Over our twenty-five years of existence our company has helped many destinations reinvent themselves. We have even reinvented the concept of tourism, departing from the standardised and unsustainable notion of mass tourism (overtourism) and conceptualising and promoting ‘New Tourism’ – a tourism that is more caring, conscious, community-oriented, culturally-aligned and creatively-inclined.
It also means repairing tourism’s wear and tear, not only on the environment and infrastructure, but also on the workforce and the destination’s very image in the marketplace because the tourist is far more experienced, maturing, cautious, and demanding. The old mass tourism practices and products will not work.
In the Caribbean and Africa, for example, we have helped several well-known destinations to reposition themselves to attract new niche markets – a process we call “destination re-engineering”.
For example, our company developed the concept of Responsible Tourism for South Africa. Between 1994-1996 we worked with the nine provinces of the new South Africa to develop their White Paper on responsible tourism, which became the go-to guide for future tourism development in South Africa. Today, South Africa attracts more than 10 million international visitors each year.
This is how we have reinvented tourism:
- We invented the concepts of ‘Old Tourism’ and ‘New Tourism’ to describe the rapid and radical transformation of the travel and tourism industry.
- We developed the concept of ‘Responsible Tourism’ as a fundamental premise of the South Africa tourism policy and growth strategy in the mid 1990s.
- We developed the concept of ‘Compassionate Tourism’ for Malawi in 2004/2005
- We crafted the Pro-Planet, Pro-People tourism strategy for St. Kitts (2013)
- We developed 12,000 opportunities for 5,000 tourism employees in the Bahamas to experience being a tourist in their own country – to stay where the tourists stay, dine where they dine, see what the tourists see and experience what they experience. This created a solution to the tourism fatigue the destination was experiencing and created the level of awareness, education and pride required to give the tourism industry a much-needed boost.
- Our Managing Director, Dr. Auliana Poon, produced one of the most referenced and seminal works on travel and tourism, ‘Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies’ that one review claims “should certainly be on the compulsory reading list of all those seeking to advise and direct strategic plan for both old and new tourism destinations”.
- We advised Abu Dhabi to ‘stay different’ from Dubai; to focus on its culture, heritage and traditions and to assume its role as a true capital of the Emirates, with an appropriate icon – The Pearl – a pearl-like glass structure on 11 floors, out at sea, that would celebrate the life and times of its late Ruler Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.