Dr. Don Hawkins, Solimar International’s Chairman and Principal is an expert in tourism policy, strategic planning, workforce development and management education with 52 years of international experience. Don held the endowed Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy Chair at the George Washington University School of Business. In 2003, he received the first World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ulysses Prize for individual accomplishments in the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the area of tourism policy and strategic management. In 2012, he was elected as Vice Chairman of the UNWT0 Affiliates Council and appointed as Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General for the Knowledge Network. He was the Founder and Chairman of the SAVE Travel Alliance, serves on the Board of Directors of the Ulysses Foundation and is Chairman Emeritus of Sustainable Travel International and Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
Don has consulted all over the world including North American, Caribbean, Latin American, European, African, Middle East, and Asia/Pacific Regions. His doctoral degree was in Park Management, awarded by New York University in 1967. He is credited with over 114 publications, including books, journal articles, monographs, project reports and educational materials.
Chris Seek oversees the strategic direction of the sustainable tourism company while ensuring the organization’s work supports environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and enhances the lives of local residents. Based in Washington DC, Chris manages Solimar’s staff of more then 20 tourism professionals working in over 17 countries. Chris leads new business efforts, strategic partnerships, and ensures all of Solimar’s clients are able to connect to the tourism market.
Over the last 12 years with Solimar, Chris has applied his professional background in marketing and corporate social responsibility with his own personal travel experiences (more then 50 countries) to design sustainable tourism development strategies that provide tangible results to both our clients and targeted beneficiaries. Prior to working in tourism, Chris worked as a marketing professional for Fortune 500 clients including Heineken, Sony, Perrier, GE, and others. Chris holds a bachelor's degree in Communications from Wake Forest University and a Masters of Business Administration from American University with concentrations in Sustainable Destination Management and Integrated Marketing Communications.
Jim Phillips has 30 years of experience in international tourism consulting, including strategic planning for tourism development, small business and microenterprise development, hotel and tourism-related investment promotion, marketing and promotion, feasibility studies and economic impact analyzes. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Jim worked for Arthur Andersen LLP and Arthur Consulting Group International, completing assignments in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East. Jim also served as Director of Tourism Development Programs for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Latin America and the Caribbean, where he conducted programs and events for more than 30 countries in the LA/C region. Programs included hotel investment missions and conferences, investment promotion strategy development, tourism planning, and product development and assessment missions. Work at the Commerce Department also included providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses to establish and operate a range of tourism and export-oriented enterprises.
Jim holds a Bachelor's degree in economics from Eckerd College and a Master's degree in International Business from the American Graduate School of International Management, Thunderbird campus.
Natalie Sellier has over twenty years of professional experience in finance, accounting, business planning, and project management. Natalie originally joined Solimar in 2007, utilizing her business background and passion for travel to assist small tourism enterprises and destination management organizations achieve financial sustainability by way of strategic business planning, public-private partnerships, and market linkages. As Chief Operating Officer, Natalie has assumed leadership over Solimar’s internal operations, oversees contracting and financial management, supports business development efforts, and assists technical staff achieve programmatic objectives. Natalie brings technical expertise through her involvement in the implementation of over 100 technical programs and is well-versed in the intricacies of both federal and donor contracting and cost accounting standards.
Natalie holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from James Madison University and a Master's in Business Administration from The George Washington University with a degree focus in sustainable destination management.
Over the last twenty years, Matt Humke has pioneered an approach to building community-based tourism enterprises that directly support biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation efforts in protected areas throughout the developing world. First working with Native American communities such as the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona, next as Rare Conservation's Senior Manager of Enterprises in Latin America & the Caribbean, and now managing Solimar's small business development projects around the world.
The community-based tourism enterprises Matt has helped to establish, such as "La Ruta Moskitia" in Honduras, have generated more than $5 million for local economies over the last ten years. The success of these enterprises in conservation and poverty alleviation has resulted in a number of the industry's top honors, including a Tourism for Tomorrow award, a Responsible Tourism award, and inclusion on both Condé Nast Traveler's "Green List" and National Geographic Adventure's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth".
Mr. Ivane Vashakmadze brings more than 30 years of working experience in tourism sector as mountain climber and guide, resort operator and development consultant. He has worked as a project manager and lead consultant for the international cooperation projects with various donor organizations and public institutions such as World Bank, USAID, EU, KfW, GiZ, SDC, ADA, WWF etc. Amongst the other specific tasks, he has been working on tourism sector national and regional strategies, institutional policy, protected areas (National Parks) and eco-tourism planning, cultural heritage management, tourism economic assessment and land use planning and urban planning, mountain resorts management and adventure tourism operations.
Mr. Vashakmadze has also experience to work in public sector as a deputy general manager of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, acting head of Georgian National Tourism Administration and GM of government JSC "Gudauri ski resort".
He has solid experience of developing tourism sector initiatives and recommendations for tourism strategy, assisting public institutions in heritage management and policy regulations, developing employment opportunities and SME development projects within tourism sector, assessing investment proposals for regional development and tourism, supporting business initiatives in tourism and hospitality services, implementing small scale pilot project in mountainous areas etc. In addition, he has been engaged in conducting tourism scoping assessment in Central Asian countries under USAID CTJ project.
Mr. Vashakmadze is a member of several organizations in tourism sector. He is a Co-Founder and board member of "Georgian Mountain Guide Association", steering committee member of "Adventure Tourism Leaders school", board member of bio-farming association "Elkana", founder member of "European Mountain Forum" and Co-founder of "European Mountain Forum" / "Global Mountain Forum", Member of World Bank experts group, etc...
António D.M. Gusmão is currently serving as the Senior Business Development Specialist for USAID's Tourism For All Project in Timor-Leste. António has more than 20 years working experience both in the private and public sectors. Antonio has dedicated more than 10 years in the development of tourism sector while served as a national adviser to the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry with specific assignment to the directorate of Finance and Administration, Directorate of Research and Development and the Directorate of Tourism Planning and Development. Antonio has a long employment with different USAID projects in community development as well as with Australian funded project (AUSAID) managing high profile interventions in the areas of tourism, agribusiness, rural distribution, and manufacturing. Antonio holds a Bachelor degree in Economics from the Catholic University of Atma Jaya in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Taufiq Rahman has 28 years’ experience on tourism business development in Bangladesh and South Asian (India, Nepal, Srilanka, Bhutan etc.) countries. Also having more than 10 years demonstrated experience in collaboration and coordination with the Bangladesh Tourism Board under Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of Bangladesh for development of Tourism products. Currently supporting Bangladesh Tourism Board & Ministry of Civil Aviation & Tourism, for the Preparation of Bangladesh Tourism Master Plan (BTMP) as Inbound Tour Operator Expert. Over last 20 years, he has engaged as a Training consultant with National Hotel & Tourism Training Institute ( NHTTI), Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, University of Dhaka, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry ( DCCI) & Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh ( TOAB) to enhance capacity of the tourism sector of Bangladesh. He has commendable experience in developing training curriculum, module and learning materials for the trainees as well as trainers.
He holds Master of Business Administration degree from Bangladesh, Diploma in Hotel Management, Nicosia, Cyprus, Certificate from WES institute in Brugge, Belgium on Tourism Marketing Planning, Certificate from School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii, USA on Executive Development Institute for Tourism (EDIT), MICE Professional Development Programme from Srilankan Convention Bureau, Kandy, Srilanka and Certificate from School of Hotel & Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. He was the Global Board member of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA – Global), Secretary General of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Bangladesh chapter & Former 1st. Vice President of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB).
Chloe King is a marine conservationist and social scientist, leading conservation and development projects in over 20 destinations as a researcher and consultant. As a 2019-20 Fulbright Scholar, she spent a year in Wakatobi National Park in Indonesia analyzing how tourism can help improve the resilience and adaptive capacity of local ecosystems and communities in response to crises like climate change and COVID-19. At Solimar, her work has included restructuring visitor fees to create a thriving DMO in Timor-Leste’s Ataúro Island; curating destination strategies for DMOs across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Armenia; managing learning content and site strategies for over 30 World Heritage Sites in Central Asia; designing blue economy communications strategies for Trinidad and Tobago; leading the COVID-19 recovery strategy for the government of Georgia; and establishing and directing online communities from the Institute for Sustainable Destinations to the Sustainable Islands Platform. She has led Solimar's research into how nature-based solutions can be implemented at scale to support more regenerative economic industries and enhance community resilience to climate change impacts.
Chloe holds a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University and an MSc in Marine Systems and Policies with distinction from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently obtaining an MPhil in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar. Her writing has featured in numerous outlets including Current Issues in Tourism, Responsible Statecraft, The World Today, The Diplomat, Verge Magazine, and The Conversation, among others.
Micah is a social scientist with experience managing USAID projects in Nigeria, Colombia, and Central Asia. Before working as a project manager in international development, she conducted qualitative research in Honduras and Nicaragua, taught English at a public university in Brazil as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, and led volunteer and educational trips in Nicaragua and Thailand. Micah first knew she wanted to be involved in international work when she moved to Nicaragua to learn Spanish after high school. Since then, she has been dedicated to learning about people and places around the world and supporting community development, with a focus on education and health.
Micah holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish Language and Literature from Westmont College and an MA in Anthropology with a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina.
Previous to joining the Solimar team, Jenny has explored her passion for adventure, exploring 80+ countries and working on-the-ground dozens of international development projects, notably in Thailand, Morocco, Ecuador, Somaliland, Indonesia, Nepal, Jordan, and Brazil. Most recently, she received a prestigious Fulbright grant to live in Malaysian Borneo. As a Davis Foundation Projects for Peace Fellow researching tourism and women’s livelihoods on Ataúro Island, Timor-Leste, Jenny first heard of Solimar after a serendipitous run-in with a local consultant. Several years since, she has used her background in travel writing and strategic planning to contribute positively to Solimar’s portfolio. Most of her team duties involve communications, and ensuring that destination messaging is consistent and engaging. Recently, Jenny has taken on more project management roles. Jenny holds a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Nino is passionate about travel and believes that sharing culture and creating new connections makes life better. Therefore, she is determined to further spread the idea of sustainable tourism and see how tourism changes in this digital world.
Last year, with a friend, Nino started a project Sight Georgia to share the information through a website about travel and culture in Georgia. We want to inspire people to travel in Georgia and discover amazing spots, heartwarming hospitality and experience unforgettable moments. Previously, she has been working as an event manager and a project coordinator for several years in the tourism industry with experience in marketing. She was also a travel consultant for Swiss travel agency for 5 years.
Nino holds a BSc in Social Science and Governance and is currently an Orange Knowledge Program fellow doing master studies in Tourism, Society and Environment at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands.
Marina is a master's student in Tourism Development and Culture at the University of Glasgow. Originally from Brazil, she developed a curiosity for the tourism industry observing the changing dynamics that occurred in Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup and the Olympics. In her undergrad she started researching about contributions of tourism to sustainable development and has kept on studying ever since. Her current interests are sustainable development in Latin America and Small Island Developing States and tourism development. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and exploring new places.
Caecilia is a cultural and heritage tourism lover that fell deeply in love with travelling at a very young age. As a backpacker, she visited South Korea, China, Myanmar, Hongkong, Tibet, India, Morocco, USA, Canada, Spain, and other less popular destinations. As an experienced and passionate sustainable tourism professional with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry, Caecilia is skilled in Destination Management, Destination planning and development, Event Planning, Tourism product development, Tour Operation, Travel Management and so on. Caecilia has her BA in Accounting from McGill University and has her Master in Tourism Administration program from the George Washington University with a major in sustainable destination management.
In her own words: “In order to protect destination communities and sustain cultural heritage destinations for future generations, my true passion is to help cultural heritage destinations around the world to be developed in a sustainable way. Since Solimar is a leading sustainable tourism consulting firm, I could learn about good practice experiences that can help destinations in improving sustainably. In addition, the most important reason to attract me to work for Solimar is the Solimar Team, who are the group of expertise working in the sustainable tourism industry with the pursuit of authenticity, historic values, and development of cultural traditions at all destinations.”
Maria Lucia Prinz started working in tourism 15 years ago as a tour guide while studying ecotourism in Guatemala City. When graduated from the university, she started working in Peten, Guatemala, developing community based tourism enterprises and linking theses enterprises to support conservation.
Since then she has helped develop a number of ecotourism enterprises in Central, South America, Africa and the Caribbean and specializes in product development, staff training in tourism operations and nature guide training through a proven methodology. She also has expertise in the areas of business planning, product development, sales and marketing.
Juan Luna-Kelser made a career at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In the last ten years of his career, he concentrated his efforts in the planning, designing, and managing of tourism investment loan projects, as well as technical assistance operations. Since his retirement from the IDB in January 2007, Juan has been advising and consulting for Solimar International and continues to be engaged by bilateral and multilateral financial institutions, as well as NGOs and private clients for the development and implementation of sustainable tourism projects in various countries.
Currently, Juan is a Sr. Research Scholar at the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University’s School of Business. He holds a Masters degree in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from George Washington University, as well as a Masters degree in Political Science from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Juan is originally from Mexico City and is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Natasha Martin is an adventure tourism marketing expert. She has experience working with private sector, government and trade associations, and has worked with clients around the world from Greenland to Namibia. She currently conducting research into the motivations and preferences of Asian adventure travellers, and working with destinations and companies to help them reach this growing segment.
Natasha has a BA in African History from Concordia University and a Masters of Tourism Administration from The George Washington University. Natasha speaks French and Spanish and is based in Hong Kong.
Bradley Weiss is a tourism development consultant who has worked with Solimar on numerous assignments over the past ten years. Most notably, he spent four years with Solimar in Ethiopia leading the private sector competitiveness and workforce development efforts for a Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance (GSTA) Project. During this period, he also lent support to a similar GSTA project in Uganda.
Previously, he worked at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), where he mobilized educational institutions to aid member nations in areas such as training, knowledge management, and strategic planning. He has also gathered experience in tourism development through consulting engagements in countries such as Mozambique, Ecuador, Philippines, Botswana, Peru, Madagascar, Vanuatu, Kenya, Brazil, Armenia, Mali, Panama, Rwanda, Seychelles, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lesotho, São Tome e Príncipe, Cape Verde, and Zambia. His consulting work in these countries, conducted primarily through World Bank and USAID-financed initiatives, has been in the areas of tourism policy & planning, capacity building, marketing, public-private dialogues, quality standards, shared economy, and community enterprise development.
Bradley holds Master’s degrees from the George Washington University in Tourism Administration and Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) in International Tourism and Hotel Management.
Olivier Messmer joined Solimar in September 2008 to work on USAID-Dominican Republic Sustainable Tourism Alliance program. With a strong knowledge of the eco-tourism sector, Olivier was responsible for community tourism product development, including helping to promote and link these new enterprises to the market. Since 2010, Olivier has mainly worked in African destinations (including the Marrakech and Fez Medinas, High Atlas and Sahara desert in Morocco, Benin, Madagascar and Ghana) where he was in charge of several tourism development projects financed by USAID, The World Bank, Millenium Challenge Corporation, UNDP and GIZ. Olivier has extensive experience managing international development projects in Western Africa and a wide network of European Tour Operator contacts, particularly in France. Olivier has over 15 years experience in tourism marketing, tourism product development, development of public private partnerships and tourism investment promotion. Olivier holds a joint Erasmus Master degree in International Business from Bordeaux Business School, France and the University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Hitesh is an Architect, Landscape Architect, Interior Architect, Destination Physical Planner, Protected Area Planner, and is a multi-International award winning planner and designer with Awards in Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Urban Design, Creative Writing and Interior Design. He is considered by his peers as the world’s leading authority, practitioner and researcher on sustainable tourism/ecotourism physical planning and both the landscape architectural and architectural aspects of ecolodges. Hitesh has over 34 years’ experience, having worked and consulted in 66 countries on six continents. Hitesh has for many years, led teams in the design and development of some of the most iconic eco-friendly resorts including: The Crosswaters Eco-resort and Spa in China is one of the most highly awarded international hospitality projects; Nihi Resort in Indonesia was identified as the Top Hotel in the world by Travel and Leisure for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017) and Hitesh’s office has been for the past few years, been working on the first Six Senses Galapagos Eco-Resort and Spa in South America.
His expertise is also on how to empower indigenous and local communities during the Planning/Design processes. He has worked on projects where tourism is used to channel money from tourists to local communities - Madagascar, Western Uganda, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, DR Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Nepal, Australia, Timor Leste and Colombia. As the designated Landscape Architect and Sustainable Tourism Physical Planner, Hitesh has provided Master and Site Plans to help create destinations that are low-impact and are a win-win-win - financially, environmentally and socially
He is an author of three books, including award winning “Authentic Ecolodges” by world renowned publisher - Harper Collins. In July 2006, National Geographic Adventure magazine identified Hitesh as one of five Sustainable Tourism Pioneers in the world mainly because of his Master Planning work to protect endangered habitat and alleviate human poverty. He has been featured / interviewed / mentioned in over 195 international magazines, newspapers, books, newsletters and blogs.
Hitesh Mehta is one of the founding members of the Global Ecotourism Network and was the longest serving Board member of The International Ecotourism Society. Mr. Mehta is also an Adjunct Professor (at FIU), a Professional Public Speaker and Photographer, and a Hall of Fame Cricket Player from Kenya.
Eliot is a journalist, podcast host, and researcher, specializing in international relations and environmental politics. He graduated with an MA in Political Science from the Universität Salzburg, Austria and a BA in Political Science from the University of Victoria, Canada.
Jess has over nineteen years of professional experience in many aspects of the leisure, tourism & hospitality industry, her career goal now is to work in ways that will provide positive impacts to organisations, destinations, & humanity. Her joy of seeing what a destination looks like and everything that goes with that has taken her to 76 countries on 6 continents. Jess holds a Bachelor in Leisure Studies from Waikato University New Zealand with a minor in tourism. She also recently received a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, with the intent to move into the sustainable tourism consulting field. She is excited to be a part of the Solimar International team.
Hannah recently graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Natural Resource Tourism and a minor in Business Administration. With a primary study in over-tourism, socio-culture impacts, and tourism planning, she has developed a keen eye to the advantages and disadvantages of tourism development. A passion for sustainable travel was cultivated by Semester at Sea, where Hannah visited 12 countries within 100 days, learning about intercultural competence and how to be a responsible global citizen. Currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, Hannah has the privilege of learning Asian customs, cultures, and business values as she navigates teaching English during the COVID-19 pandemic. She brings experience in ski area recreation, brewery culture, and hostel entrepreneurship to the table. She is passionate about snowboarding, fly fishing, mountain biking, national parks and all the adventure in between. Hannah sees tourism as an opportunity to transform travelers and destinations for the better and is excited to work with the Solimar International team.
With a degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University and working experience in the hospitality industry, Thomas brings great enthusiasm to the mission of sustainable tourism development. While working in Accounting for an international hotel brand he also led the Washington, D.C. hotel’s Sustainability Committee through various Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. He has also been involved with a sustainable travel non-profit that provides educational courses on a plethora of sustainable tourism topics. Thomas’ passion lies in making and maintaining strong relationships, and his life’s mission is to bring people together through travel. A Chicagoan at heart, Thomas is currently based out of Washington, D.C.
Kim recently graduated with a Double Master Degree from Université Savoie Mont Blanc (France) and from Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca (Italy) in International Tourism Management. Her passion for foreign cultures, languages and for tourism led her to study abroad in the United Kingdom and in Italy, where she was able to expand her knowledge on sustainable tourism and cultural preservation. After several internships within travel agencies and a long-term one in a hospitality consulting firm in Germany, she is now back in her hometown, a small village in the French Alps, where is part of the City Council for local tourism development. She is looking forward to her time with the Solimar International Team as she wants to contribute to making tourism a positive industry for development.
This is Afsar Ahmad. I am a Bangladeshi citizen. I am currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have completed my Bachelor on Hospitality Management from Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College. Currently I am pursuing my masters on Tourism at Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark. As a part of my study curriculum, I have the advantage of taking an internship at a tourism organization. I am so thrilled and happy that I have been given an opportunity to take an internship at solimar International. I believe throughout my internship journey at Solimar I will enhance my knowledge on tourism industry as well as this internship will help me in my future career path.
Recently back from Myanmar, where she worked five years as a Product Manager for a DMC, Célia is originally from French-speaking Belgium where she graduated in 2008 with a Master's degree in Translation. If Covid-19 brought its share of challenges, it also opened up a world of opportunities. Célia flew to Switzerland last September where she is completing an MSc in Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Passionate about building a bridge with local communities through tourism, she is looking forward to traveling scouting the world again. In the meantime, she will be discovering new grounds through the project of Solimar International.
Emma is a senior at Brigham Young University in Idaho studying International Studies with a focus in Latin America and a Business minor. She grew up all over the United States, so she always has a hard time answering the question “where are you from?” but if she had to choose she’d say she’s from Southern California. Emma attributes her love of exploring new places to all the moving she did growing up and when she’s not studying, she’s looking for new places to travel and reminiscing on past adventures including the one time she lived in the Dominican Republic for 4 months teaching English. Emma is looking forward to interning with Solimar international and learning more about the tourism industry and teaching people to responsibly explore our beautiful planet.
Adam Pudi Luddy
Adam was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. He graduated from Brawijaya University with a degree in Tourism Business. During his undergraduate study, he spent most of his time in an activism world and joined several movement organizations. He is passionate to learn and talk about social issues, such as; inequality, human rights, climate change, gender, people empowerment, and poverty alleviation.
After he graduates, he decided to continue his passion through his career journey in the sustainable tourism industry. Adam has taken an internship at WWF-Indonesia as a sustainable tourism assistant, and currently, he works in the eco-travel agency, Bumi Journey. Adam set his dream to be a sustainable tourism expert in the future. Therefore, he is extremely excited to be a part of the Solimar International team.
Alexandria graduated with a degree in Geological Sciences and German from Boston College. Originally from New York's Hudson Valley, an agritourism hub, she loves being a tourist at home and abroad. She recently returned to New York, after receiving a Fulbright grant and teaching English in Germany for two years. While currently based in NYC, she has traveled to all seven continents seeking nature and cultural immersion tourism. She is thrilled to integrate her passions for earth science and travel at Solimar by mapping sustainable tourism initiatives in the Maldives for the USAID Climate Change Adaptation Activities project. She looks forward to enhancing her knowledge of the sustainable tourism industry and contributing to tourism as a force for sustainable development and conservation.
Antony was raised in San Francisco and immersed in a multicultural melting pot. He inherited his grandparents’ Japanese, Filipino, and Swedish traditions of food, reverence for nature, and familial values. He spent many summers in Sweden and has traveled to 13 countries while continuing to gain travel experience abroad. Antony has an AS in Travel and Tourism from City College of San Francisco and is majoring at San Diego State University in Recreation Administration with an emphasis on Sustainable Tourism Management.
Antony aims to represent the sustainable development goals in the UNESCO World Heritage Journeys Silk Road project. He is honored to represent Solimar International and its quantifiable positive impact on tourism development.
While working towards finishing his BA in International Tourism Management at Saxion UAS in the Netherlands, Janis has gained practical experience in a diverse range of businesses. Not only working as B2C and B2B customer service representative for a tour operator organizing a major event and as an event specialist for the event brand of a disruptive online booking platform but also working as a coach and ambassador for his university, he was able to pick up on many different skills. Furthermore, with a focus on sustainability in his honours program and his acquired knowledge on urban planning and placemaking within a minor, he brings a unique perspective to the table. As an avid traveller with a passion for exploring nature and meeting people from other cultures, he is eager to expand his knowledge with Solimar.
Nina lives in Hong Kong, China. With the Bachelor of Event Management from Jinan University, she now further studies for a Master degree in Sustainable Tourism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she is able to enhance her knowledge of sustainable development in different types of tourism. Nina is enthusiastic to explore the cultural and natural spots around the world. She plans to be a sustainable tourism contributor. She is excited to have such a wonderful opportunity to work in Solimar International. She is looking forward to learning more about the tourism industry and contributing to sustainable tourism through the internship.
Greta recently graduated with distinction in MSc International Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, received ATHE award as Best Postgraduate Student Award 2020/2021, and holds a BSc in Modern Languages for Tourism and Business. Her interest in tourism issues started during her internship at the Tourism Information Office of Santiago de Compostela. There she researched the problem of managing tourism overcrowding in the Cathedral of the City. From that moment she decided to deepen her understanding in tourism management and over tourism affecting many cities, like Venice, one of her favourite cities in her home country, Italy. During her Master at the University of Surrey she discovered also her interest in destination marketing, analysing a destination branding process and destination marketing campaigns. She is also very focused on sustainability considering it a pillar for destination marketing and management especially by putting local communities at the center of these strategies. Her final aim is to contribute to the sustainable development of destinations in the region of Italy where she lives. As many of them are at early development stages they have the opportunity to define their path towards improving local communities welfare and protecting and enhancing the cultural heritage.
Jessica Pool, originally from Cancun, Mexico, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. She is currently pursuing an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Latin American Studies and also started an online MBA program last year. In the last 2 years she has lived in six different countries: Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, France and now she is based in Belgium. She has more than 5 years of experience in the field of strategic philanthropy. Her interest in tourism has developed over several years when she began to realize the potential that tourism had as a catalyst for community development and well-being. She understood that the methodologies and approach used in development projects could be adapted to the tourism sector. Now she is looking for a career change and focus her experience, skills, and knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism. She believes sustainable tourism practices can positively transform communities and people’s lives.
Caitlyn is an undergraduate senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in South Asia Studies. Having grown up at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Caitlyn’s childhood was deeply influenced by the tourism hotspot. Her love for exploration and education are direct outgrowths of her upbringing around the mountains. Her extracurricular involvements at Penn reflect both these interests and her academic pursuits: she is a member of the Penn German Society and the South Asia Society, and she currently serves on the leadership board of Students4Rohingya, an organization that aims to raise awareness for the Rohingya human rights crisis in Myanmar. Caitlyn is also an editorial intern for an academic publishing journal, and she has speaking, reading, and writing language experience with German, Bengali, and Hindi. Caitlyn is excited to contribute to Solimar’s ongoing project in the Sundarbans – a project that is near and dear to her academic pursuits – and she is honored to support the cause of sustainable travel through her work.
Born on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, Lisa Elmes-Bosshard followed her passion and pursued a life-long career in the hospitality and tourism industry. From gaining an M. Sc. in Tourism Management to managing hotels in the Caribbean, to creating and executing consumer and trade marketing campaigns in the UK, Lisa’s knowledge and experience is wide and varied in both the public and private sector. She is a keen traveller and enjoys exploring new destinations - island-hopping through the Caribbean, taking roadtrips through Europe and even hiking in Nepal. She is keen to pursue her interest in sustainable tourism development to be able to integrate concepts which can enrich destinations and their visitors. Lisa is currently pursuing Sustainable Tourism studies at George Washington University and she is excited to contribute to the Solimar International team through this internship.