Regenerative tourism meets intentional design.

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We have reached a turning point in how we think about tourism and its management. We are all at different points on this journey depending on our experience of the current crisis, the knowledge that flows across our paths, the capacity to imagine a different future, and access to the resources to influence and drive change. How we rise to the challenge depends not only on leadership, cultural change, and systems innovation but also the presence of a special ingredient — our capacity to tap into a deeper way of seeing, knowing and working together.

The Greeks called this phronesis


Designing regenerative, inclusive, purpose-led and transformational tourism requires a leap of faith. Or does it?

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Photo by Andrew Ly on Unsplash

There are more and more destinations and businesses that are dancing with the idea of regenerative tourism. It’s no longer about why we need change, but how can we do things differently? How can we align business, local communities and destinations with regenerative values? How can we attract the kind of visitors who are consistent with our core values and what we seek to be? How can we protect and cater to the needs of nature, people, and places so they can regenerate and flourish?

Answering the question ‘How might we design and implement regenerative tourism?’ is not rocket science…


and design tourism and visitor economies from the bottom up!

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We’re all processing the change

Over these last months of physical distancing, we have been undertaking research and listening to tourism operators, businesses, destination managers, chambers of commerce and communities to understand the current challenges.

One thing we have heard time and time again is that webinars and social media posts are useful to a point, but we are still lacking the ‘follow-through’. Many are looking for more concrete actions and to learn what they can do to weather the COVID-19 storm.

While becoming COVID-safe is important, there are still big questions about what the future of tourism looks like, and how business models and…


If you understand how you’ll be ready to lead

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Are you ready for the tourism reset?

Tourism is being reset. New ways of working in tourism (at the operational level) and on tourism (at the strategic level) are needed. This also means that the tourism management approaches and policy supports of the past — i.e. the way we have organised, measured and supported tourism — are likely to require reworking. Innovation and new forms of leadership will be the secret sauce that will empower some destinations to navigate the disruption and come out ahead. Are you ready?

Transformation in three stages.

There are three stages of transformation. According to Sheldon, these three stages include (1) a disorienting dilemma- an event…

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Is it just me, or is there a flood of “Here’s the solution” posts providing advice on how we can “bring tourism back”?

I love my LinkedIn and Medium families. Good creative people. Smart people. Thought leaders. I am convinced that the people in my Linkedin and Medium communities have wonderful ideas and the energy needed to rebuild tourism. As thought leaders and creative problem solvers, I prefer my Linkedin and Medium families over academic networks any day because of their bold, creative and constructive ideas.

But there is a problem with the “Here’s the solution” community. Yes, there is…

10 actions for turning crisis into opportunity

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It’s official. Australia has adopted its COVID-19 emergency response plan. Among the sectors hardest hit will be tourism. Australia is still reeling from the environmental, social and economic effects of the drought, the bushfires, and the floods. Now Covid-19. World markets are taking a dive while we wait for events to unfold. We have known for a while that Australia’s economy is soft and but now with the global economy slowing, tourism is extremely vulnerable.

But because I am an optimist and always keen to reverse assumptions, I‘d like to rephrase the challenge:

While one of the sectors hardest will…


Ideas to inspire discussion and ignite action

How do we implement sustainable and responsible tourism that replenishes the natural, social and cultural resources on which tourism is based? While there is an array of ideas and initiatives emerging, there has been little opportunity to collect and curate all these insights in a way that can inspire, ignite interest and action. This blog sets out an arc of possible actions that can steer us in more sustainable, inclusive and regenerative directions. In this post, practical ideas drawn from consulting, research, industry and community engagement.

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Design with nature

Anna Pollock argues that regenerative tourism is rising. Business and destination managers are starting…


…and putting it into practice!

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Art Print by Vin Pezz Pinterest

Change is a constant. Change management is booming. There is no shortage of tools, frameworks and advice for how to implement and manage change. There is plenty of advice on how to improve teamwork, how to manage our workload more efficiently, and even how to be kinder and more empathetic in the workplace. How do we cope with all this change? According to an ancient Chinese proverb:

When the wind blows, some build walls and others build windmills.

All these tools and frameworks are one thing, but putting all this advice into practice can be challenging. Some will build walls…


Progressing digitalisation in tourism SMEs is hard but here are some suggestions

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Community tree — Dianne Dredge

What’s the challenge?

Digitalisation is transforming the way people live, work, travel, and connect. Tourism has a reputation as being a laggard sector when it comes to innovation generally and in digitalisation in particular. But it’s not black and white. Studies point to the increasing productivity gap between frontier firms in tourism that have been able to harness digital innovation (e.g., Expedia, Airbnb, etc) and tourism SMEs that lag behind.

The World Economic Forum (2017) estimates that in the decade to 2025, digitalisation will create up to USD$305 billion of value for the tourism sector through increased profitability, but USD$100 billion of…

Policy sprints, hacks, design thinking solutions help build inclusive collaborative solutions to complex tourism challenges

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Design thinking tourism workshops promote creative problem-solving

Effective policymaking relies on accurately diagnosing policy problems and challenges. Poor diagnosis can lead to costly, ineffective, flawed solutions. Its a point well illustrated in a recent survey of 106 C-suite executives who represented 91 private and public-sector companies in 17 countries. Some 85% strongly agreed or agreed that their organisations performed badly in diagnosing problems, and 87% strongly agreed or agreed that this flaw carried significant costs (Wedell-Wedellsborg, Are you Solving the Right Problems? 2017). In other words, diagnosing the problems incorrectly, then spending resources solving the wrong problems is not good management!

At the Tourism CoLab, we believe…

Dianne Dredge

Founder/Director of The Tourism CoLab, passionate about catalysing the next economy in tourism and the visitor economy.

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