Founder: Anna Pollock
Anna Pollock has forty years’ experience working in the tourism sector after graduating with a First Class Honours Degree from London University in 1972. She describes herself as a strategist, entrepreneur and change agent.
For most of her career, Ms. Pollock ran a successful international consultancy specialising in providing strategic planning, research and advisory services to the tourism industry in general and to tourism destinations in particular
Ms. Pollock worked in Vancouver, Canada from 1973-1993 and undertook seminal work in human resource development, sustainable tourism, health tourism and adventure travel prior to specialising in IT. Her clients include most of the provincial departments of tourism, the Canadian Tourism Commission, the Pacific Asia Tourist Association (PATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and several major private sector clients.
In Canada, Mrs. Pollock was known for being creative and innovative and spearheaded developments in a number of fields including the creation of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) that is now a major advocacy body; and the Pacific Rim Institute of Tourism that focuses on professional development programmes for persons employed in the tourism sector. In 1999, she was awarded the Visionary Award by the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia for her contribution to tourism in Canada.
In 1993, Ms. Pollock returned to live in Europe and established a reputation as one of the leading thinkers and strategists in the application of information technologies to destination marketing and management. She completed innovative IT strategies and finding applications for several regional tourist boards and the Scottish Tourist Board before starting up a software company, The Pembridge Group, which supplied a number of destinations with innovative and integrated software. Her concept of an intelligent Destination Management System and her numerous papers on the subject have helped inform the thinking and practices of a number of destinations around the globe.
Anna became a popular presenter at IT conferences in Europe and developed a reputation for identifying and interpreting market trends and potentials ahead of her time, For example, her focus on “interoperability” and “web services” which became apps and widgets enabled her to appreciate how the network technologies would enable any party to become an intermediary. She suggested back in 2004 that major hotel chains might find themselves competing with their own customers should ta B2B provider connect homeowners with guests! Clients during this period included the European Travel Commission, European Cities, Innovation Norway, Tourism Vancouver.
Sustainability and Beyond
In 2007 Anna turned her attention towards climate change and, in anticipation of the need by the tourism industry to reduce its carbon footprint, created The Icarus Foundation a not-for-profit agency formed to assist the Canadian tourism industry both mitigate and adapt to its impact.
Saddened by the hesitancy with which mainstream tourism approached the need to reduce its environmental footprint and heartened by research that shows customers might be changing faster than suppliers, Anna developed the concept of Conscious Travel that faces the oxymoron of tourism growth (as in volume expansion) and sustainability head on. Believing that tourism cannot continue to grow indefinitely on a finite planet without destroying the beauty and cultural integrity of the places and people it depends on, Anna believes that we have to find a better way – one that replaces the concept of more with better and focuses on delivering better for more.
Writer, Speaker, Change Agent
Anna is a prolific writer as she uses writing as a means to making sense of new ideas, seeing connectiions and “joining the dots” She is first and foremost a sense maker and educator with a very positive vision regarding the future of tourism. Her blog posts, papers and slide decks are all publicly available on the web, published under a Creative Commons licence – see Inspiration & Resources
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