What is sustainable tourism and why is it important? Ciaran from ProfileTree was joined by consultant Mike Ball via ‘Zoom’ link for a Business Leaders series video interview.
Mike, who is a tourism expert with over 20 years of experience in the industry, is now a freelance tourism consultant offering his experience in a wide range of tourism specialisms.
Many of the services he provides include analysis of tourism markets and development of tourism products and destinations.
Mike explained: “These days I’m mostly concerned with sustainable tourism markets, for instance a niche would be eco-tourism, eco-accomodation or sustainable marine tourism, that kind of thing.”
He also outlined his path to becoming a tourism industry specialist.
“I’m half Indonesian by birth and I was brought up in Africa. So in a way, I was always travelling from a very young age. My main interest, how I came into tourism was when I became a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) after my first degree.
“I went to Tanzania and was working on an agricultural project. In was right out in the bush in Tanzania and what became clear to me was that people have to get value out of protecting the environment around them.
“I became interested in tourism that way and eco-tourism. I came back from Tanzania and did a Masters degree. I wrote my thesis on eco-tourism and after that I did a bit of work with NGO’s.
“This involved working with education and producing textbooks about eco-tourism and conservation. Then I worked for a tour operator for over ten years.”
This blend of experience led Mike to establish himself as a freelance consultant, while still working for the tour operator and writing too.
“I was writing articles for magazines such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, Geographical and stuff like that. Generally news articles on sustainable tourism. I then came across an opportunity at Mintel and have been working for them ever since.”
“I don’t want to talk to much about Brexit, but it is on everyone’s lips at the moment…it’s going to have a major impact on tourism no matter what happens, in fact its already having a big impact on tourism. So the government has a key influence on what happens in tourism.
“Tourism is a unique industry, in which almost everything has an impact on tourism. Economics, politics, conservation, retail, utilities, construction, food industries, almost everything impacts on tourism and the government has a major influence on all these sectors, therefore it has a major role to play.”
To find out more about Mike Ball and the tourism industry watch Mike’s full ProfileTree video interview.
Contact Mike Ball – https://www.profiletree.com/newspaper-marketing/
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