Supporting Global Development through Sustainable Tourism

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Crafts & Tourism

In many places, crafts such as textiles and art contribute greatly to the culture of a destination and the travel experience. Crafts can be an important contributor to a country’s economy, employing artisans that are preserving cultural heritage, while generating an important source of income through the informal sector. The tourism industry provides an important export market for a host of craft products. For example, hotels and restaurants demand diverse craft products in order to furnish and equip their establishments. Tourists often set a budget for themselves expecting to buy different products to take home as souvenirs. These souvenirs then serve as tourism marketing tools by telling a story of the destination and adding to the travel experience.

Solimar's Craft and Tourism Program improves the cohesion between the craft and tourism sectors by creating stronger linkages between the two along an integrated value chain. Solimar provides joint tourism marketing and promotion efforts for the tourism and crafts sectors to heighten awareness and appreciation for the artisanal culture among tourists. Solimar also trains artisans on tourism business basics, which allows for them to be more successful in reaching tourism markets. The development of tourism circuits in and around craft workshops in urban or semi-urban areas is a feasible strategy for local economic development and allows the craft producer to build relationships with tourists while promoting and sustaining traditional craft production practices.

The Craft and Tourism Program results in increased revenues and profitability for artisans by increasing their access to the tourism market. Solimar does this through developing partnerships that link tourism demand with craft supply, creating direct linkages between craft and tourism professionals and developing and disseminating integrated marketing and promotion tools.

How can Solimar help? Contact us for a free consultation.
Download the Global Tourism – Achieving Sustainable Goals Toolkit

What to Expect

  • Cross sector Analysis – Solimar will conduct meetings with tourism and craft sector leaders to help reveal demand and supply opportunities. In these discussions possible craft routes are conceptualized and training needs assessments are conducted.
  • Tourism and Craft Sector Workshop – A workshop is held to present findings, reach consensus on the desired way forward and create an action plan for addressing gaps in the value-chain for crafts and tourism. A branding survey is also conducted to begin the marketing strategy for craft sales to tourists. Bringing the sectors together forms stronger relationships and improved cooperation.
  • Branding and Packaging - Brand designs, packaging samples, info pamphlets and signage are created and distributed to increase craft sales. Branding and promotion is important to spark interest in tourists while providing important information on the authenticity, history and cultural importance of local crafts.
  • Craft Routes and Tourist Handling Training – Agreed upon craft routes are developed for tourists and artisans receive on-sight trainings on how to engage tourists and generate sales. These routes create a shopping experience for tourists, providing an educational and meaningful activity to add to their itineraries.

Project Examples


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Agriculture & Tourism

Rural areas are becoming increasingly popular destinations for travel, especially cultural landscapes that allow a glimpse into how rural people live and work.

Solimar`s Agriculture and Tourism Program improves agriculture value chain linkages, smallholder access to export markets, product diversification, increased food security, and promotion for agricultural products within the tourism sector of a destination. The tourism industry provides an important export market for a host of agricultural products where hotels and restaurants demand diverse agricultural inputs, and tourists demand agri tourism experiences and destination-branded specialty crops to bring home as souvenirs. Agritourism is often a feasible strategy for local economic development and to promote traditional sustainable agriculture practices. The development of agritourism tours and demonstrations as attractions in rural areas provides the potential for creating or expanding micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise (MSME) core and supply chain businesses, including transport, food service and products, and handicrafts.

Solimar`s Agriculture and Tourism Program helps to forge initial partnerships between the tourism and agriculture sectors, while catalyzing the development of agritourism services and specialty products that can be sold at premium prices. The Agriculture and Tourism program results in increased revenues and profitability for small scale farmers by helping them diversify from low value commodities to high-value specialty products and services. Solimar does this through developing partnerships that link tourism demand with agriculture supply; creating and disseminating pilot branding, marketing and packaging for high-potential specialty products; and demonstrating potential agritourism activities.

How can Solimar help? Contact us for a free consultation.
Download the Global Tourism – Achieving Sustainable Goals Toolkit

What to Expect

  • Tourism Industry Demand Side Study – The tourism industry can serve as an important client for the agriculture sector, especially to small farmers. Through sector interviews, surveys and desk research, we will deliver a comprehensive demand-side study to support increased value-chain linkages between the tourism and agriculture sectors.
  • Agriculture Specialty Products and Services Supply-Side Study – Agriculture products and processes that are second nature to a domestic market are often exotic to international tourists. With a thorough survey what the agriculture industry can supply, we create recommendations of high-potential products and services that will capture tourist dollars.
  • Tourism and Agriculture Sector Workshop - Bringing the tourism and agriculture industries together to talk about partnerships, production and further collaboration sets the stage for improved sales linkages. The workshop addresses findings in the demand and supply-side studies and sets the course for increased cooperation.
  • Pilot Branding and Marketing – Branding and marketing benefits help to catalyze cooperation and launch initial successes. By developing an initial brand and marketing campaign to promote agriculture products to tourists, the program demonstrates the market’s potential. Identifying new possible agritourism products further links the mutual benefits of the sectors.

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Climate Change & Tourism

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the environment today. As a climate-sensitive industry, tourism will continue to be significantly affected by climate change. Whether it is changing weather patterns, melting glaciers, expanding deserts or rising sea levels, the impacts on tourism, people and the places where they live are hard to ignore. The tourism sector can also be considered a contributor to climate change, but can also help with mitigation efforts through travel philanthropy, carbon offsetting programs, and other sustainability initiatives. With tourism contributing to, suffering from and mitigating climate change, the sector must continuously address these issues for its own sustainability.

Solimar works on measuring tourism impacts by climate change to help destinations tackle climate change through tourism by way of mitigation and adaption programs. Solimar’s climate change mitigation programs are designed to help tourism businesses lower their environmental footprints through travel philanthropy programs that raise funds in support of offset programs, and meeting sustainability criteria and standards that ensure destinations and businesses are more environmentally friendly.

Through Solimar’s adaption programs, we design and implement strategic measures that provide income diversification through tourism for communities in areas affected by climate change as well as adaption strategies that assist destinations vulnerable to climate change maintain their tourism revenues.

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Download the Powering Tourism Toolkit

What to Expect

  • Energy Efficiency Programs – Solimar designs and implements efficiency programs to reduce the carbon footprint of tourism businesses and their clients. Strategies available to mitigate climate change include switching to renewable forms of energy, reducing energy use, utilizing locally sourced goods and materials, and minimizing construction footprints.
  • Travel Philanthropy Programs – Travel philanthropy programs are an important way to allow conscientious travelers to support climate programs such as tree planting, investing in renewable energy, or funding for important scientific projects tracking the impact of climate change on destinations at risk.
  • Carbon Offset Programs - Solimar develops offset programs that allow travelers to mitigate the carbon footprint of their travels through funding for a carbon reduction program.
  • Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Standards – Training on sustainable tourism criteria and standards (such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria) to help establish sector-wide change in the way tourism businesses reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Income Diversification – Income diversification through tourism for communities in areas being affected by climate change. For example, Solimar can diversify income streams through tourism in areas where traditional income sources are being affected by climate change.
  • Adaption Strategies – Climate change also has a significant impact on protected areas and the tourism activities within them. Adaption strategies are required to help protected areas maintain their tourism revenues despite the impacts of climate change. For example, the receding glaciers in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda require new hiking and climbing routes, as well as changes to trail infrastructure, training and equipment due to climate change impacts.

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Measuring Tourism Impacts

Our tourism projects realize results across various industries and development fields. The impacts of a thriving tourism industry are seen across agriculture, construction, transportation and export sectors. The impact on growth brings positive benefits to the economy, society and environment in dynamic ways. Given Solimar’s expertise in tourism, we maintain the most current tools, insights, methodologies and innovative technologies used to measure the impact of tourism across sectors and development outcomes.

Solimar specialists in tourism, conservation, business, economics and development measure and analyze the impacts of our work from various perspectives. With precision and sector-specific insight we measure such impacts as revenue and livelihood impacts for tourism SMEs, changes in conservation threat levels, online marketing effectiveness, media coverage, national tourism industry growth, agriculture sales valuations among others.

Solimar’s has industry knowledge and experience working with multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, foundations, large and small private sector clients and has a thorough understanding of the indicator measurement practices across these industries. Solimar has worked for clients including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank and understands each organizations management and performance measurement frameworks.

How can Solimar help? Contact us for a free consultation.
Download the Global Tourism – Achieving Sustainable Goals Toolkit

What to Expect

  • Baseline Analysis – very few destinations begin at zero, in terms of visitors, average length of stay, and average daily spend. Solimar provides the tools, technical assistance and training to establish the baseline needed to evaluate real impact.
  • Economic Impact Analysis – to measure results, in terms of direct and impacts of visitor spending on a destination
  • Social Impact Analysis – social impacts are measured through a system of surveys and analysis of secondary data to measure number of jobs created, changes in household incomes, resident attitudes towards tourism, among other metrics
  • Environmental Impact Analysis - through Economic Impact Assessments, wildlife and human/wildlife conflict monitoring, land management metrics, and a variety of other tools, Solimar can provide the training, tools and assistance needed to measure the direct and indirect impacts of activities aimed at improving environmental management and destination stewardship.
  • Market Demand Analysis and Intelligence - Solimar will prepare market intelligence reports that include the latest inbound visitor statistics, tourism trends, forecasts, and analysis on the demand for the destination to help industry stakeholders with strategic and operational decisions.

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Circuit & Route Development

The flow of people in and around a destination presents an important opportunity to enhance tourism’s ability to generate significant economic impact, especially in rural and remote destinations. Solimar develops tour itineraries, circuits, and routes as a means to help visitors understand, approach and appreciate a destination. As active marketing tools, circuits and routes can be developed around a particular theme to attract visitors and increase their length of stay.

The strategic development of circuits and routes can also diversify the tourism products and experiences in a country. This diversification of tourism assets can spread benefits to small businesses and rural communities while reducing pressure on the most frequently visited areas—such as those designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Solimar focuses the development of circuits and routes by bringing together a network of stakeholders—including the government, associations, local communities and the private sectors—to work together and cooperate effectively in order to market and conserve the destination.

Solimar has developed a number of tourism routes and circuits in countries around the world—including 11 artisan-themed tourism circuits throughout the maze-like streets of the Medinas in Fez and Marrakech, Morocco. Solimar also facilitated the creation of “La Ruta Amistad”, a cultural route linking Costa Rica and Panama, and designed marketing materials to help visitors travel more sustainably.

Sign up for Solimar’s newsletter, your Passport to Sustainability.
Download the Tourism Destination Management Toolkit

What to Expect

  • Identification – Solimar will conduct a thorough assessment, evaluation and prioritization of the routes and circuits to be developed.
  • Local Engagement – We work with with key stakeholders through a participatory process to develop a shared vision and strategic guidelines for the development and marketing of the route. 
  • Evaluation – We assess all of the opportunities and gaps pertaining to the route—including attractions, tourism infrastructure, services, environmental issues, and community engagement. 
  • Development - Solimar will help develop through route through formally engaging all route participants and enabling organizations. 
  • Marketing and Promotion – Developing and implementing a marketing strategy for the route that addresses the target markets, branding, competitive positioning and communications strategy. 

Project Examples


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“Solimar is one of our most valued small business partners. They are flexible, responsive, and strategic."

-Adam Noyce, New Business Director
Chemonics International

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