Tag: Solimar

Solimar International Internship where are they now?

Former Solimar International Sustainable Tourism Internship Stories

Solimar International is a marketing firm that specializes in sustainable tourism. Three times a year, we recruit talented interns to our sustainable tourism internship to help with strategic planning, sustainability research, blog writing & communications, social media marketing, tourism development, and so much more on all of our projects. It is our goal to give our sustainable tourism interns the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to further thrive in the tourism and international development industries. We’re spotlighting some of our former interns to talk about their experiences with Solimar and where they are now! Let’s meet them:

Tesia Smith – Tourism Research Intern, current Japan and Thailand Specialist at Audley Travel

Tesia Smith is a former Tourism Research Intern at Solimar International, current Japan and Thailand Specialist at Audley Travel
Tesia in Japan

Tesia interned at Solimar International in the summer of 2007 in the DC office and in 2008 in Costa Rica. During her first summer with Solimar, she was a research intern, and had the opportunity to contribute to the Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance portfolio. She conducted research, created surveys, and analyzed data on several projects with National Geographic and Expedia. While in Costa Rica, she traveled throughout the country to various growing eco tourism destinations, collecting data and researching hotels, tours, and locations to produce content for Solimar. During the internship, she gained experience interacting with destination managers and other important contacts within the travel industry. Working for Solimar sparked her interest in travel and pursuing a career in the industry.

“The Solimar internship program really introduces you to the travel world and opens your eyes to a variety of roles which you could have in the future in the industry. Sustainable tourism and responsible tourism is becoming more and more important, and is not solely about the environment which most people think when you say sustainable. Sustainability is about the environment, but also the culture, the people, and creating an industry that helps support cultures and maintain authentic experiences. Sustainability is a lot about local laws, partnerships, and more.”

Tesia is currently working at Audley Travel as a Japan and Thailand Specialist. Audley Travel is a tailor-made travel company that customizes private itineraries. Tesia specializes in Japan and Thailand because she lived in Japan for 5 years after graduating college and her internships at Solimar, where she traveled extensively throughout South East Asia and enjoyed life in Japan. We are glad that her experience serving as a sustainable tourism intern led her to the field she is in now!

Find out more about Tesia and the work she is doing now on her LinkedIn!

Jenny Lundt – Former Tourism Marketing Intern, current Project and Communications Asssociate + director of Sustainable Tourism Internship program at Solimar International

Jenny Lundt - Former Solimar International Tourism Marketing Intern, current Project and Communications Asssociate at Solimar International
Jenny in Granada, Spain

While conducting research in Timor-Leste related to women’s livelihoods and tourism, Jenny ran into a local consultant for Solimar who told her about the Tourism for All project and gave her his contact information. Due to her unique on-the-ground experience and experience in tourism writing, CEO Chris Seek and COO Natalie Sellier (also a former intern) extended a tourism marketing internship offer to join Solimar’s first virtual cohort of interns.

She had recently graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Peace and Conflict Studies and Middle East & Islamic Studies when she started her internship. Much of her coursework was related to sustainable development, talking about inequalities in all shapes and forms. Her internship with Solimar allowed her to combine my professional and personal passions while gaining insight into a world she knew very little about previously.

The internship at Solimar provided her with access to some of the industry’s greatest minds, such as Chris Seek, as she eagerly engaged with the learning course material covering a wide berth of content. She also believes the Solimar International internship is especially unique because the company trusts the interns with significant responsibility. In her case, she wrote the content for the entire Atauro Island website based on her experience living in the country. This led to a part-time job offer from Solimar, which has since become a full-time role.

She recently wrapped up the Southern Tanzania project, her first Solimar project from start to finish. Throughout the last year, she learned how rewarding consistent effort and client relationship management can be. Additionally, as a member of the first remote internship cohort, Jenny has worked each semester to improve the experience of subsequent virtual tourism intern cohorts. Working to recruit and expand the skills of diverse and talented minds from across the world is one of her favorite parts of her job.

She writes of her experience, “With such a small, dynamic company with operations across the world, there are always a million ways to learn, grow, connect, and improve. Working with Solimar is the best job out of college I could have imagined”.

If you are interested in learning about Jenny’s work at Solimar, check out her LinkedIn! 

Jim McCaul – former Solimar International Tourism Specialist Intern, current Senior Vice President of Destination Stewardship

Jim McCaul - former Solimar International Tourism Specialist Intern, current Senior Vice President of Destination Stewardship

Jim started working with Solimar while at The International Institute of Tourism Studies’ Consulting Practicum while completing his Masters in Tourism at George Washington University. He quickly discovered that he and the CEO, Chris Seek, shared a passion for tourism and its ability to be a profound force for good in communities. The internship was a unique opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills Jim had developed in graduate school and apply them in a real world setting, working on a tourism development project with the Namibia Tourism Board.

“The internship helped me understand how to manage stakeholder engagement processes in polarized communities riven with differing agendas and perspectives on the future of the destination. It also gave me a profound understanding of the hyperlocal impacts that tourism, when managed effectively, can have on communities.”

After his Solimar sustainable tourism internship, Jim landed a job working at Destinations International, the global trade association for Destination Marketing and Management Organizations. After nearly seven years with that organization, he moved over to the consulting world, and for the past three years has been working with destinations across North America to develop tourism master plans and other long-term strategies which balance sustainable visitor growth with the health and vibrancy of their communities.

“I believe that to be a leader in the tourism sector today is to be an architect of future economies, societies and possibilities. My goal is to work with the public and private sectors to make tourism a powerful driver of socio-economic progress in communities.”

If you are interested in learning about the work Jim is doing now, check out his LinkedIn!

Barbra Anderson, former Strategic Tourism Planning intern, current Founding Partner & Story Curator at Destination Better

Barbra Anderson, former Solimar Strategic Tourism Planning intern as a member of the sustainable tourism intern cohort, current Founding Partner & Story Curator at Destinnation Better

 

When asked why Barbra chose Solimar as her internship opportunity, she responded, “I had a mutual colleague who was kind enough to connect me to Chris. Barbra found Solimar while in a Master’s of Global Sustainability program at the University of South Florida, which required an internship. She was connected to the program from a mutual colleague that knew Chris Seek. Prior to earning a Master’s, Barbra had been in the travel industry most of her life working with various corporate firms such as Sabre, American Airlines, Hertz and Budget Rent-a-car. She left being the head of Global Corporate Responsibility for Sabre and went back to school full-time.”

After working in most segments of the travel industry, she was enlightened about sustainable tourism marketing by assisting with a once-in-a-lifetime project with the Royal Government of Bhutan.

While in the Master’s program, Barbra met her current business partner, teaming up to create a consulting firm, Destination Better. Since that time, they have partnered with companies as large as Fortune 10 to develop their ESG (environmental, social, and governance) strategies, communications, and reporting. Their clients are global and span several industries, including pharmaceutical distribution, banking, call centers/AI, commercial printing, food service, robotics, construction, and government organizations.  They also host an educational podcast, Creating Responsible Companies.

Barbra and her business partner plan to continue to build Destination Better by shifting from only a 1:1 consulting model to a 1:many model by offering masterminds, a membership, and online courses for ESG and sustainability professionals.

Barbra reflects on her time, “I have complete respect for Chris as an expert in this field and as a business leader. I can only imagine the number of students he has assisted in their careers, both inside Solimar and in his involvement with GW and local community organizations.”

If you are interested in learning about the work Barbra is doing now with Destination Better, check out her LinkedIn! 

Marina Lopes – Former Solimar destination marketing intern, current Solimar Project Assistant

a photo of Marina Lopes - Former Solimar destination marketing intern as a member of the sustainable tourism intern cohort, current Solimar Project Assistant

Marina chose Solimar because of the numerous opportunities to work within the sustainable tourism industry. Before applying, she looked on the website and found that many of the projects that Solimar was working on sparked her interest, and she thought it would be fascinating to collaborate on them. She was successful in applying to the sustainable tourism internship program.

During her undergraduate degree, Marina studied International Relations, but decided to switch to tourism for her master’s degree. She knew Solimar would be a perfect fit because she could gain experience in the new career field she was entering. She noted Solimar’s internship as a way of exploring options as to what to do after she finished school.

After completing her destination marketing internship, Marina was hired as a part-time project assistant at Solimar this fall. During her time in the internship, she got closer to some of the managers that recently invited her to come back and work in the position she is in now. Marina is grateful for all the opportunities Solimar has given her, especially when it comes to completing her masters. She says,

“It was also a delightful opportunity to start thinking about my master’s thesis through Solimar’s projects.”

She would like to keep working with sustainable tourism and development. In the future, she wants to be able to occupy a position where she can see the impact of her work in a destination or specific business.

If you are interested in connecting with Marina about her work, reach out to her on Linkedin!

Conclusion

We take great pride in the incredible interns who have worked hours per week with us nearly twenty years. Our internship program has evolved with technology, from an onsite internship program in our Washington D.C. office to completely remotely across five continents. Our former interns are involved in nearly every aspect of the tourism industry, from Destination CEOs to consultants to travel advisors, and more. We believe we offer the world’s coolest remote internship, in part because of our projects, but also thanks to the incredible intern peers you can learn from and collaborate with. Our interns have helped launch Solimar into its position as a leading tourism consulting firm.

We are now recruiting for our next sustainable tourism internship cohort. Apply today to join the team and gain real world experience in the intersection of international development and tourism: https://www.solimarinternational.com/who-we-are/join-our-team/internship-program/

By: Stephanie Gerson and Cate Enrooth

Solimar International Internship where are they now?

World Tourism Day is here! Communities in destinations around the world are finding ways to celebrate both virtually and in person. The 2021 theme chosen by the World Tourism Organization is “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”. In this blog post, We’ll explore the origins of World Tourism Day, and the goals being set for the future.

What is World Tourism Day?

World Tourism Day is a day where professionals and organizations in the industry focus on a single topic that’s been designated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This year, the theme encourages tourism stakeholders to engage in practices of equality in growth. Tourism, as many other economic sectors, has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some estimate that around 4 trillion dollars could be lost in the global economy from the tourism industry alone. As countries fight to contain and move past variants of the virus and their implications, the tourism industry is setting their sights on recovery. 

For 2021, the UNWTO decided to emphasize that in this growth we must not forget the most vulnerable and underserved communities. Tourism for inclusive growth is an idea that promises a helping hand to the communities and people hurt most by actions of the past. 

When is this day celebrated and why?

Every year on 27th September. The UNWTO came up with the idea of World Tourism day in 1979. The first commemorative year was 1980, and the date was chosen to coincide with the adoption of UNWTO standards. Since then, it has been held on the anniversary of the adoption, September 27th, which marks the end of peak tourism season in the northern hemisphere, and the beginning of the peak in the southern hemisphere. 

Major themes from past years

A new theme is chosen carefully for this special day every year. The inaugural year held the theme: “Tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and peace and mutual understanding.” Tourism is a vessel for cultural preservation. This is done not only with economic incentives, but also through social interest and call for conservation. An example of this principle can be seen in Solimar’s 2017 work in Sri Lanka, where we helped diversify attractions and capacities in the area to help enrich the experiences for both tourists and citizens. 

The year 2000 focused on Chile, and the theme, “Tourism: preserving world heritage for the new millennium.” Here we get another hint of that first year’s cultural preservation, and with good reason! Chile has had a stressful recent history with political unrest and biological shocks that come with tourism entering untouched environments. Only through working towards the UN’s sustainable development goals, and holding an emphasis on biocultural conservation, can we have a chance at protecting this natural stronghold? Plenty of work is still yet to come. 

 

World Tourism Day’s 30th anniversary, 2020, explored the theme “Tourism and Rural Development.” The focus was on tourism’s ability to affect the economic sectors of communities around the world in outlying areas. That principle became especially significant following the COVID restrictions and social consequences that ensued. Rural areas gave weary travelers not only space to socially-distance themselves, but it also provided a much needed connection to the natural world after months of lock down in our homes.

Inclusive Growth in International Communities

Attention must be paid to bolstering and supporting smaller communities and destinations around the world that may not have the same level of stability as others. Social, cultural, and political aspects must be addressed to create inclusive societies through sustainable tourism. A fascinating commemoration of this day is Nepal reopening to foreign travel. Many people anticipate the country to relax restrictions and welcome tourists back to their majestic Himalayan landscapes. In the midst of a major border conflict with India, and having been hit hard by two lockdowns, Nepal looks forward to a chance of economic relief through an influx of foreign tourist dollars and cash flow. 

Celebrations of World Tourism Day 2021 

World Tourism Day in Opatija, Croatia 

A three-day World Tourism Day celebration took place in Opatija to commemorate the successful summer of tourism in the Kvarner Bay. Historical and cultural walks were organized through the city to offer an intimate view of Croatia’s past. The Tourist Board of Opatija also planned an array of events and concerts to promote the cultural, political, and economic values of tourism in Croatia. 

World Tourism Day in Abuja, Nigeria 

“36 Destinations Nigeria”, a tourism marketplace event, has been planned in line with World Tourism Day. The event is open to bloggers, tour guides, government officials, and other stakeholders. The aim is to widen Nigeria’s opportunities for all communities, and in line with this year’s theme, especially the communities that suffered most during COVID.

Future of Global Tourism Towards a Sustainable Future

Each year, the UNWTO attempts to find new important milestones in world tourism to celebrate. As aforesaid, the theme has continued to change and shift through the years, but the general ideas hold the same: 

  • Tourism is a tool to be used in the preservation of biocultural heritage around the world.
  • Tourism is an ever growing industry that, like others, needs to focus on sustainable practices to save special places, but and make tourists enjoy them all the more.
  • Tourism creates benefits that need to be felt equally among communities both big and small around the world.

UNWTO holds to their values of the 2030 agenda for sustainable tourism, by expecting that future growth places innovation and sustainability at the forefront of our thoughts as an industry. They even go as far as to say it will be our, “new normal”. With any hope, that will certainly hold to be true. 

Interested in learning more about local players in the tourism industry? Check out Solimar’s online courses on Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and the roles they play. 

“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

Contact us

  • Address

    641 S Street NW, Third Floor
    Washington, DC 20001
  • Phone

    (202) 518-6192