The primary objective of this workshop is to enhance knowledge and strengthen opportunities for SME stakeholders to benefit from sustainable tourism. Through this practical training forum this workshop is designed to empower tourism professionals to make a positive impact from protected area to community-based tourism—while achieving revenue goals and business priorities of their operation. Focusing on practical skills and tangible actions, this workshop will address key issues and topics including: stakeholder engagement, business plan development (break-out session for new or expanding businesses), product development or adjustments from a sustainable business operation perspective, integrating sustainability standards, and communications and marketing—including interpretation.
Representing a wide range of professional fields, from ecolodge design to marketing to education, our team will encompasses a range of expertise, in order to facilitate diverse interests in ecotourism businesses. We have administered this workshop to a diverse group of stakeholders to date—including business stakeholders at Hilton Head Island; conservation groups and businesses at Grand Bahama Island; and to a diverse group of ecotourism stakeholders in Korea focused on business planning. We feel we have a unique group to administer a diverse set of skills within the context of one day. In addition to developing a common forum with the day-long workshop, we also propose developing breakout groups for selected topic areas, e.g. interpretation, green building, and business plan development. This unique structure allows for a diverse group of stakeholders in various stages of planning and development.