neil rogers, dulabab travel

How do you feel that your history best prepares you for service on the ATCF Board? 

My entire working life (over 30 years) has been spent working with small scale, sustainable tourism. I've worked throughout the supply chain for numerous leading brands as a guide, ecolodge manager, inbound and outbound tour operator as well as in sales, marketing and communication fields ( I hold PR and Marketing Credit from the London based CAMM Foundation). After 20+ years working for leading travel brands I branched out into consulting working for many DMO's in the Nordic Region, for EU Interreg projects, for UNDP Moscow and Wild Salmon Centre in Kamchatka, for the Government of Guyana in Iwokrama, for TRIGO (an alliance of NGO's in the Gulf of Honduras spanning Honduras, Guatemala and Belize), for NGOs and PACT in Belize (Friends for Conservation and Development, TIDE, Yax'che Conservation Trust, SEABelize) and also served as European representative for the MAC (Marketing Advisory Committee) for the Belize Tourism Board / BTB. This has given me an unique insight into how to bring a wide variety of stakeholders together to develop deeper understanding and more meaningful sustainable tourism partnerships. I have also served as both a judge and inspector for the WTTC's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (with a judging focus on the 'conservation award'). The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards follows a similar evaluation process to the ATCF project selection process making me familiar with both the process and time commitment necessary during the project/grant evaluation and selection process. I was the Chair of the Destinations Working Group at GSTC when the Criteria for Sustainable Destinations were published in 2014.

Describe prior experience you have working with nonprofits and conservation groups? 

  • Ex-board member Belize Raptor Research Institute, Belize.
  • Financially and logistically supported (through Coppola Resorts) extensive research into felidae, mustalids and raptors over a 10 year period in Belize (primarily in the Mountain Pine Ridge and Chiquibul Forest).
  • 20+ years of engagement, consulting and fundraising for Friends for Conservation and Development / FCD in Belize (hired by Belize's Protected Areas Conservation Trust / PACT to write the "Tourism Enterprise Development Plan / TEDP" for the 250,000 acre Chiquibul Forest in Belize in 2016. ).4Consulting advisor for Nature's Best, Sweden's Quality Label for Ecotourism and for Visit Sápmi in Sweden to advise on the development of sustainable tourism and associated quality labels for Sámi tourism as well as the design of the Sápmi Lodge project (collaborating with the founding architects of Sweden's Treehotel).
  • Worked as a consultant on a wide range projects that involved protected areas and conservation groups (more information on the web site).

Outline the specific skills you bring or contributions you hope to make to the ATCF Board.

  • Broad based and extensive hands on experience and knowledge of developing and implementing sustainable tourism for both the private and public sector.
  • Proven sales, marketing and communication skills working for leading travel brands and organisations. . Considerable experience working in similar organisations/non-profits such as GSTC and for the WTTC's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
  • A deep passion for conserving the world's last remaining wild places / protected areas and the indigenous people / communities who live in and around them.
  • Long term champion of grass roots conservation in Belize gives me the understanding of the challenges faced by small NGOs and community based conservation projects.
  • As part of the WTTC's Tourism for Tomorrow judging panel I have evaluated many applications of sustainable tourism projects around the world.
  • Substantial experience consulting for international organisations (UNDP, EU), NTOs, DMOs and NGOs.
  • Europe based drawing on 30 year+ of experience and contacts within the tourism industry, conservation world and global media.
  • Team player, good communicator and hard worker!

Why do you seek a position on the ATCF Board of Directors?

I have a deep passion for helping protect and conserving the planet's last wild places, the indigenous cultures and communities that live in or around them through the development and support of sustainable tourism. I love to explore and create unique and meaningful sustainable and active philanthropy travel experiences. I'm currently working on a wide variety of sustainable destination development projects in the Nordic region yet my heart draws me back to my travel roots and the developing world. My current collaboration with Dulabab Travel is allowing me to create new ground breaking mechanisms for measuring, accounting and certifying carbon emissions while offsetting via verified carbon credits via a UK based land trust and Redd+ projects. A key part of creating meaningful active philanthropy travel programmes for some of the world's wealthiest individuals and foundations is to engage with leading conservation organisations and their field scientists such as Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust and the African Wildlife Foundation and their local NGO partners. I hope my broad based global experience and understanding of tourism, conservation and DMO/public sector projects will be of benefit to ATCF and the ATCF board.

Describe any experience with sustainable tourism.

  • Current CEO of Rogers & Co AB a consulting company based in Sweden that focuses on sustainable tourism development and mentoring.
  • Consulting advisor to the Swedish Ecotourism Society during the establishment of Sweden's Quality Label for Ecotourism, Nature's Best / Naturens Bästa.
  • Ex-Chair of the Destinations Working Group at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council / GSTC and current Destinations Working Group Member.
  • Wrote Kiruna in Swedish Lapland's (Sweden's leading tourism destination) Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (2015).
  • Collaborated with STI (Sustainable Travel International) to develop a cloud based Sustainable Destination Management and Monitoring System as well as an Eco-label System for Kiruna in Swedish Lapland.
  • Lead consultant for Kiruna in Swedish Lapland's Sustainable Tourism Project (one of 5 destinations chosen for the national sustainable tourism development project) funded by the Swedish Growth Agency (Tillväxtverket) 2014-15.
  • Wrote the Tourism Enterprise Development Plan / TEDP for Belize's Chiquibul Forest implanting a Protected Areas Conservation Trust / PACT grant (2016).
  • Lead consultant hired by Norway's National Centre of Expertise / NCE Fjord Norway to develop biking tourism in the Fjord Norway region (2016).
  • Judge for the World Travel & Tourism Council's "Tourism for Tomorrow" Awards and inspector for the award finalists in Norway, Morocco and India.

Describe any experience working in fundraising and development.

I have worked extensively with fundraising efforts for Belize's Chiquibul Forest in Belize in collaboration with co-managers Friends for Conservation and Development / FCD. I am currently active in advising on the sustainable tourism development strategy for Belize's Chiquibul Forest and Maya Mountain Massif (CM3).

Describe any experience working with indigenous/community groups.

  • Worked extensively with Sámi indigenous groups in Sweden and Norway over the last 10 years in relation to the development of sustainable tourism in reindeer herding communities .
  • Worked on many community based tourism and protected area sustainable tourism development projects especially in the Nordic Region and Belize (see for more details).
  • Currently working on tourism master planning for Visit Lierne and Lierne National Park in Norr Trøndelag in Norway (2016/2017).
  • Worked extensively with tourism development involving indigenous groups (Maya and Garinagu especially) in Belize over a 25 year+ period.