Strategic Alliances

Sustainable Tourism for Development (ST4D) Alliance

Solimar’s Sustainable Tourism for Development (ST4D) Alliance unites private sector tour operators, technology platforms, impact investors, and some of the greatest brands in the world to offer destinations and development organizations not only Solimar’s in-depth expertise but also a coalition of private sector partners ready to support development projects, connect products to the market, and deepen our impacts.

The idea for creating the Sustainable Tourism for Development Alliance started in 2013, based on Solimar’s experience as one of the founding and managing partners of the USAID Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance (2008-2013), which leveraged USAID investments to generate counterpart funding in Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mali, Montenegro, and Albania to support sustainable tourism and biodiversity conservation. Around the same time, Solimar had the pleasure of working with the leading tour operators in North America under a Millennium Challenge Corporation grant to the government of Namibia to market the country to North American travelers. It was through the support of 130 of the leading US tour operators that we were able to connect this amazing country to the market and encourage visitors to spend their vacation dollars in the country’s communal conservancies and support conservation. The relationships and friendships established with these tour operators helped us realize that many private tour operators would like to get more involved in sustainable tourism development projects and leverage their expertise and market connections to deepen project impacts. With the creation of the Sustainable Tourism for Development Alliance, Solimar serves as a bridge between the private sector and sustainable tourism development projects.

As a member of the Alliance, private sector partners can identify countries of strategic importance and with the support of Solimar and USAID’s Private Sector Partnership Lab, explore interest and opportunities to co-create private sector led development programs.

Interested in joining the Alliance? Contact us today to learn more about opportunities to get involved in current projects in Armenia, the Republic of Georgia, and Timor Leste.

United Nations World Tourism Organization

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development worldwide.

Solimar International has been an UNWTO Affiliate Member since 2020.

Green Destinations

Green Destinations is a non-profit foundation for sustainable destination development and recognition, leading a global Partnership of representatives, expert organisations and academic institutions. Together with our partners we support more than 200 destinations in 60 countries to deliver responsible tourism based upon globally recognized principles and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

World Heritage Journeys

In 2017, Solimar partnered with National Geographic to help UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre develop World Heritage Journeys, a sustainable tourism promotion, planning, and engagement program. The program leverages the UNESCO and National Geographic global brands, and their unique capabilities, to engage heritage and tourism managers in a collaborative effort to tell the story of World Heritage destinations to curious and responsible travelers around the world.

As a content and brand marketing program, World Heritage Journeys creates and distributes engaging content focused on the authentic attractions, experiences, and stories in and around UNESCO World Heritage sites. Through websites, videos, campaigns, events, exhibitions, books, maps, and other products, it offers travelers many ways to discover and experience World Heritage, and help to preserve it for future generations.

As a sustainable tourism planning and engagement program, it convenes local, regional, and national heritage managers, destination marketers, and businesses to identify and showcase sustainable tourism products. It engages those communities to understand and safeguard the destination's outstanding universal value and enhance its integrity and authenticity.

The program and web platform are flexible and scalable and can be developed for any collection of World Heritage sites, whether national, regional, thematic, or global. Current examples include World Heritage Journeys Europe and World Heritage Journeys Buddha.

Learn more about the goals, methods, and products of the World Heritage Journeys program.

Contact us to discuss a potential World Heritage Journeys project for your region or theme or to explore opportunities to support, sponsor, or expand an existing project.


Planeterra is the world’s leading nonprofit organization using tourism to uplift communities. They believe that community tourism, at its very best, can break down barriers to engage underserved communities in meaningful, life-changing ways. Planeterra's mission is to connect its partners and local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting community-owned enterprises while promoting a more responsible way to travel.

Planeterra helps local organizations and communities use tourism as a catalyst to improve people’s lives, protect their natural environments, and celebrate their culture. Throughout the years, they have seen how the positive impacts of their work have resulted in women taking on leadership roles in their communities, communities promoting a sustainable environment for generations to come, children getting increased access to education, youth gaining skills to help them find long-term employment and communities earning a sustainable income through cultural celebration.

To learn more about Planeterra, please visit and follow them on InstagramFacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

World Centre of Excellence in Destinations

The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) was created in 2007 with the support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The CED’s mission is to guide destinations worldwide towards excellence by supporting them in their efforts to foster sustainable development and increase their abilities to generate economic, social and cultural benefits. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to committing both CED and UNWTO to work collaboratively on creating strategies and disseminating know-how and good practices which help tourist destinations reach excellence by:

- Reinforcing (strengthening) their competitiveness;
- Enhancing sustainable development of tourism, maximizing the social and economic benefits of the local community;
- lmproving quality of service and experiences; and
- implementing geo-tourism, defined as "enhancing the geographical character of place, its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents."

For more information visit 

SAVE Travel Alliance

SAVE stands for Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational Travel. The SAVE Travel Alliance is non-profit "network of networks" that facilitates linkages between potential or developing tourism destinations and attractions, and the appropriate SAVE markets. This is a fast-growing group market segment, which was identified and conceptualized by The George Washington University in 2003. Subsequently, Honduras became the first country to establish SAVE as a national tourism priority. Other countries are now considering SAVE as a tourism marketing strategy and development approach. The SAVE market includes travelers who engage in activities which can create significant positive contributions to the sustainability of a destination. Solimar recognizes the power of this market to support undiscovered destinations and community tourism enterprises. Solimar works with the SAVE Travel Alliance to connect the Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational Travel Markets to our tourism development projects and partners. For more information visit

HM Design

HM Design is a unique one-of-a-kind physical planning and design firm which practices its very own quadruple bottom line philosophy—one that balances economic, environmental, social and spiritual aspects for every project. The firm is a specialty eco-land planning and eco-design office. The President, Hitesh Mehta has built projects and consulted in over 57 countries spanning six continents and is a multi-international award winner in the fields of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Environmental planning, Urban Planning and Design, Interior Design and Photography. Design in this global age of heightened cultural and environmental sensitivity needs to be all-encompassing and holistic in nature and sustainable in all aspects of the planning and design process. In every project, HM Design tries to create an eco-plan or eco-design that have never been created before. Each plan and design is a response to the local context: physical, metaphysical and cultural. All HM Design projects have a respect for animals, plants, local people and the spirit of the place. The approach right from the outset is that of low-impact development. This stewardship-motto of taking care of Mother Earth and all the species that inhabit on it begins right on day one and continues into construction supervision.

Planet Happiness

​Planet Happiness helps destinations advance their competitive edge through more inclusive, more responsible and more purposeful tourism planning. Using the state-of-the-art Happiness Alliance's Happiness Index survey, which is based on Bhutan's pioneering approach to measure Gross National Happiness. With our unique one-page score-cards, the Happiness Index provides a direct experience of how well-being is measured inclusive of multiple factors, otherwise known as domains.  It allows individuals and communities to measure and compare their quality of life, or well-being with all other survey takers. It also allows tourism stakeholders to consider the highs and lows of a destination’s well-being (by neighbourhood, if needed) and determine what policies, projects, and actions are needed to strengthen linkages between tourism development and the quality of life of host communities (and target neighbourhoods). 

“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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