Business & Product Development

Tourism is a complex service-driven global industry that is constantly evolving, and the skills and knowledge required to operate a tourism business are pertinent to its success. Solimar International has literally written the book on creating sustainable tourism enterprises and experiences through our proven methodology developed over our past 10 years of enterprise development experience. Our process brings businesses from concept to profitable enterprises that contribute to both conservation and communities. These tools have been primarily developed to target entrepreneurs with limited formal education and have been primarily used with poor communities in developing countries.

Tourism enterprises can have an incredible impact on their destination by creating jobs, contributing to GDP, bringing in new markets for goods and services, increasing an area’s visibility, all while protecting the local environment and preserving cultural heritage. Though, all of these benefits do not occur automatically, but must be properly integrated into the sustainable functioning of tourism enterprises. Solimar’s enterprise development approach has been used to develop and support more than 20 sustainable tourism enterprises—from Africa to Latin America—to maximize their triple bottom line of Profits-People-Planet.

What to Expect

  • Tourism Assessment Concept Development: Developing sustainable tourism enterprises begins with an assessment that analyzes both supply and demand for tourism products and services that lead to well thought out and researched concepts that include a foundation of product ideas, market understanding and local feasibility. Starting from the concept stage, Solimar helps businesses evaluate their possible contributions to local communities and the surrounding environment.
  • Business Planning: Solimar then turns the tourism assessment information and tourism product “concepts” into full-fledged business plans and tour packages. The business plans serve as a “road map” for moving forward with product development and take into account the conservation and development objectives and clearly articulates the resources needed to realize those goals. Solimar has assisted with or led the authoring of over 30 tourism business plans and has expertise in market analysis, competition analysis, strategic positioning and financial modeling for tourism SMEs.
  • Operations Planning: While having a business plan is important, having a clear operations plan and trained operations manager will greatly increase the potential for business success. Solimar has extensive experience running operations training programs that take managers through all of the facets of running a tourism business including staffing, logistics, inventory, cash handling, financial reporting, customer service, leadership and more.
  • Tour Planning and Guide Training: Local guides act as the “ambassadors” for their communities and destinations, and guided tours are a vital product that a tourism enterprise offers to enrich the visitor experience. Though it sounds simple, creating an engaging and well-delivered guided tour takes tedious planning and practice, practice, practice! Solimar helps develop interpretive tours and trains interpretive guides that focus on communicating central messages which help tourists learn, feel motivated and empowered to contribute to a more sustainable world.
  • Sales and Marketing: Lack of an effective sales and marketing strategy will often lead an otherwise well planned and run business to failure. Many small tourism businesses lack the technological or financial capabilities to effectively market themselves to their target markets. Solimar helps equip small businesses with content, collaborative strategies and partnerships to increase their marketing reach and sales leads.

Project Examples

  • My Armenia Cultural Sustainability Program

    My Armenia Cultural Sustainability Program

    Cultural Heritage Tourism Development in Armenia
  • Eastern Sri Lanka

    Eastern Sri Lanka

    Assisting emerging businesses connect and package travel experiences in the Arugam Bay and Batticoloa/Passekudah regions of Eastern Sri Lanka
  • Ecuador


    Improving tourism and conservation practices and increasing community participation and benefits from sustainable tourism in Ecuador's protected areas
  • Timor-Leste “Tourism for All”

    Timor-Leste “Tourism for All”

    Bringing sustainable tourism to the island nation of Timor-Leste

    Related Stories

    Homespun Development: Community-based Tourism in Alabama

    By on March 22nd, 2011

    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 […]

    Read more

    5 Common Mistakes in Business Planning

    By on March 22nd, 2014

    “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 […]

    Read more

    Best Practices in Integrating Sustainability in Tourism Management and Operations

    By on November 28th, 2018

    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 […]

    Read more

    “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