Travel & tourism industry “visionary and change agent” with over 45 years of experience, Anna Pollock, Founder of Conscious.Travel, will deliver the 2017 Mekong Tourism Forum keynote Passion + Purpose = Prosperity. The United kingdom-based based speaker’s participation is sponsored by the EXO Foundation.
Recipient of The Visionary of the Year Award from the Canadian tourism industry, Ms Pollock has worked with the Canadian Tourism Commission, Pacific Asia Travel Association, European Travel Commission, European Cities, Tourism New Zealand, and consulted for numerous tourism destinations and travel organizations. She is also a Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University and advisor to the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI).
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office Executive Director Jens Thraenhart said: “We are delighted to have Anna address this year’s Forum, organized under the theme “Prosper with Purpose”. Her strength is her ability to see the “big picture” and help others make sense of our rapidly and dramatically changing world. I worked with, and was inspired by her, during my time at the Canadian Tourism Commission (Destination Canada) in the mid 2000s.”
Anna Pollock is currently addressing ways to mitigate the negative impacts associated with “overtourism”. Her current focus is on models of destination development that generate higher levels of satisfaction to the customer, more net benefit to the host community and sustained yields to shareholders.
Ms Pollock says, “By serving a purpose higher than the bottom line, organizations unleash the passion of their employees and satisfy their guests’ search for meaning and fulfillment. Destinations also have the opportunity to differentiate themselves by demonstrating how tourism genuinely benefits the broader host community.”
“Up until a decade or so ago, the purpose of business was never questioned – it was simply to generate a profitable return for shareholders,” Ms Pollock said. “In less than a decade, those core beliefs have shifted radically and smart tourism enterprises and destinations are tapping into a growing desire of guests to buy from, and employees to work for, companies that can communicate not just what they sell but what they stand for.
A passionate proponent of the concept of “residents inviting visitors”, she was invited to be a speaker at the AirBnB Summit in Paris.
This concept is also very much in line with the Forum’s model, hosted by Lao PDRs Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism. Small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in and around the UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang are hosting the sixteen 90-minute “breakthrough” sessions on the afternoons of 7 – 8 June .
Mr Thraenhart said: “This year’s Forum will be highly inclusive, and we hope that matching sessions with venues will showcase the destination, making the event more collaborative and engaging.”
Ms Pollock’s presentation “Passion + Purpose = Prosperity!”, will take place 10:30-11:00, 8 June at Luang Prabang’s Central Bank building.