mtianeti and Samtskhe Javakheti. The project is kicking into gear, with timelines and projects being identified and implemented. Last week, Solimar International’s president Chris Seek spent several days in the Republic of Georgia […]

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Destination Management and Planning in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Sierra la Giganta in Baja California Sur, Mexico is a remote and remarkable desert landscape where soaring red rock mountains plunge into the clear and cool waters of the Gulf of California. Solimar International and local partner RED Sustainable Travel have been working in the region for the last year to develop a destination management and marketing plan that promotes Sierra la Giganta’s unique natural […]

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Reviving Tourism in a Border Town: Boquillas, Mexico

Ernesto Hernandez and I walked along a dusty trail that ran alongside the Rio Grande River as it continued to carve out the border between the US and Mexico in Big Bend National Park. As we walked, we heard a single, soaring voice that bounced off the sheer cliff walls of the river canyon and […]

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5 Common Mistakes in Business Planning

“The business of a business is business” goes the famous saying. Simply put, it means that a business needs to be practical (has a sound model, makes money) and realistic (whatever you set out to achieve, you should be able to achieve it) to operate successfully. However, growing a business that is both practical and […]

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Solimar Leads Tourism Training and Development in Eastern Sri Lanka

Since September 2013, Solimar International has been supporting USAID’s BIZ+ Program in Sri Lanka. The country has been opening its doors to the world to improve its economy after a violent 26-year conflict that ended in 2009. USAID’s BIZ+ program aims to stimulate economic growth, job creation, and to increase household incomes in the economically […]

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Searching for a Sustainable Destination Management Model in Jordan

One of the greatest challenges facing destinations around the world is finding a way to bring together tourism stakeholders to work collaboratively to develop, manage, and market their tourism destination.  It’s widely understood by tourism professionals that Destination Management Organizations (DMOs)play a key and important role in connecting the tourism industry and serving as an advocate […]

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New Destination Marketing Video Showcases Authentic Greenland

Destination Arctic Circle in Greenland, a destination marketing organization supported by Solimar, produced a new social media video campaign to set their destination apart from other arctic locations.  When I ask people what they think of when they think of Greenland, they inevitably say something like “volcanoes” or “Bjork” – both of which belong to Iceland. […]

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Namibia Online Marketing Campaign Reaches 6 Million People

The MCC-funded “Conservation Destination” campaign reaches over 6 million people through social media, education and a sweepstakes to raise awareness for Namibia’s exceptional conservation-based tourism assets. Four animated characters were used as ambassadors for the campaign. Launched on Earth Day 2012, “Conservation Destination” wasdesigned and implemented by Solimar International for the Namibia Tourism Board  as an innovative social […]

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Are Tourism Marketers Bad at Dating?

Luckily I have been out of the dating scene for over 13 years, thanks to my wonderful wife who I somehow convinced to marry me. I use the term “lucky” not just because I married a woman out of my league, but also because I am glad to be out of the dating scene which […]

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Sustaining Momentum for Go Blue Central America

In 2010, Solimar partnered with National Geographic, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank and other key stakeholders to improve market access for small and medium sized tourism businesses in Bocas del Toro, Panama and Roatán, Honduras. The economies of Bocas del Toro and Roatán rely heavily on tourism and fishing, the growth of which jeopardizes their […]

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How to Involve Locals in Destination Management & Marketing

In today’s tourism marketing world, all the buzz is around discovering a destination like a local. If you search for “travel like a local,” you will find countless articles and websites trying to help travelers discover destinations through a different perspective. As an avid traveler that loves to escape tourist traps, I appreciate destination marketing […]

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Destination Marketing: Brands We Love

Creating a destination brand is an important part of destination marketing, but the process can be arduous and intimidating. How do you capture an entire destination in one cohesive brand? It’s no easy task, but here are some of our favorite destination brands and a brief look at what makes them successful. Play on Words […]

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The Evolution of Destination Management

In the 1950s, before affordable jetliners helped to launch the modern-day tourism explosion, the world experienced 25 million international tourism arrivals a year. Today, as the world population has grown significantly and people, on the whole, have more disposable income, that number has jumped over 1 billion. Before the advent of the Internet, destinations tended to […]

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Tourism Marketing Project Update: Armenia Destination Website

Solimar is working with the USAID funded EDMC Project in supporting the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia (NCFA) to develop a national tourism website designed to raise awareness of the country in key international markets . Tourism in Armenia has experienced high rates of growth in the past few years, made possible by a combination of the national government’s […]

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Geotourism & The Tuskegee Multicultural Center

Solimar & Geotourism  Alabama as well as Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi partnered with National Geographic and Solimar to promote Geotourism development. This partnership contributed to the region’s competitiveness as a tourism destination by facilitating collaboration between local business owners, governments, interest groups and residents, helping market the region’s sustainable tourism assets. Solimar has managed activities […]

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Developing a Successful Integrated Marketing Plan for Namibia

One of the most comprehensive services that Solimar International offers is our Integrated Marketing Program. The model entails a tailored, uniform marketing strategy across all platforms that highlights and meets the goals of a certain destination or business. We recently saw great success using this approach in our Namibia North American Destination Marketing (NADM) project, […]

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Solimar Plays Key Role in Bringing Eco-lodge to Bale Mountains National Park

This summer, Jember Limited’s General Manager Guy Levene and the Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority’s (EWCA) Director General Dr. Kifle Argaw signed a concession agreement for the construction of an eco-lodge in the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP).  This momentous occasion – only the third concession agreement ever signed by EWCA -represented the culmination of several […]

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Our Natasha Martin Receives Award from Namibia Tourism Industry Group

We’re so happy to share with you some exciting news! Solimar International’s Natasha Martin has received the 2013 Award of Merit from the Hospitality Association of Namibia. Natasha has been hard at work in Namibia for over a year as part of our North American Destination Marketing program funded by the Millenium Challenge Corporation. The HAN award commends Natasha’s […]

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The Intersection of Politics and International Development

On September 10, Devex published an article on the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates’ positions on foreign assistance. In this day and age, although the U.S. allocates far less than most developed countries in terms of percentage of GDP, foreign assistance is unlikely to not be part of any administration’s budget. We live in a complex, globalized world, and our […]

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Tourism Circuits Launch in Morocco

In just a few short weeks, Solimar’s Promart (Promotion d’Artisanat) Project will see the culmination of months of hard work with the placement of orientation and interpretation signs along the newly-created circuits in the Medinas of Fes and Marrakech. Medinas, translated as “the old city,” are the historic Arab sections of North African cities known for their […]

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Tourism Development Assessment in Colombia

Lucia Prinz and I are currently in Colombia completing a tourism sector assessment along Colombia’s Pacific coast for the USAID Colombia BIOREDD+ Program (Biodiversity – Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. Sustainable Destination Development in Utria Tourism sector assessments help destinations and development organizations plan strategically for tourism development. Similar to a feasibility study or value chain analysis, the […]

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“Share My Namibia” Social Media Marketing Campaign Launched

On October 8, Solimar supported the Namibia Tourism Board launch a new online marketing campaign to increase awareness of the country and generate tangible new sales leads for tour operators. “Share My Namibia” uses innovative Facebook applications and the National Georaphic Geostories platform to highlight Namibia’s iconic destinations through the eyes of local Namibians. At […]

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Batwa Trail Upgrade Attracts More Visitors in Uganda

The Batwa Trail, located in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, offers a nature walk tour that introduces visitors to the Batwa culture. Batwa are indigenous communities who previously inhabited the Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda. A marginalized hunter-gatherer tribe, the Batwa have a wealth of knowledge about the forests and maintain a rich […]

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Gringo Trails: A Must Watch before Your Next Trip

Before you embark on your next adventure, take the time to view Gringo Trails. This feature-length documentary, directed and produced by American anthropologist Pegi Vail, sheds insight on the unanticipated impact of one of the world’s most powerful globalizing forces—tourism. Gringo Trails illustrates three cautionary case studies that reveal the devastating effects tourism can have […]

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“Share My Namibia” Destination Marketing Campaign Exceeds 14 Million

For 8 weeks from October 8 – November 30, Solimar designed and implemented the Namibia Tourism Board‘s “Share My Namibia” campaign. This cross-platform effort used engaging stories, photos, and videos to highlight Namibia iconic attractions from a personal, local perspective. Namibia is a a great destination to market. The amazing landscapes and incredible wildlife almost sell themselves. […]

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Project Kicks Off in Morocco

On May 23, 2012, Solimar International kicked off its 13 month project: Promotion des Circuits Touristiques Integrant L’artisanat (Promotion of Tourism Circuits that Integrate Handcrafts, funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). This project aims to increase the convergence between the craft and tourism industries and increase revenue through the creation of tourism circuits in the […]

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Solimar Continues Support for the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

This year marks Solimar’s fifth year working on the Global  Sustainable Tourism Criteria – a groundbreaking set of voluntary guidelines created to provide an international understanding of sustainable tourism. The long term goal: strengthen consumer confidence in  the tourism industry’s sustainability claims and provide a clear path for tourism business seeking more sustainability in their […]

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Introducing a Completely New Approach to Travel Marketing

I love marketing almost as much as I love traveling. The idea of using communication to create value for a company is something that I connected with at an early age. When I founded Solimar, I wanted to apply my love for travel and my passion for marketing to help small and medium-sized tourism businesses located […]

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Solimar Joins Global Partnership for Oceans

In an effort to address tourism’s impact on our oceans, Solimar partners with an organization dedicated to protecting marine resources.  The Global Partnership for Oceans, officially launched at the Rio+20  United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, is a partnership of over 100 governments, international agencies, civil society groups, and private sector companies […]

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Marketing Training Promotes Businesses in Bolivia

The quirky Bolivian town of Rurrenabaque is the ideal starting point for visitors wishing to experience some of the rich biodiversity, gorgeous landscapes, native cultures and friendly locals that make the Amazon so special. Whether tourists want to discover the ancient survival skills of the Amazon, visit the wildlife of the pampas, explore daily life on a […]

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Pearls of Uganda Wins TO DO! Award

Solimar extends a big congratulations to the Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) as it will be presented the TO DO! Socially Responsible Award for 2012 in recognition of its Pearls of Uganda program. This is the second consecutive year that one of Solimar’s clients is awarded the TO DO! Award. Last year’s winner was the San Miguel del Bala Ecolodge, a community-run […]

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Homespun Development: Community-based Tourism in Alabama

For years, Solimar has worked to promote sustainable growth through tourism in destinations around the globe. With one special project, we’ve had the opportunity to turn to our own back yard and look at how the tried and tested programs employed in the deserts of Africa, the mountains of Eastern Europe, and the jungles of […]

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Solimar Wins New Project in Morocco

In November 2011, Solimar began working on a proposal for the AFM6 project from the L’Agence du Partenariat pour le Progrès (APP), a Moroccan government agency that was created by the Prime Minister’s office for the execution of Morocco’s 5-year, $697.5 million dollar award from the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Solimar team worked tirelessly for 6 weeks […]

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Morocco: A Land of Mystery & Beauty

Carpets, one of Morocco’s most remarkable crafts, are all intricately hand woven on looms. The carpets that are most recognizable are probably the Berber carpets. Berber carpets date back to the Paleolithic era and the hand spun cloth that was used to make the carpets are from natural materials. Essential oils and perfumes are a […]

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Ethiopia Becomes Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Leader

The dramatic scenery of Konso in southwestern Ethiopia has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will be Ethiopia’s ninth such site, meaning it has more than any other country in Africa. This occasion was celebrated in Konso with an event organized by the Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, and was […]

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Early Successes in Bocas del Toro

We recently told you about the launch of the geotourism mapguide program in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The Solimar team has been hard at work for a few months getting ready for the official call for nominations, which began June 1st.The Bocas Geotourism Stewardship Council (GSC) began with 7 members and now has 13 active members, […]

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Roots of Ethiopia Website Launch Promotes Community Tourism

Solimar is proud to announce the launch of the Roots of Ethiopia website. This unique portal promotes the wide range of community tourism products found in Ethiopia; thus helping to position it as a top community tourism destination in Africa. The website has been developed by the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological […]

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Rwenzori National Park Adds New Tourism Products

Earlier this week, Ashley discussed our efforts in Uganda to boost conservation through tourism in national parks. One place where we have worked to accomplish this goal is in Rwenzori. Here we developed new tourism products to boost visitation and revenue, which is vital to conservation. Increased tourism has also helped provide new sources of […]

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Why Inbound Marketing?

So we know what inbound marketing is, but why is it important to the travel and tourism industry? The travel industry has changed. Just look at the numbers: 85% of travel research is carried out via search engines, 49% is done via online hotel reviews, and 62% is done via online travel reviews and comments. It […]

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Bocas del Toro: Telling Their Story

In February, Solimar began working in Bocas del Toro, a Panamanian archipelago located in the Caribbean near the Costa Rican border. It is one of the main tourism destinations in Panama, but also a biological hotspot for flora and fauna. Close to the main island, Isla Colón, is Dolphin Bay, where large populations of dolphins […]

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“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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    Washington, DC 20001
  • Phone

    (202) 518-6192