Tag: virtual internship

Solimar International Internship

Why did I Choose to Intern with Solimar International?

Solimar international remote internship
Remote Internship with Solimar International. Photo: Jess Loiterton from Pexels.

As a recent graduate of the European Masters in Tourism Management program, a joint program with three universities in Denmark, Slovenia, and Spain. I was looking for an opportunity where my interests in sustainable tourism and social media marketing could be met. After researching Solimar International’s projects and internship requirements, it became apparent that Solimar International resonated with my passion and career goals.

I was confident that I would learn and grow a lot within this internship, as I’ve heard my friend’s positive feedback on her summer internship at Solimar International, and how her experience helped her secure a job. I was selected for a 4-month spring internship where I was assigned to work on a project in Liberia, a country of which I’ve heard so little. However, I was enthusiastic about gaining hands-on experience in sustainable tourism consulting and marketing to further my professional growth. I did not regret choosing Solimar International at all. I detail my experience below:

Overview of Liberia as a Country: Introduction to Destination

Liberia, located in West Africa, is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and the Atlantic Ocean. As the oldest republic in Africa, Liberia declared its independence in 1847, having been established as a settlement for freed American slaves. After Liberia’s civil wars from 1989 to 2003, many Liberians fled to the USA. Despite living abroad, they felt a strong connection to their home country. So when the wars ended, many Liberian refugees returned home with degrees and skills gained in America. These educated Liberian-Americans played a key role in rebuilding and reviving Liberia after the conflicts.

beach sunsets in liberia
Beach sunsets in Liberia. Photo credit: Solimar International

Because of long years of political instability, the economy remains extremely underdeveloped, though the tourism sector holds potential for growth and diversification. Thus, in 2019, tourism contributed 9.7% to Liberia’s GDP, totaling $641.3 million. 

Tourism in Liberia remains underdeveloped with improvements needed to infrastructure, including transportation, electricity, telecommunications, and accommodation facilities. Despite these obstacles, Liberia offers a unique experience for those with an adventurous spirit. This spirit is captured in its logo, “Liberia: Amazing Discoveries,” and its brand essence, “Freedom to Discover.”

Discovering the Gems of Liberia: 

liberia robertsport and monrovia
Robertsport and Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Solimar International

Liberia offers a unique blend of natural wonders, rich cultural heritage, and ocean experience for tourists to explore. This country is rich in wildlife, biodiversity, history, and a deep connection among its people. 

Here’s a brief tourist’s guide to some of the must-see attractions in Liberia:

Natural Attractions:

  • Mount Nimba: Liberia’s tallest peak at 1,362 meters, offers stunning views and diverse wildlife in its lush rainforest habitat.
  • Kpatawee Waterfals: A refreshing cascade nestled in the countryside, accessible via a scenic hike through the forest.
  • Sapo National Park: One of West Africa’s last remaining primary rainforests, home to chimpanzees, forest elephants, and other endangered species.
  • Marshall Wetlands: A picturesque coastal with rivers, sandy beaches, mangrove forests, and abundant wildlife.

Cultural and Historic Sites:

  • Liberian National Museum (Monrovia): Showcasing Liberia’s cultural heritage and history through exhibitions and artifacts.
  • Providence Island: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the landing point for freed American slaves.

Ocean Experiences: 

  • Robertsport: Known as the “jewel of Liberian surfing,” with year-round warm weather and excellent surf conditions.
  • Sport fishing in Liberia is the ultimate dream for any angler, offering the chance to catch five species of fish within 24 hours.

Developing Tourism and Promoting Liberia as a Destination: Project Overview

Liberia has some of the last large areas of the Upper Guinean Rainforest. These forests make up over 40% of the remaining forests with the highest levels of biodiversity. Therefore, Liberia received assistance from the USAID Conservation Works activity to protect these areas. This project was carried out collectively by a group of partners. They aimed to manage protected areas and work with local communities. Above all, they focused on promoting economic growth through sectors like tourism.

As an intern, I worked on the USAID Conservation Works activity with Solimar International, partnering with the Liberian Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT). I supported the implementation of Liberia’s Tourism Marketing Plan and Branding Strategy through developing content for Liberia’s official tourism website, EnjoyLiberia.Travel, and assisting with Conservation Work’s Market Readiness Program by guiding small businesses in digital marketing. 

By 2025, the aim is for Liberia to become a fast-growing destination. It seeks to have well-developed tourist facilities and high-quality tourism products for adventure seekers, both internationally and domestically. The plan focuses on leveraging digital marketing strategies and optimized content. This will boost Liberia’s online presence and attract potential visitors. Additionally, Solimar International works closely with local communities. They foster workshops and develop sustainable tourism opportunities that showcase Liberia’s natural and cultural attractions.

sandy beaches in liberia
Beaches in Liberia. Photo: Solimar International

Main Tasks Accomplished as an Intern: 

Creating Tourism Content for Solimar International’s Website

  • Developed a blog titled Present and Future of AI Evolution in Tourism,” highlighting future trends, pros, and cons of AI in tourism, with examples of companies using AI. After refining the content with feedback from colleagues, the blog was presented to the team and received high praise.
  • Learned to optimize a blog by adding keywords, meta descriptions, and improving content structure to boost SEO performance. 

Content Creation through Storytelling for the Liberian Official Tourism Website:

  • Wrote 4 blogs developing detailed destination guides for Liberia’s top attractions like surfing in Robertsport, sport fishing, cultural sites, and Liberian-made products, outlining practical travel tips and itineraries.
  • Conducted keyword research and optimized content for high-volume, relevant keywords like “Liberia tourism”, “Liberia surfing”, “Amazing Liberia”, and “Top West African” based on EnjoyLiberia.Travel website data to improve visibility and target specific audiences.

Collaboration with Local Businesses:

  • Showcased stories of 4 local brands offering artisanal souvenirs and authentic experiences to tourists, captivating social media storytelling to attract the target audience segments.
  • Featured 2 interviews with local businesses like Liberian Cocoa Corporation and Extreme Fishing Liberia, highlighting their stories and community impact in blogs for  EnjoyLiberia.Travel and providing guides for tourists to visit them.

Conservation Work’s Market Readiness Program for Small Businesses: 

  • Developed how-to guides for small enterprises on using Instagram and Facebook effectively to boost social media presence in the tourism sector.
  • Reviewed and provided feedback for 18 tourism businesses to improve their digital presence on multiple platforms across FB, IG, WhatsApp, TripAdvisor, Google Listing, and others.
  • Included valuable information in the marketing learning presentation of the Social Media Bootcamp for small businesses on how to shoot content professionally with scarcity of resources and how to create engaging content for captivating storytelling.
  • Collaborated with another intern to document changes made by small tourism businesses enrolled in the Social Media Bootcamp.
  • Developed individual how-to guides for automation and suggested text for social media sites, considering local businesses’ limited marketing budgets.

Internship Impact and Learnings 

An unforgettable aspect of this four-month internship was witnessing my SEO-optimized blog’s success. “Surfing the West African Coast: All You Need to Know About Robertsport, Liberia” was published on EnjoyLiberia.travel. As a result, it inspired 11 tourists to come and surf the waves in Robertsport, Liberia. Through this opportunity, I honed valuable skills in writing structured blogs using SEO keywords and WordPress. I also gained experience conducting interviews and working in an international team. Most importantly, I learned to create engaging, informative content through storytelling and optimizing it for search engines.

Seeing my work align with and contribute to the objectives of the USAID Conservation Works, Solimar International, and the Liberian Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICAT) by attracting tourists to Liberia was incredibly gratifying. This experience has solidified my passion for using content creation and digital marketing as powerful tools to drive positive impact and promote tourism destinations and companies involved in the tourism sector. 

Learn more about the virtual sustainable tourism internship here. To join Solimar International’s internship program, simply submit an application form. Stay connected with Solimar on Facebook and LinkedIn!

virtual tourism internship cohort members working remotely in a coworking space

Solimar International is a sustainable tourism consulting and marketing firm that works in emerging destinations to stimulate economic growth and conserve natural resources and cultural heritage. Each spring, summer, and fall, we welcome a cohort of new interns to our team to embark on a 12-week learning program! Our interns join us from a variety of backgrounds: first year undergraduates, MBA students, parents, mid-career professionals, hotel operators, writers, marketers, etc.! We are continuously amazed by the passionate, internationally-minded individuals who join our team. Could that be you?

Here are eight reasons why you should join our virtual team and embark on a remote sustainable tourism internship with Solimar International: 

1. Gain real insight into the sustainable tourism world

Embarking on a remote internship with Solimar gives you a chance to gain insight into the world of sustainable tourism. If this is an industry that you are interested in pursuing a career in, this internship is a perfect place to get your foot in the door. During your internship, you will receive an in-depth understanding of how this industry works through weekly learning presentations and hands-on project work. Over the course of the 12-week internship, you will gain an understanding of the international development sector and how tourism can positively impact a country’s economy, while simultaneously conserving and protecting the environment and local culture. 

solimar intern takes photo on a rooftop

2. Work on Real Development Projects

Solimar International has projects in diverse countries all over the world. If you undertook an internship at Solimar, you would have the chance to learn about different countries’ cultures and history. Furthermore, interns can submit which projects they would be interested in working on. Your interests, career goals, and regional experience are carefully considered by Solimar, and assignments are allocated accordingly. Projects interns have worked on previously include: 

Suppose you are assigned to assisting the USAID Liberia project, for example. In that case, you would learn about the country’s creation as a settlement for the formerly enslaved sent from the United States or the country’s best-surfing destinations. After the conclusion of your internship, you will be well versed in the project you were assigned with Solimar. In addition, you will learn about every other project during the weekly meetings, taking you around the world from the comfort of your home. 

sustainable tourism learning opportunities in beautiful african plain

3. Work 100% remotely (the freedom of flexibility)!

There are no geographic limitations to work for Solimar – our interns have joined us from six different continents! Remote working will give you the freedom to create your own schedule! At Solimar, interns are expected to work 15-20 hours per week for 12 weeks. This flexibility means that many previous interns at Solimar have pursued other opportunities alongside their internship in sustainable tourism. For example, some interns attend college, write dissertations, work, travel, and volunteer simultaneously during their training. In fact, at Solimar, we encourage you to pursue interests that are conducive to your career path and overall life enjoyment. 

Additionally, Solimar gives interns flexibility during holidays and exam seasons, understanding the importance of a healthy work-life balance. Working with Solimar, you will have plenty of time to spend with your family and friends, and to work on assignments for university or college. Moreover, suppose you cannot attend a weekly meeting due to personal or professional obligations. In that case, you should not hesitate to contact a member of the Solimar team to inform them of your absence. Solimar understands that life is unpredictable, so as long as you contribute to the team and complete your tasks on time, you will make a great addition to Solimar. 

Intern from anywhere, even the beach
Work from anywhere, even the beach

4. Build tourism industry skills that allow you to stand out to employers 

Although this virtual internship is unpaid, completing an internship with Solimar gives you great opportunities to learn new skills and further enhance the talent you already possess. At Solimar, you are assigned to work with a team member who is a leading figure in the sustainable tourism industry. In addition, working closely with your team leader offers you the chance to receive weekly feedback on the work you produce for Solimar. Skills you could add to your CV after your internship include: 

  • Content Development
  • Copywriting and Editing
  • Social Media Curation
  • SEO Strategies
  • Press Release writing
  • Strategic outreach
  • Research 
  • Effective Communication
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Working with Asana, Slack, WordPress, Microsoft Word
  • Other skills depending on your assigned project: Interviewing, Photo Sourcing, Report Drafting

Solimar DMMS, learn from Solimar

5. Get your writing published

Working with Solimar gives you the exceptional opportunity to get your writing published. After you are assigned a development project to work on, you will research the unique culture and history of the country and develop blog and social media post ideas to work on throughout your internship. After that, you will curate blog posts at a pace you and your team leader agreed upon. Once the editing and feedback process has been completed, these blogs will be published on your project’s destination and tourism websites. Furthermore, you will see the impact of your publication through social media likes, shares, and analytics. 

Furthermore, you will be given the opportunity to write and edit blogs specifically for the Solimar International website. Solimar encourages you to choose the blog topic you are most interested in. Blog topics may include writing about the blue economy, ecotourism, sustainability, pescatourism, and so on. At Solimar, the team encourages you to focus on areas you could use to your advantage when pursuing future career opportunities.

Write about places you’ve never known about before!

6. Learn from one-on-one exposure to leading experts in the tourism industry

Furthermore, during the weekly group meetings, you will learn from one-on-one exposure to industry experts. For example, Matthew Humke, Director of Social Enterprise at Solimar, has twenty years of experience in the tourism industry and frequently gives presentations during weekly meetings. In addition, Chloe King, Director of Conservation and Community Development at Solimar, is a passionate marine conservationist and social scientist. King has worlds of expertise that she shares with the interns weekly. Many fantastic minds work at Solimar and are always excited to share their knowledge with interns. Click here to learn more about who you would work with during your internship with Solimar. 

The opportunity to work with these experts in sustainable tourism, content development, and marketing will make you stand out to future employers, as you will leave your internship equipped with the knowledge to undertake a variety of career paths. The wheel above demonstrates the many skills you will develop during your time with Solimar. If you are interested in a specific aspect of sustainable tourism or content development, the leaders at Solimar take your interests very seriously and will ensure you learn about an area that would be conducive to your future career. 

Tourism mentorship opportunities

At Solimar, we care about developing our interns’ skills for future career prospects. As such, The entire team at Solimar has created an incredibly encouraging work environment for you to thrive. For example, you will receive feedback on your work that highlights your strengths and offers opportunities to improve to the best of your ability. If you are unsure about any of the assigned tasks, do not hesitate to contact anyone on the Solimar team. Everyone is kind and would be happy to help you with any problems. 

7. Worldwide Networking

Solimar’s interns work virtually from all over the world. For example, in the summer 2022 cohort, the interns from Ireland, Poland, Italy, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Turkey, and the United States. These interns came to Solimar with a unique perspective and skill set that they could share with their fellow interns. Often, interns will get the opportunity to work together on assignments. Working within a team is an invaluable way to network. In addition, the interns usually work full-time in the tourism industry after training with Solimar. Therefore, in the future, when you are looking for funding or project development opportunities, you could turn to the interns you worked alongside during your time with Solimar. 

Furthermore, when you inevitably travel to different countries in the future, you will most likely have someone to meet up with that worked at Solimar. Many career opportunities stem from casual conversations with people who work in the same industry you are interested in. Therefore, meeting other interns at Solimar will provide you with at least twenty new connections from around the world. 

spring 2022 virtual internship cohort

Spring 2022 Remote Intern Cohort working with Solimar International

Am I eligible for the Solimar’s tourism internship?

Solimar International hires interns based on a set level of qualifications, skills, interests, and qualities. Scan through the list below to see if you are eligible to work as a virtual intern with Solimar. The general requirements we search for include: 

  • A passion for sustainable tourism development
  • An interest in marketing and communications
  • Excellent proficiency in written and spoken English, including impeccable grammar and spelling
  • A highly driven individual who is thorough, enthusiastic, and willing to jump into any given task
  • Someone comfortable working remotely with digital tools
  • Great attention to detail
  • Someone with strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills

If you possess these qualities and skills, the Solimar team would be thrilled to receive an application from you for our virtual tourism internship program. 

Apply now for our next tourism internship cohort!

Interested in pursuing a sustainable tourism internship with Solimar International? Click the link to submit your Internship Application Form.

Upon submission, we will get back to you with a decision within two weeks. Email [email protected] if you have any further questions about the virtual internship with Solimar International.    

Blog by Hannah McDonnell, Summer 2022 Solimar International intern

“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