High Value Tourism: Low Volume Footprints

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Presentation given at the PATA Adventure Travel & Responsible Tourism Conference held in Paro, Bhutan Feb 3-7th, 2012. Covers ...

Presentation given at the PATA Adventure Travel & Responsible Tourism Conference held in Paro, Bhutan Feb 3-7th, 2012. Covers
1. Need for a new opertaing model
2. Change Drivers making such a model inevitable
3. Framework fo a new model and relevancy to Bhutan

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  • 1. High Value Tourism: Low Volume FootprintsOn Creating a New Model for Tourism That Doesn’t Cost the EarthAnna Pollock, Founder Conscious Travel, CEO DestiCorp UK.Keynote PresentationPATA Adventure & Responsible Tourism Conference • Paro, Bhutan • 4 February 2012Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 1
  • 2. Bhutan: Happiness is a PlaceI  must  begin  my  talk  with  a  personal  and  heartfelt  thanks  to  PATA  for  inviting  me  to  speak  at  this  conference;  to  Karma  Lotey,  President  of  ABTTO  who  was  instrumental  in  bringing  the  PATA  conference  to  Bhutan,  and  to  the  people  and  leadership  of  Bhutan.    You  have  all  contributed  to  the  fulDillment  of  a  long  held  dream  of  mine  –  to  visit  your  Kingdom,  a  place  where  happiness  and  community  well-­‐being  are  the  primary  goal  of  its  leaders.  I  am  pleased  that  many  thinkers  and  even  a  few  politicians  around  the  world  are  Dinally  recognizing  that  GDP  is  not  an  accurate  or  appropriate  measure  of  well-­‐being.  It  was  creation  of  the  Gross  National  Happiness  Index  combined  with  the  introduction  of  a  tariff  to  ensure  tourism  developed  in  a  slow  and  controlled  manner  that  caught  my  attention  some  3.5  decades  ago  and  has  inspired  me  since.  Bhutan  was  the  Dirst  and  only  country  to  do  what  I  now  believe  is  the  solution  to  the  ills  of  current  mass  tourism  and  that  is  to  protect  and  nurture  a  unique  place.  So  it’s  highly  appropriate  that  you  would  wish  to  study  this  topic  in  a  country  that  has  placed  such  importance  on  values,  protection,  and  well-­‐being.  Bhutan  is  also  the  country  to  distill  the  beneDits  of  travel  in  one  meaningful  sentence  that  also  serves  as  its  brand  tagline  –  Bhutan:  Happiness  is  a  Place.   Having  begun  with  sincere  words  of  gratitude  and   admiration,    let  me  proceed  with  a  salutary  tale.    It’s  a  tale   from  another  mountainous  land  thousands  of  miles  away   from  here  where  monks  gathered  in  monasteries  perched   on  rocky    peaks  for  prayer  and  spiritual  enlightenment.   The  place  is  Meteora  in  Thessaly;  the  date  1971;  and  the   event:  adoption  of  a  new  prayer  into  the  Greek  Orthodox   Church.  The  prayer  was    an  attempt  to  seek  God’s  help  in   dealing  with  a  troubling  problem.  So  many  tourists  were   visiting  the  monasteries  that  the  monks  were  leaving.  The  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 2
  • 3. short  prayer  was  entitled  “For  those  endangered  by  the  Tourist  Wave”  and  it  read:   Lord  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  God,  have  mercy  on  the  cities,  the  islands  and   villages  of  our  Orthodox  Fatherland,  as  well  as  the  holy  monasteries,  which   are  scourged  by  the  worldly  touristic  wave.  Grace  us  with  the  solution  to   this  dramatic  problem  and  protect  our  brethren  who  are  sorely  tried  by  the   modernistic  spirit  of  those  contemporary  western  invaders.  1And  that  prayer  was  offered  up  in  1971  when  international  tourism  was  one  Difth  its  current  size.  I  doubt  there  are  many  monks  left  there  now.  Now  I’d  like  to  think  that  if  it  were  a  Bhutanese  monastery  the  monks  wouldn’t  have  to  rely  on  divine  intervention.  Their  unhappiness  would  have  registered  in  the  Gross  National  Happiness  index  and  corrective  steps  would  have  been  taken!!Tourism  to  Greece  has  been  going  on  for  centuries  and  that  destination  was  clearly  at  a  different  stage  in  its  development  than  Bhutan  but  the  story  is  both  relevant  and  cautionary.  Tourism  can  be  a  force  for  good  but  all  too  often  its  effect  resembles  that  of  a  Tsunami,  generating  high  impacts   and  low  returns  and  it’s  time  to  be  honest   about  that.   So  sticking  with  the  mountain  metaphor,   I’ve  used  this  image  to  convey  the   challenge  that  tourism  operators  face  as   you  leave  the  precipice  of  low  value,  high   volume  tourism  and  cross  the  abyss  to  get  to  the  richer  pastures  of  greater  yields,  more  sustainability  and  lower  environmental  and  social  costs.    I  have  divided  my  talk  into  three  parts:  1.    The  bad  news  –  what’s  wrong,  what  needs  to  be  Dixed  and  why2.    The  good  news  –  the  change  drivers  we  can  harness  to  make  the  changes  that  are  so  necessary;  3.  A  framework  that  will  help  us  vision  a  better  future  –  a  destination  for  our  journeySo  let’s  face  the  challenges  of  our  current  situation  realistically  and  with  courage.  What’s  the  bad  news?  I  am  going  to  make  some  assertions  now  –  I  won’t  have  time  to  back  them  up  so  if  you  disagree  raise  a  question  in  the  interview  section.   1. In  about  60  years,  tourism  has  grown  nearly  100  times  from  less  than  10  million  to  1   billion  international  overnight  trips.    That  may  sound  like  good  news  –  and  the  growth  is   impressive  –  but  there  are  signs  that,  as  an  efDicient  economic  engine,  it’s  running  out  of   steam.  At  best,  it’s  producing  diminishing  returns;  at  worse,  it  contains  within  it  the  seeds   of  its  own  destruction.  In  plain  language,  we’re  killing  the  goose  that  laid  the  golden  egg.    Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 3
  • 4. 2. What  started  as  the  aspiration,  a    luxury  enjoyed  by  a  wealthy  few,  is  now  a  universal   commodity  generating  small  and  diminishing  returns.  In  good  times,  we  encourage   overdevelopment;  in  bad  times  we  drop  prices  creating  a  vicious  cycle  that  beneDits   developers  who  have  little  allegiance  to  a  place;  but  at  the  cost  to  local  tourism  operators   of  mostly  small  businesses  who  must  ride  the  roller  coaster  of  boom  &  bust. 3. Despite  our  valiant  marketing  efforts,  we  cannot  control  the  factors  that  cause  the  ebb   and  Dlow  of  tourism  demand  –  be  they  the  economic  vitality  of  source  countries,  political   stability,  currency  exchange  rates,  or  lack  of  natural  hazards.  They  Dluctuate  like  the   angiogram  of  a  patient  having  a  heart  attack!    Overall  demand  may  continue  to  rise   globally  but  locally  is  highly  volatile,  and  subject  to  peaks  and  troughs  that  undermine   proDitability  and  resilience.   4. We  have  persuaded  politicians  of  the  beneDits  of  tourism  in  terms  of  spending  and  jobs   but  have  never  assessed  the  social  and  environmental  costs.  So  we  measure  success  in   terms  of  volume  of  visitors  not  net  beneDit  or    well-­‐being  because  it’s  easier  but  it’s  also   misleading.   5. Just  at  that  moment  when  travel  is  considered  by  many  to  be  a  fundamental  human  right,   proDit  margins  have  never  been  thinner    and  resilience  –  the  ability  to  withstand  further   external  shocks  -­‐  is  weak. Consider  this  -­‐  By  2030,  the  world  will  need  at  least  50  per  cent  more  food,  45  per  cent   more  energy  and  30  per  cent  more  water  —  all  at  a  time  when  environmental  boundaries   are  throwing  up  new  limits  to  supply.  It  will  also  need  to  have  reduced  its  production  of   carbon  by  over  80%.    At  the  same  time,  the  UNWTO  is  forecasting  a  doubling  of   international  trips  even  though  tourism  is  currently  dependent  on  fossil  fuel,  is  a  major   generator  of  carbon  and  user  of  water,  land  and  concrete. It  doesn’t  take  a  Ph.d  in  economics  to  Digure  out  that  when  rising  demand  clashes  with   diminishing  supply,  prices  will  rise.   Airlines  can  shout  “unfair”  and  foul  all  they  want  but  someone  has  to  pay  the  cost  of   absorbing  the  carbon  travellers  generate  and  personally  I’d  prefer  to  pay  a  little  extra   now  than  impose  a  very  real  and  punishing  cost  on  my  grandchildren’s  well-­‐being.   6. Nor  can  we  assume  that  government  support  for  marketing  and  infrastructure  will   continue.    Record  levels  of  public  debt;  the  demands  of    an  aging  population  in  developed   economies  and  the    explosion  of  youth,    who  will  need  to  be  educated,  employed  or   otherwise  kept  busy  in  developing  nations,  will  put  enormous  strains  on  public  budgets; 7. Traditional  “push”  marketing  doesn’t  work  any  more.  Power  has  shifted  from  the  supplier   to  the  customer  whose  trust  levels  are  at  an  all  time  low.  The  days  of  clever  marketing   spin  are  almost  over.  Your  customers  now  rely  on  each  other  for  information  and,  thanks   to  the  proliferation  of  new  channels  and  constantly  changing  technologies,  your   investment  in  marketing  must  go  up  at  the  very  time  your  returns  are  diminishing.  And  if  that  sounds  rather  daunting,  permit  me  to  layer  in  one  other  key  fact  –  and  that  is  at  this  point  in  history  most  leaders  and  experts  have  given  up  trying  to  predict  what’s  going  to  happen  next.  The  bofDins  and  spymasters  in  the  US  military  have  a  4  letters  to  describe  our  world  and  it  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 4
  • 5. starts  with  a  V.    2With  V  pointing  to  extreme  volatility;  U  pointing  to  uncertainty;    C  to  complexity;    and  A  for  extreme  ambiguity.  Now  bear  with  me  –  I  promise  this  is  going  to  be  a  positive,  uplifting  talk  but  we  can’t  expect  to  Dix  a  problem  unless  we  understand  what  caused  it.  I  started  my  list  of  “bad  news”  by  talking  about  mass  tourism’s  operating  model.  What  do  I  mean  by  that?  Simply  put,  it’s  the  set  of  shared  operating  assumptions  and  beliefs  that  are  often  invisible  and  implicit  but  shape  how  we  behave.  They  are  the  glue  that  holds  a  system  together.  Another  word  is  mindset  or  paradigm.  Tourism  is  a  relative  latecomer  to  the  economic  scene  –  literally  taking  off  with  the  arrival  of  methods  of  mass  transportation  –  the  railway,  the  passenger  liner,  and  the  jumbo  jet.  Being  the  young  sector  on  the  block,  it  looked  to  the  manufacturing  sector  for  ideas  on  how  to  organize  and  manage  itself  and  applied  the  model  of  an  assembly  line.  Elements  of  a  trip  -­‐  accommodation,  transport,  entertainment,  dining  -­‐  were  perceived  as  products  that  could  be  assembled  as  packages  that  could  be  positioned,  priced  and  promoted.  The  industrial  model  is  all  about  producing  more  for  less  and  it’s  worked  well.  The  UNWTO  conDidently  project  tourism  to  reach  1.6  billion  trips  by  2020.  Now    that’s  a  doubling  of  the  number  handled  just  three  years  ago.  Domestic  travel  is  growing  faster  and  could  easily  be  8  times  that  in  terms  of  movements.    Do  you  see  why  I  use  the  image  of  a  tsunami? Despite  the  optimistic  forecasts  of  aircraft  manufacturers,   it’s  unlikely  that  these  projections  will  be  fulDilled.  There   simply  are  no  straight  lines  in  nature.    All  life  is  cyclical  and   growth  cannot  continue  inDinitely.  There  is  a  universal   pattern  that  applies  to  animal  or  plant  populations,   civilizations,  or  even  ideas.    It  regularly  appears  in  college   classes  on  tourism  as  applied  to  the  rise  and  inevitable   decline  of  a  destination.3    To  my  knowledge  it  has  not  been   applied  to  tourism  as  a  whole  but  I  believe  now  is  the  time   to  imagine  we  are  at  the  inDlection  point  globally.  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 5
  • 6. So  that’s  how  I  see  the  global  dilemma.  While  the  situation  will  vary  from  one  destination  to  another  the  overall  pattern  will  be  repeated.Having  got  the  bad  news  out  on  the  table,  I’d  now  like  to  tell  you  why  I  am  so  excited  and  optimistic.  There  is  a  cure  to  VUCA  and  there  are  forces  we  can  harness  to  “do  tourism”  differently.    First  of  all,  lets’  turn  VUCA  on  its  head  and  have  it  mean  something  much  more  positiveV  –  Can  stand  for  a  Vision  of  Tourism  That  Values  all  participants  and  the  Places  in  which  their  relationships  take  placeU  –  could    be  for  Understanding  –  we  can  examine  our  unexamined  assumptions  and  change  them  to  create  wealth  and  well-­‐being  that  doesn’t  cost  the  earthC  –  could  be  for  the  Creativity  and  Collaboration  needed  to  move  from  the  old  to  the  new.  I’ll  add  a  third  C  for  Caution  –  don’t  underestimate  tourism’s  destructive  force;  and  A    -­‐  can  stand  for  the  Agility  we’ll  need  to  respond  to  mammoth  change  and  the  Action  we  will  need  to  take,  You  can  see  now  that  this  is  going  to  involve  an  awful  lot  more  than  changing  light  bulbs  and  washing  our  towels  less  frequently….Nor  will  we  make  much  progress  unless  we  delve  beneath  the  surface  and  dig  deep  beneath  surface  trends  and  organizational  structures  and  processes  to  understand  what  really  has  to  change.  To  determine  whether  we  can  reverse  the  trend  and  create  high  value  and  low  impact,  we  have  to  start  with  two  key  questions:   • How  are  the  values  held  by  your  source  markets  changing? • Through  what  lenses  do  they  view  the  world  and  how  are  they  changing?Note  I  said  “in  your  markets.”    To  the  Bhutanese  in  the  audience  I’d  mention  that  your  values  and  trends  are  not  necessarily  the  same  as  the  ones  that  have  underpinned  the  western  worldview  and  helped  drive  the  growth  of  western  economies.      But  we’re  living  at  an  historic  point  in  time  when  the  worldviews  of  indigenous  peoples  are  still  closely  connected  to  place  and  spirit  might  converge  with  the  perspectives  and  values  held  by  an  inDluential  segment  of  “western”  cultures.  For  example,  here’s  a  list  of  assumptions  that  have  underpinned  society  for  the  past  250    years.    Take  a  minute  to  scan  them  –  maybe  you’ve  never  thought  of  them  before.  Some  you  might  agree  with;  others  you  may  not.    But  I  can  assure  you  everyone  is  being  challenged  right  now  and  the  world  won’t  be  the  same  as  a  result.  It’s  because  these  core  assumptions  are  now  being  found  wanting  that  I  can  retain  some  optimism  that  higher  values  and  less  impacts  from  tourism  might  be  achievable  going  forward.  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 6
  • 7. Let’s  stick  to  territory  you’re  familiar  with  –  tourism  and  look  at  the  last  assumption  on  the  list4.  When  we  talk  about  tourism  as  an  industry  we  see  things  or  products  being  assembled  by  businesses  in  pursuit  of  proDit.  And  in  the  name  of  that  pursuit,  people  can  be  displaced  from  their  homes;    fragile  beaches  can  saturated,  coral  reefs  destroyed;  children’s  lives  wrecked;  forests  cut  down  or  cultures  that  have  provided  meaning  for  centuries  made  objects  of  entertainment.  But  this  isn’t  how  it  is  or  needs  to  be.  Tourism  is  really  a  community  of  people  in  relationship  with  each  other  and  the  setting  or  place  in  which  their  encounters,  and  their  experiences  take  place.  The  truth  is  that  tourism  operates  more  like  a  network  than  an  assembly  plant  with  rigid  processes  and  a  hierarchical  control  structure.  Apparently,  the  term  industry  was  introduced  on  a  recommendation  by  Henry  Kissinger  in  order  to  give  a  youthful  phenomenon  legitimacy  in  the  eyes  of  an  industrialized  society.  Tourism  is  all  about  people  meeting  people;  it’s  about  relationships  between  people  and  between  people  and  the  natural  world.    Tourism  isn’t  about  objective  things  that  can  be  produced  but  about  experiences  that  can  only  be  had  by  the  person  having  the  experience.  Our  guests  are  people;  our  employees  are  people;  our  suppliers  are  people;  investors  are  people  and  residents  of  the  host  community  are  people  too.    The  good  news  is  that  as  people,  our  needs  and  wants  and,  most  importantly,  our  values  are  changing  and  changing  fast.    In  a  network  change  can’t  be  dictated  or  imposed  from  the  top  or  a  central  source.  Instead,  change  spreads  like  an  infection.  It  can  and  will  come  bubbling  up  from  communities  –  perhaps  started  by  individuals  but  spread  by  connections  and  community  and  accelerated  by  passion  and  enthusiasm.  So  you  are  as  much  in  control  of  the  future  as  I  am.    Each  of  us  is  situated  on  the  frontline  between  the  old  and  the  new.    Every  decision  we  make  affects  the  total  outcome.  The  goal,    as  Carlos  Christ  encouraged  us  to  consider  in  his  endnote  presentation,  is  to  imagine  a  day  when  we  won’t  need  adjectives  such  as  responsible,  sustainable,  eco,  geo  or  even  conscious  to  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 7
  • 8. describe  a  fringe  or  minority  form  of  tourism.  The  goal  will  be  for  all  tourism  to  be  living  up  the  principles  behind  those  adjectives.  CHANGE  DRIVERSSo  let’s  now  look  at  the  positive  forces  that  we  can  harness  to  bring  about  this  transformation  and  generate  higher  yields  with  lower  impacts.The  biggest  change  driver  is  this  thing  called  “connectivity”  –  humanity  now  comprises  some  7  billion  souls    and  1  billion  are  now  on  Facebook  struggling  with  new  timeline!.      Another  i/2  a  billion  are  tweeting….  It’s  this  connectivity  that’s  changing  our  view  of  ourselves.   Thanks  to  the  technology  that  got  us  into  space,  we  each   know  that  we  share  a  common  home  and  that  we’re  all   connected.   Our  understanding  of  this  beautiful  planet  is  also  changing.   We  now  have  a  perspective  and  the  data  to  understand  that   planet  earth  is  a  living,  breathing  organism  capable  of  self-­‐ regulation  and  adjustment.We’re  also  recognizing  that  its  resources  are  limited  and  it  operates  according  to  some  physical  laws  that  cannot  be  broken.  So  we  may  have  one  planet  but  we  need  three  to  sustain  life  on  the  planet  at  current  levels  of  consumption  and  waste  production.5  The  recession  of  the  middle  of  the  decade  brought  about  by  the  near  collapse  of  our  Dinancial  system  has  shown  that  our  current  economic  system  is  seriously  Dlawed.  Connectivity  also  creates  transparency  and  harsh  truths  cannot  be  hidden  any  longer.  Connectivity  is  accelerating  the  diffusion  of  new  ideas.  Digital  connectivity  also  accelerates  a  demand  for  travel.      While  we  may  meet  online  in  digital  space,  real  connection  occurs  in  the  analogue  world.  We  each  leave  home  with  a  fantasy  and  often  then  experience  reality.        Sadly  more  and  more  travelers  are  coming  home  disappointed.    The  following  three  images  show  what  would  be  the  fantasy  of  the  beach  in  Thailand  made  famous  by  Leonardo  di  Caprio  in  the  movie  and  images  of  today’s  reality.  This  is  the  reality  today.  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 8
  • 9. Experiences  like  this  make  it  painfully  clear  that  there  are  limits  to  growth.  While  we  may  all  think  we  have  a  right  to  travel,  exercising  that  right  means  that  fewer  and  fewer  other  people  will  have  the  opportunity  to  experience  “must  see”  destinations  without  crowds  of  other  people  being  in  the  frame  of  their  digital  pictures.    Sadly,  the  majority  of  operators  are  reluctant  to  let  go  of  a  mindset  that  enables  them  to  exploit  landscapes,  ecosystems  and  cultures  in  the  name  of  economic  growth.  In  the  week  prior  to  leaving  for  this  presentation,  Thomas  Cook  posted  this  blog  post  and  exciting  “infographic  which  identiDies  our  top  5  destinations  to  visit  before  they’re  gone”.    (Note;  the  original  wording  on  the  blog  has  subsequently  been  edited  out.  The  current  version  of  the  post  is  here.)  And  almost  on  the  same  day  a  story  broke  about  the  way  in  which  tourists  were  inDiltrating  remote  Indian  tribes  in  order  to  get  pictures  of  exotic  and  naked  tribes  people.  Thanks  to  all  that  connectivity  ,  the  conversation  it  enables  and  the  growth  in  consumer  power,  this  kind  of  irresponsible  behaviour  will  be  subject  to  growing  criticism  in  the  future  and  the  impact  on  reputation  and  share  value  could  be  huge.  Before  this  age  of  transparency  perhaps  it  didn’t  matter  what  people  thought;    or  you  could  at  least  hide  the  truth;  now  it’s  the  key  thing  that  matters.  According  to  NASDAQ  some  60-­‐80%  of  the  value  of  publicly  listed  companies  can  be  attributed  to  intangibles  such  as  brand  equity,  reputation  and  human  capital  i.e.,  the  capacity  of  the  people  in  a  company  to  be  creative,  adaptable,  innovative  and  relevant.  This  shift  in  how  we  value  companies  is  occurring  at  the  same  time  that  people  are  valuing  the  acquisition  of  things  less  and  meaningful  experiences  more.  The  clue  to  understanding  why  this  is  happening  lies  with  a  psychologist  Abraham  Maslow  who  many  of  us  may  have  encountered  in  marketing  courses.  Dr.  Maslow  suggested  that,  as  individuals,  we  spend  our  lives  pursuing  a  changing  set  of  needs.    The  Dirst  four  needs  –  physiological,  safety,  love  &  belonging,  and  self-­‐esteem  –  are  described  as  deDiciency  needs.  Right  now  people  of  all  ages  are  realizing  that  meeting  their  “deDiciency”  needs  alone  doesn’t  bring  about  happiness.  The  latter  state  can  only  be  reached  by  committing  to  grow,  by  seeking  knowledge  and  wisdom  and  acting  in  service  to  others;  in  other  words  fulDilling  “growth  needs”Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 9
  • 10. Here’s  a  map  of  Maslow’s  hierarchy  of  needs  to  seven  levels  of  consciousness6.    There’s  a  point  of  transformation  when  individuals  put  more  emphasis  on  community  and  the  common  good  than  the  satisfaction  of  purely  selDish  goals.  A  signiDicant  number  of  people  are  going  through  the  transformative  phase  right  now.  After  which,  stuff  or  experiences  aren’t  enough  –  they  must  be  meaningful,  have  purpose,  and  contribute  to  the  whole.  And  we’re  seeing  this  shift  taking  place  in  front  of  our  eyes  in  developed  and  rapidly  developing  economies.  It’s  important  because  this  shift  is  affecting  what  people  buy,  how  they  spend  their  time  and  which  companies  they  choose  to  work  for.    This  shift  is  neither  generation-­‐,  age-­‐  or  culture-­‐speciDic.  While  it  is  partly  driven  by  an  aging  population  (older  people  generally  tend  to  become  more  interested  in  matters  of  the  soul  or  spirit  in  their  advancing  age);  the  Generation  known  as  Gen  Y  (born  after  1980)  seem  to  have  jumped  up  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 10
  • 11. Maslow’s  needs  hierarchy  at  a  much  younger  age.    According  to  Tim  Elmore  in  Growing  Leaders,  some  61%  of  Generation  Y  feel  personally  responsible  for  making  a  positive  difference  to  the  world  and  expect  their  work  to  be  transformational  as  well  as  transactional.  This  shift  in  values  is  not  only  affecting  people  as  consumers  but  our  beliefs  and  assumptions  about  relationships.  As  we  mature  we  start  to  think  less  about  our  individual  selves  in  isolation  but  as  community.    Richard  Barrett  has  summed  up  this  trend  as  a  shift  from  “I  to  we”  such  that  Dirms  should  now  concentrate  less  on  being  the  best  in  the  world,  to  “being  the  best  for  the  world”  as  increasingly  they  are  being  judged  as  much  by  the  values  they  adhere  to  over  the  products  they  sell.  By  the  way,  this  is  why  Bhutanese  and  many  indigenous  peoples  are  around  the  world,  are  more  mature  than  their  visitors  from  the  so-­‐called  developed  western  economies!  They’ve  always  known  that  well  being  has  relatively  little  to  with  money.  You  need  some  but,  after  a  certain  point,  more  isn’t  always  better.  And  this  is  why  Bhutan  is  a  destination  whose  time  has  come!  These  changes  in  value  are  having  an  enormous  impact  on  attitudes  to  business.  Until  just  a  few  years  ago,  it  would  have  been  heresy  for  anyone  to  have  denied  that  the  prime  focus  of  business  is  to  make  money.  But  the  business  literature  now  is  teeming  with  papers  and  books  suggesting  that  business  is  really  about  doing  good  and  making  the  world  a  better  place 7.    Edelman,  the  US  based  agency  that  measures  how  people  around  the  world  exhibit  trust,  has  suggested  that  the  Difth  “P”  in  the  marketing  lexicon  is  Purpose.  Edelman  found  that  86%  of  consumers  around  the  world  expect  business  to  place  at  least  equal  weight  on  society’s  interests  as  their  own  business  interests.  As  you  can  tell  from  the  title  of  Richard  Branson’s  latest  book,  Screw  Business  as  Usual,    some  major  assumptions  are  deDinitely  being  challenged    and  returning  to  “business  as  usual”  is  highly   unlikely  in  a  VUCA  world.   There’s  even  a  growing  group  of  companies  in  the   US  that  call  themselves  “Conscious  Capitalists”.   They  are  committed  to  capitalism  but  argue  that  it   needs  serious  “tweaking.”  The  group  includes   some  very  successful  enterprises  including  Whole   Foods  (a  supermarket  that  generates  the  highest   retail  sales  per  linear  foot  of  shelf  space  than  any   other  worldwide);  success  stories  such  as   Amazon,  Zappos,  Google;  pioneers  like  Patagonia   and  in  travel  &  hospitality  Southwest  Airlines,   Kimpton  Hotels  and  the  Joie  de  Vivre  Group   founded  by  Chip  Conley  –  hotelier  turned  very   successful  management  guru.  In  depth  research  conducted  by  Raj  Sisodia,  David  Wolfe,    and  Jagdish  Seth  and  detailed  in  an  excellent  book  called,  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 11
  • 12. Firms  of  Endearment,  has  shown    that  their  Dinancial  performance  outstrips  peers  in  the  Standard  &  Poor  by  a  ratio  of  10:1.  Conscious  Capitalists  are  adamant  that  companies  that  set  themselves  a  purpose  higher  than  the  pursuit  of  proDit  end  up  being  more  proDitable  than  those  that  focus  exclusively  on  monetary  returns.  It’s  not  surprising,  given  people  can,  at  various  times,    be  bosses,  investors,  suppliers,  employees  and  customers,    that  consumers  are  also  becoming  more  conscious  (mindful,  awake,  aware  and  alert).  There  is  a  spate  of  literature  easily  accessible  on  the  impact  of  the  recession  on  consumer  values  and  their  Dindings  are  remarkably  consistent.  I  have  identiDied  several  of  these  studies  on  my  website  and  encourage  you  to  look  at  http://conscioustourism.wordpress.com/theconscioustraveller/In  short,  a  growing  number  of  consumers  around  30%  -­‐  are  becoming  awake,  aware  and  alert;  they  making  considered,  mindful  or  conscious  choices  about  what  they  buy  and  whom  they  buy    from.    The  agency  BBMG  summarizes  them  in  this  way.  I  have  started  thinking  about  the  ways  in  which  these  general  consumer  trends  apply  to  the  market  of  travelers.  Again  I  welcome  you  as  a  visitor  to  my  web  site  on  the  subject:    http://conscioustourism.wordpress.com/theconscioustraveller/  and  a  longer  paper  is  available  for  clients  on  request.Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 12
  • 13. Hopefully  I  have  given  you  sufDicient  evidence  of  the  change  drivers  that  will  make  it  easier  to  create  a  viable  alternative  to  mindless,  often  destructive  mass  tourism  and  create  an  alternative,  conscious  form  of  travel  that  is  environmentally  sustainable,  socially  just  and  spiritually  fulDilling.  A  NEW  MODEL  So  now  let’s  get  to  the  creative  and  fun  part  –  the  last  part  of  my  presentation.  What  might  this  alternative  to  mass  industrialized  travel  look  like?  I  am  calling  it  Conscious  Travel.  It  integrates  the  thoughts  underpinning  sustainable,  responsible,  eco  and  geo  travel  with  the  perspective  of  consumer  value  shifts,  experience  design,  values-­‐based  leadership  and  conscious  capitalism.    It  is  not  designed  to  compete  with  or  undermine  the  Dine  efforts  being  achieved  by  others  active  in  the  above  Dields  but  to  pull  together  a  holistic  approach  that  helps  operators  see  the  whole  picture.  What  I  want  to  do  is  sketch  out  its  key  features  and  invite  you  to  join  with  me  and  others  in  developing  it  further.      Let  me  start  with  some  broad  brush  strokes  that  suggest  how  a  new  model  might  differ  from  an  old:  FROM  PRODUCT  TO  PLACEFirst  we  have  to  get  back  to  the  roots  of  tourism  and  why  people  travel.  The  Dirst  change  is  a  shift  in  focus  away  from  a  product  which  can  so  easily  become  a  low  value  commodity  to  a  place  that  can  be  valued,  celebrated,  expressed,  and  experiencedThe  industrial  model  broke  everything  into  components  and  compartments  and,  in  our  case,  focused  on  products  (hotels,  rental  cars,  activities)  and  paid  attention  to  their  attributes.    It  feels  as  if  we’ve  cut  ourselves  off  from  the  juice,  the  spirit  of  travel.  This  sterile  industrial  mindset  takes  the  life  out  of  travel  which  is  all  about  a  journey,  an  adventure,  an  exploration  of  somewhere,  some  place  that’s  different  to  home.    Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 13
  • 14. So  a  focus  –  an  obsession  with  Place  –  and  what  makes  it  what  it  is  and  different  is  now  essential  for  two  reasons.   1. Places  are  scarce  and  therefore  precious.  Each  place  is  the  outcome  of  13.5  billion   years  of  evolution,  the  present  geography  of  the  setting,  the  history  and  culture  of  its   people  and  the  connections  and  relationships  of  its  residents.  None  of  us  can  create  that!   There  is  only  one  Bhutan;  one  Vancouver;  one  Samoa.   Now  I  was  never  that  good  at  economics  but  I  did  grasp  the  law  of  scarcity.  Diamonds  are   scarce  so  command  a  high  price.  And  if  the  market  gets  Dlooded  de  Beers  pulls  them  off   the  market.  So  if  Places  are  scarce  why  do  we  sell  them  at  a  discount?  How  have  we   allowed  cheap  and  mindless  travel  to  dominate  the  landscape  of  tourism? 2. As  human  beings  we  are  both  grounded  and  inspired  by  re-­connecting  with  the   land,  the  landscapes,  the  seasons,  the  smells  and  sounds  of  a  place;  its  past    and   present;  our  aspirations  for  its  future.    The  Conscious  Traveler  –  and  that’s  the  one  you   want  –  seeks  out  the  different,  the  authentic  and  the  “real.  ”  They  are  the  ones  that  want   to  visit  farmhouses  and  monasteries  and  get  involved  with  Bhutanese  life  but,    by  the  way   they  don’t  want  to  do  this  in  large  groups.  The  one  thing  these  travelers  hate  is  to  see   other  travelers,  who  are  called  tourists  around  them  if  they  can  avoid  it!!  The  experience   has  to  be  carefully  stage  managed.    Small  is  indeed  beautiful  and  slow  is  better  than  fast.  Dear  hosts  –  Bhutan  is  a  jewel  in  tourism’s  crown.  I’ll  be  blunt.  Thanks  to  the  foresight  of  your  past  and  present  King  and  his  government  you  have  been  wise  and  cautious.  I  know  you  now  need  to  increase  the  economic  beneDit  from  tourism,  but  have  conDidence  in  and  conviction  about  your  own  value  .  Don’t  be  pressured.  I  understand  there  are  65  hotels  in  the  Paro  valley  –  all  full  during  festivals  but  struggling  at  between  10-­‐30%  occupancy  year  round.  You’ll  be  told  your  tariff  is  too  high  –  it  isn’t.  You’ll  be  told  you  have  to  grow  faster  –  you  don’t.  Furthermore,    as  you  grow  your  market,    you’ll    see  more  developers  and  hoteliers  want  to  build  more  capacity.  Don’t  let  this  happen  until  your  existing  suppliers  are  operating  healthy  and  Dinancially  stable  businesses.  Worse  still,  you’ll  be  pressured  to  put  in  the  services  that  developers  say  tourists    need  and  want  –  golf  courses,  tennis  courts,  casinos,  shopping  malls  and  MacDonalds.  But  I  can  assure  you  the  kind  of  traveller  you  need  to  attract  –  the  one  that  shares  your  values  would  be  appalled  and  profoundly  disappointed  if  we  found  them  here  –  wouldn’t  we?  Bhutan  is  special  because  it’s  still  different.  The  look  on  our  faces  yesterday  told  that.  We,  the  PATA  delegates  ,  are  a  jaded  bunch  –  we’ve  been  there,    done  that!      If  some  individuals  in  this  room  cashed  in  their  frequent  Dlyer  points  it  would  feed  many  Bhutanese  families  for  years!  But  these  sophisticated  and  discerning  travellers  looked  like  kids  yesterday  –  our  eyes  were  wide  open;  jaws  had  dropped  to  the  Dloor!  There  was  magic  in  the  air.  They  felt  young  again!  Such  that  the  core  purpose  of  tourism  had  been  fulDilled  within  hours  of  arrival. 8But  to  protect  this  place  you  also  have  to  engage  everyone  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 14
  • 15. a. because  members  of  the  community  are  the  ones  who  will  meet  and  greet  and  talk  with   your  visitor.  They  are  the  ones  with  the  stories  to  tell;  they  are  the  ones  who  can  invite   guests  into  their  homes  for  rice  wine  and  butter  tea.  But  they  need  to  be  prepared  and   protected  too.  The  stall  holders  in  the  market  in  Thimphu  surprised  us  with  their  grace,   charm  and  quiet  dignity.  They  didn’t  pressurise,  pester  or  cajole  and,  as  a  consequence,   shopping  was  a  pleasure  not  an  afDliction.  But  if  tourism  grows  too  quickly  and  these   Bhutanese  are  exposed  to  enough  of  the  rude  behaviour  that  tourists  can  often  exhibit,   the  ambience  could  deteriorate  to  no  one’s  beneDit.   b. to  make  sure  everyone  beneDits.  And  this  is  where  your  policy  of  Gross  National   Happiness  can  be  such  an  effective  tool.  Make  sure  from  today  that  tourism  generates  net   beneDit;  make  sure  it  is  always  contributing  to  well-­‐being.  Having  learned  more  of  your   GNH  program  since  I  got  here,  I  am  conDident  that  you  will  but  tourism  will  need  to  be   carefully  managed  as  well  as  marketed.  This  focus  on  Place  will  also  lead  you  to  think  of  more  creative  ways  of  enriching  the  visitors’  experience  and  making  sure  that  sense  of  magic  can  be  sustained  as  you  double  the  number  of  arrivals.  Visitors  in  2020  will  also  want  to  feel  the  magic  we  felt  yesterday.    They  want  to  learn  more,  understand  more,  get  more  involved.    To  enable  that  you  have  to  have  activities,  events  and  “attractions”  that  engage  all  the  senses,  throughout  the  day  and  at  all  points  along  a  visitor’s  journey  of  discovery  and  celebration  from  when  they  arrive  at  the  airline  check  in  counter  to  when  they  return  home  and  start  to  share  their  experiences  with  friends  and  family.    Please  remember  this.  People  don’t  come  to  Bhutan  to  sleep;  they  come  to  experience  its  uniqueness  and  be  changed  by  it.  Don’t  allow  your  strategy  to  be  driven  by  beds  but  experiences.  For  example,  the  conscious  traveller  doesn’t  want  huge  grandiose  light  shows  with  a  cast  of  thousands  and  needing  thousands  of  visitors  a  day  to  make  money.  They  want  the  small  scale,  the  intimate,  the  local,  the  handmade  and  quirky.  They  want  to  slow  down  and  stay  longer.    You  need  them  to  slow  down  and  stay  longer  and  that  will  only  happen  if  there  are  more  things  to  see  and  do  than  time  to  do  them.As  an  example,  we  climbed  up  to  the  ruins  at  the  end  of  the  day.    We  were  happy  but  tired  and  hungry  and  a  little  concerned  that  it  was  a  stop  too  many.  The  tea  and  biscuits  at  the  top  of  the  hill  revived  us.    Thank  you!  Then  the  experience  of  that  magical  place  re-­‐invigorated  and  re-­‐charged  us.    But  having  100+  people  crawling  over  the  ruins  and  clicking  pictures  of  the  view  isn’t  the  way  to  get  high  yield  with  low  impact.  Think  of  creative  ways  of  shaping  experiences  in  that  setting  that  will  result  in  memories  that  will  last  for  ever  and  stories  that  will  be  told  and  retold.  How  about  camping  under  the  stars,    listening  to  tales  of  Bhutanese  legends  told  around  an  open  Dire  while  masked  dancers  appear  from  the  shadows,  their  silhouettes  Dlickering  on  those  sandstone  walls?Greater  engagement  leads  to  more  meaning,  more  purpose  and  more  curiosity  which,  in  turn  leads  to  more  engagement,  more  relationships  and  more  appreciation.  More  appreciation  leads  to  more  value  and  more  value  leads  to  more  yield.  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 15
  • 16. FROM  BRANDING  TO  PERSONALITYThe  next  pressure  you’ll  have  to  face  as  the  world  gets  news  that  you  want  to  grow  tourism  is  the  pressure  to  develop  your  brand.  You’ll  be  pitched  by  branding  agencies  from  here  to  Timbuktu  to  design  a  logo  and  come  up  with  a  clever  “tag  line”  –  those  few  words  that  are  supposed  to  entice  us  to  visit  but  which  99.9%  of  visitors  hardly  notice  and  or  ignore.  Again  resist!    Instead  really  get  clear  at  what  Bhutan  means  to  you.  Think  of  its  essence  or  spirit  that  makes  you  distinct.  What  makes  you  different  to  Tibet,  Nepal,  Sikkim.  What  values  do  you  share?    (Postscript  –  Bhutan  doesn’t  need  a  better  strapline  than  the  one  it  already  has  developed:  Happiness  is  a  Place).    All  that’s  needed  now  is  to  ensure  that  all  participants  in  the  Bhutanese  community  share  a  common  sense  of  place  and  can  express  that  to  visitors  in  a  variety  of  animated  ways.  Our  trip  to  the  museum  on  Friday  provided  a  glimpse  of  a  magniDicently  rich,  colourful  and  complex  culture  that  has  survived  for  thousands  of  years.  This  facility  needs  to  be  prized  as  much  as,  if  not  more  than,  the  few  5  star  resorts    in  Bhutan.  Think  long  and  hard  of  ways  to  express  that  personality  in  ways  that  don’t  turn  it  into  a  show  or  make  Bhutanese  feel  they  are  objects  in  a  museum  or  zoo.  At  the  same  time,  use    every  form  of  creative  expression  available  from  art  to  poetry  to  music  to  mime,  comedy,  design,  in  a  way  that  all  senses  are  stimulated.  When  you  wake  up  in  the  morning  a  guest  should  know  that  you  are  somewhere  distinctly  different  and  know  where  they  are.A  successful  destination  has  to  be  managed  as  much  as  it  has  to  be  marketed.    The  role  of  its  leaders  is  not  to  dictate  but  to  orchestrate    in  the  same  way  that  the  conductor  of  an  orchestra  creates  harmony  from  different  players,  playing  different  instruments  but  all  expressing  the  same  tune.  FROM  PROFIT  TO  PURPOSEThirdly,  let’s  take  a  cue  from  the  conscious  capitalists  and  a  host  of  other  businesses  that  are  Dinding  out  that  proDit  follows  passion  and  purpose  and  not  the  other  way  around.  If  we  want  to  attract  customers  who  will  value  our  Places  and  the  experiences  we  design  for  them;  if  we  want  to  attract  employees  that  will  be  Dilled  with  passion  who  tap  into  their  innate  creativity  to  serve  a  guest  better;  if  we  want  to  attract  suppliers  that  are  aligned  with  us  and  a  host  community  that  is  supportive  we  will  need  to  communicate  a  deep  and  inspirational  sense  of  purpose  and  meaning.  Tourism  must  be  put  back  where  it  belongs  as  the  means  to  an  end  with  the  end  being  the  well-­‐being  of  all  involved.  This  is  why  Bhutan’s  time  has  come.  Your  Gross  Happiness  Index  and  associated  screening  tools  help  ensure  that  tourism  serves  the  greater  good.  Tourism  operators  cannot  be  quiet  and  not  become  champions  for  sustainable  practices,  cultural  regeneration  and  fair  wages.    Nor  can  they  sit  back  and  expect  to  be  spoon  fed.  They  must  become  the  agents  of  change  in  their  community  asking  not  what  the  community  should  do  for  them  but  what  they  as  tourism  operators  can  do  to  make  the  community  a  better  place.  For  more  on  that  topic,  see  Good  Morning  Tourism  Time  For  Your  Wake  up  Call  and  It’s  Simple  Conscious  Hosts  Create  PLaces  That  CareAnna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 16
  • 17. If  you  are  a  hotelier,  a  travel  agent,  a  rental  car  company  or  tour  company,  it’s  vital  that  you  demonstrate  you  care  for  the  environment,  for  the  culture,  for  the  wellbeing  of  your  employees  and  the  host  community.    Now  in  this  respect,  Bhutan  has  a  head  start  through  its  approach  to  tourism  and  its  commitment  to  protecting  the  Place.  Bhutan  has  the  opportunity  to  become  a  leader  on  the  world  stage  if  it  puts  time  and  energy  into  following  through  its  commitment  to  community  well-­‐being.    It  can  also  make  a  major  contribution  to  other  destinations  faced  with  similar  choices.  In  fact,  by  speaking  out  as  a  nation  on  its  struggle  to  balance  protection  with  growth,  the  entire  world  will  beneDit  and  Bhutan  will  more  likely  attract  the  right  kind  of  customer.And  that  is  why  you  must  also  “walk  the  talk”  as  we  say  in  the  west.    We  know  you  care  about  your  country  and  your  environment  but  this  has  to  become  a  priority.  Tourism  operators  must  become  champions  for  good  environmental  practice  –  don’t  allow  litter,  especially  plastic  to  spoil  your  view.    As  demand  for  energy  increases,  invest  in  alternative  sources.  There’s  no  reason  why  all  your  tour  buses  can’t  be  “green”  and  your  hotels  produce  zero  waste  and  grow  more  of  their  own  food.    (Postscript  –  since  preparing  this  speech,  I  have  been  introduced  to  the  pioneering  work  undertaken  by  the  Yangphei  Adventure  Travel  and  the  Zhiwa  Ling  Hotel  in  Bhutan.  Without  a  doubt,  this  is  some  of  the  most  exciting  work  undertaken  by  a  tourism  company  ever  seen.  It  encapsulates  the  essence  of  what  it  means  to  be  a  Conscious  Host.9 )The  world  needs  to  hear  more  about  the  concept  of  Gross  National  Happiness  and  there  is  a  growing  appetite  for  it.  In  fact,  you  will  have  more  success  attracting  conscious  travelers  and  Dilling  your  hotels  with  high  yield  guests  by  talking  about  that  in  the  right  circles  and  through  the  right  channels.  It’s  a  supplementary    approach  to  attending  tourism  trade  shows    and  working  through  the  trade  but  one  I  am  sure  will  work  if  thought  through  and  executed  properly.  SHIFT  FROM  PRICE  TO  VALUELet’s  get  out  from  behind  our  computers  and  put  less  time  into  spreadsheets  and  complex  yield  management  algorithms  and  more  time  into  designing  place-­‐related  experiences  that  WOW;  that  fulDill  and  transform  a  market  weary  of  sameness  and  insincerity;  that  rejuvenate,  inspire  and  make  what  was  broken  whole  again;  and  that  rekindle  a  sense  of  awe  and  wonder  that  the  place  deserves.Let’s  give  our  left  brains  a  rest  and  get  creative  –  how  can  a  visit  to  my  Place  (not  just  my  establishment)  stimulate  all  aspects  of  a  guests’  being  –  body,  mind,  emotions  and  spirit?  Note;  it  is  Bhutan’s  willingness  to  talk  about  and  focus  on  spiritual  fulDillment  that  is  its  true  point  of  difference.  How  can  we  design  and  deliver  multi  sensory  experiences  that  reconnect  people  with  the  earth  through  touch,  taste,  smell,  sound,  and  design?  How  can  we  bring  everyone  in  the  community  along  and  enable  them  to  share  their  love  for  and  knowledge  of  our  place  using  poetry,  Dilm,  prose,  music,  dance,  cuisine,  arts  and  crafts?How  can  we  be  more  effective  in  supporting  our  guests  get  the  information  they  need  to  really  enjoy  their  experience  and  leave  wanting  more.  For  the  aim  has  to  be  to  slow  these  guests  down  and  help  them  savour  their  experience  .  Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 17
  • 18. Because  I  am  convinced  that  if  you  focus  on  these  things  as  a  community  and  not  on  the  percentage  point  decline  in  your  ADR,  the  value  will  rise.  It  won’t  happen  overnight  but  you  will  be  back  in  control.  FROM  VOLUME  TO  VALUE,  FROM  QUANTITY  TO  QUALITYPerhaps  the  simplest  thing  any  destination  could  do,  is  change  what  it  measures.  Because  what  we  measure  causes  us  to  focus  our  energy.    We  have  to  re-­deUine  success  from  the  volume  of  trips  to  the  net  beneUit–  the  income  from  visitors  less  the  total  cost  of  accommodating  them  times  the  level  of  social  beneDit.  Now  I  recognize  that  isn’t  easy  but  until  we  try,  we  will  lose  credibility.  In  the  meantime,  brainwash  our  politicians  and  discipline  ourselves  to  at  least  count  revenue  per  tourist  and  try  and  grow  that  and  not  foot  count  by  5%  per  annum!And  secondly,  take  a  leaf  out  of  de  Beers  book  –  de  Beers  is  a  highly  successful  Dirm  that  makes  and  sells  diamonds.  Limit  supply!  You  wouldn’t  let  a  doctor  practice  medicine  in  your  community  without  a  licence.  Don’t  let  people  build  hotels  or  open  up  inbound  tour  operations  without  a  licence  and  can  demonstrate  their  values  are  in  alignment  with  those  of  the  community  as  a  whole  and  they  know  what  they  are  doing.  In  conclusion,  we,  your  guests  and    delegates  to  this  PATA  event,    have  been  privileged  to  experience  Bhutan  at  this  sensitive  stage  in  its  development.  It  feels    like  time  travel.  Bhutan  reminds  me  of  the  Bali  I  visited  in  1973  but  which  is  lost  in  that  innocent  form.  You  have  the  chance  to  learn  from  the  mistakes  of  others  and  polish  your  jewel  for  all  to  see  shining  while  contributing  to  happiness  in  Bhutan  and  inspiring  others  elsewhere.  The  tourism  community  needs  you  as  a  beacon  of  hope  and  there  are  many  in  this  room  who  would  love  to  help  and  support  you.  Unlike  the  banks  of  the  western  world  who  consider  themselves  too  big  to  fail,    Bhutan  is  simply  too  precious  to  fail!Thank  YouAnna  PollockFebruary  4th,  2012.Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 18
  • 19. About  the  Author  and  Conscious  TravelAnna  Pollock  is  CEO  of  a  consultancy,  DestiCorp    UK,  and  founder  of  Conscious  Travel  –  an  enterprise  designed  to  help  travel  providers  become  Conscious  Hosts  and,  thereby,  attract  Conscious  Travellers  who,  together,  can  create  a  viable  version  of  tourism  that  is  “environmentally  sustainable,  socially  just  and  spiritually  fulDilling.”She  is  currently  developing  an  e-­‐learning  program  (a  series  of  webinars  and  workbooks)  to  enable  operators  of  small  tourism  businesses  shift  their  perspective  and  adopt  practices  that  will  assure  their  Dinancial  viability.  The  program  is  based  on  the  assumption  that  Conscious  Travelers,  who  will  generate  the  greatest  yield  at  least  cost,  will  be  attracted  to  Conscious  Hosts.  The  program  is  designed  to  help  tourism  operators  wake  up  and  become  aware  and  alert,  mindful  of  the  changing  needs  of  their  customers  and  able  to  operate  a  Dinancially  sustainable  business  that  is  resilient  to  external  shocks  and  that  maximizes  net  returns  to  all  participants.As  illustrated  below,  it’s  a  ten  step  program  based  on  addressing  ten  questions.  The  objective  is  to  build  the  inner  capacity  of  hosts  to  respond  to  change  and  work  collaboratively  in  communities  to  realise  greater  net  beneDit  from  the  tourism  economy.   1. MINDSET  -­‐  How  do  you  see  the  world?  What  assumptions  are  your  actions  based  upon?   Are  they  working?  How  might  you  change  them?   2. BUSINESS  CONTEXT  -­‐  How  is  Tourism  and  the  Business  Enviirnment  Changing  and  what   do  you  need  to  know  about  these  changes? 3. VALUES    &  PURPOSE  -­‐  What  values    drive  your  approach  to  business  and  what  is  your   deeper  purpose  that  might  attract  the  right  employee  and  ideal  customer? 4. CULTURE  &  BRAND  -­‐  What  is  your  corporate  personality  and  how  might  this  be  reDlected   in  your  operations  and  communications?   5. IDEAL  CUSTOMER  -­‐  Who  is  your  ideal  customer,  what  do  they  seek?  How  do  your  Dinds   and  appeal  to  them?Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 19
  • 20. 6. ATTRACTING  &  ENGAGING  EMPLOYEES  &  SUPPLIERS  -­‐Who  is  your  ideal  employee   and  supplier?  How  do  you  attract  them  and  align  them  around  your  core  values,  culture   and  personality?   7. STEWARDING  &  EXPRESSING  PLACE  What’s  so  special  about  your  place?  What  makes   your  destination  unique?  How  can  you  show  you  care  about  it?  What  are  the  essential   aspects  of  environmental  responsibility  that  you  must  adopt?  How  can  you  show  you  care   about  the  unique  culture  of  your  place?   8. EXPERIENCE  DESIGN  -­‐  How  do  you  design  your  guests  experience  so  that  they  stay  long,   savour  and  spend  more  and  become  enthusiastic  advocates? 9. SOCIAL  MARKETING  -­‐    How  do  you  attract,  engage,  retain  and  inspire  the  right   customers  using  the  tools  and  channels  relevant  to  them?   10. ON  BECOMING  A  CHANGE  AGENT  -­‐    How  do  you  become  a  community  change  agent   who  develops  more  Conscious  Hosts  in  and  Conscious  Travelers  to  your  destination?Contact  InformationWebsite:  www.conscioustourism.wordpress.comEmail:  theconscioushost@gmail.com  Linked  in:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/annapollock  Facebook:  www.facebook.com/conscioustravelTwitter:  @conscioushostSkype:  PembridgeAnnaAnna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 20
  • 21. Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 21
  • 22. 1 Source: The Final Call, In Search of the True Cost of Our Holidays, Leo Hickman, 2007,Eden Project Books, available here.2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatility,_uncertainty,_complexity_and_ambiguity3 For Dr. Butler’s recent views on Tourism Area Life Cycles, download a excellent summaryhere4 I am  grateful  to  Carlos  Christ,  the  keynote  speaker  at  the  end  of  the  day,  for  offering  this  explanation  as  to  where  the  term  “tourism  industry”  was  derived.5 http://www.oneplanetliving.org/index.html6  I  am  indebted  to  Richard  Barrett,  founder  of  the  Values  Center  and  author  of  the  New  Leadership  Paradigm  for  these  two  slides.  Richard  and  his  colleagues  have  developed  an  effective  methodology  for  measuring  the  values  held  by  companies  and  countries  that  is  directly  relevant  to  the  travel  community.  7  See  Conscious  Travel  blog  post  “Screw  Tourism  As  Usual”8  For  thoughts  on  the  deeper  purpose  or  cause  of  tourism,  your  might  enjoy  Tourism  What’s  the  Point?9  To  see  a  Conscious  Host  in  action,  please  read  http://www.zhiwaling.com/index.php/gnhinbusiness/Anna Pollock • email: annapollock@me.com • Founder, Conscious Travel 22