Simon has 25 years international experience working in tourism for government, the private sector and not for profit organisations. He has extensive post graduate qualifications in business, marketing, tourism and hotel mangement, and has published many books in these fields.
This diverse experience and a very open and passionate communication style has resulted in Simon being a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences addressing tourism.
Simon is both creative and logical, easily shifting from market analysis to ideas generation, and from strategy development to implementation. He is renown for his ability to interpret social trends into unmet market needs and then into creative product development that meets these needs.
Simon has an innate skill to match target markets to products and identify products that are mismatched.
Simon has been a major player in the development and consolidation of ecotourism across the world. He has been a tourism developer and operator – so he understands how to chase after opportunity and manage risk.
He has developed ecolodges, ecotours and eco-attractions in Australia, the Pacific, South and Central America. He has been a major player in setting the standards for ecotourism, developing ecotourism accreditation programs across the world and publishing widely on ecotourism.
Simon has also coordinated many developments at cultural and historic sites, which can be particularly complex.
Simon works with a large team of associates. They add additional skills and local knowledge, and ensure the company can deliver varying sized projects. Our associates are based across the world, ensuring we have easy access and contact to the regions where we most frequently work.
India – Ecotourism
Nahar has over twelve years of experience in tourism planning and sustainable tourism development, including tourism and protected area management research.
His key skills are in sustainable tourism planning, sustainable tourism development and ecotourism development and operations.
Nahar has significant recent experience with India’s tourism policy and planning environment. His work on tourism planning projects across eight of India’s state governments – developing policies, strategies and action plans for developing tourism – demonstrates this.
His work has frequently included protected areas and surrounding communities for a wide range of habitats and scales. He has worked several times for projects funded and / or managed by the World Bank, JICA and UNDP.
His work in Eastern Africa includes a pre-feasibility Destination Development Plan for the Lake Victoria Region, Uganda.
Nahar has direct tourism operations experience, including management of two of the Ecolodges in Southern India. He has also developed a business model for an ecotourism based chain of resorts for the ATE group, and public private / partnership models for tourism across 50 destinations in Gujarat.
Nahar also has operational experience, with the development of community based enterprises.
Nahar has a highly participatory approach to his work, and has excellent written and oral communication skills in English, Hindi and Malayalam.
International – Branding & Marketing
Jacinta has 15 years industry experience in business development and marketing.
She has worked with SMA in the preparation of tourism plans and feasibility studies in various parts of Australia. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Marketing and Tourism.
Jacinta has a deep understanding of visitor and consumer motivations. She has invested signifiant time analysing various market segmentations systems, and applying them to tourism planning and feasibility assessment for major tourism proposals. She has even built her own system for analysing and predicting visitor profiles using her preferred market segmentation system.
Jacinta has built a reputation for being able to distil a destination’s natural competitive advantages and generate ideas that link these strengths and mitigate barriers to growth.
Jacinta’s focus is seamlessly integrating brand, marketing messages and product development / reinvigoration. Her marketing blends lateral thinking, creative concepts and a passion to deliver interactive experiences.
Jacinta is also very accustomed to working with volunteers and focusing their passion to work together for a common goal. For example, she has developed many volunteer engagement strategies and implemented many volunteer programs to support visitor information centres, event development, marketing and delivery.
Jacinta has training in consultation and cross-cultural communications, and has interviewed over 100 stakeholders and conducted over 40 consultative workshops for tourism and economic development projects at the local and regional level.
Eastern Africa – Protected Area Management
Jim started working with SMA Tourism in 2016, as part of an Iconic Tourism Product Development Project for Uganda.
Jim is a Natural Resource Management professional who has over the last 19 years been engaged in various applied assignments as an academic researcher, consultant and educator in the areas of: Natural Resource Management; Tourism Conservation; Tourism Destination Planning and Management; Tourism Product Mapping, Wildlife Based Tourism assessment, Wildlife Community Based Tourism Management; Land Use Planning, among others.
Jim’s professional focus is on interrogating natural resource management practices and how they influence community development with specific focus on tourism. His speciality is on ensuring that destinations develop sustainable resource conservation practices and robust management frameworks. He is hard working, team player, focused and passionate about engaging in tourism professionally tasks that positively impact destinations and empower the communities to engage and sustainable benefit from tourism conversation initiatives.
South America – Ecotourism
Daysy represents SMA Tourism across the northern half of South America, with a focus on Peru.
Daysy has 15 years of experience as a tourism manager, designing, planning and managing tourism projects. For three years, as the Tourism Coordinator for SERNANP (National Service of Natural Protected Areas in Peru she designed and implemented tourism policies in NPA, developed strategies on sustainable tourism, promoted private and public investment on tourism in NPA, and designed and promoted a new regulation and guidelines on sustainable tourism in NPA
Daysy has led project teams at a National level in Peru, and has experience in leading multi-sectorial and multicultural teams. She has worked in private and public organisations such as Condor Travel, Caritas del Peru and SERNANP (National Service of Natural Protected Areas), in rural development and conservation of natural protected areas.
Daysy has also worked as a facilitator and trainer for various training programs covering ecotourism, nature tourism and interpretation, for organisations such as SERNANP, Condor Travel and Naturalwalks.
She has been Author/technical contributing / review / peer review / editing of the following publications: Sustainable Tourism Strategie for Spanish Biosphere Reserves. OAPN, 2017; Sustainable Tourism in NPA in Peru. Virtual Bulletin “Naturally Latinamerica”, Lima, 2016; Tourism Plan for Junin National Reserve, SERNANP, 2012; and Tourism Plan for Tambopata National Reserve, SERNANP, 2009
Australia – Heritage Architect
Jesse recently worked with SMA Tourism on a Feasibility Study for the former Wellington Gaol and Police Station.
Jesse is a registered Architect with more than 14 years of professional experience in local, national, and international projects. This work has been undertaken across the commercial, domestic, education, community, ecclesial, infrastructure, government, and health sectors.
Jesse’s strengths lie in broad skill base from design and documentation to contract administration and on site assessments. He enjoys being part of the holistic design process from early sketch ideas and concepts through to the constructed reality. This holistic approach ensures that specific project-related issues are addressed in a creative manner often unlocking potential and realising new possibilities.
He has developed two areas of particular interest – designing and rejuvenating ecclesial spaces and exploring complex public domain projects with sophisticated interfaces between private and public space – both areas which at their core revolve around the notion of community. He enjoys being part of the full cycle of the project from early ideas and concepts through to the constructed reality.
Jesse is also an accredited Green Star Professional who brings a keen interest in environmental, social and cultural sustainability to all projects as well as a member of Architects without Frontiers, Habitat for Humanity Australia and Architecture for Humanity.
Australia – Performing Arts
Jo recently worked with SMA Tourism on a review of Ballarat’s arts and cultural services and the development of a Cultural Tourism Strategy for the city of Wollongong.
Jo is a consultant and producer for not-for-profit and commercial performing arts. Throughout her career of 30 years, Jo has held a myriad of producing and management positions in arts organisations, not-for profit and commercial theatres across the world, including Australia, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Her early career included Associate Producer of the 1997 David Helfgott world tour; and management positions with Circus Oz, Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Festival.
Highlights since have included: • Executive Producer of Malthouse Theatre; General Manager of a range of commercial theatre productions; Head of Creative Development at Richard Frankel Productions in New York; and Head of Business Development at Really Useful Group in London.
Jo‘s other experience includes: • social impact assessment with Think Impact; strategic planning with Karen Women based at Nhill Neighbourhood House; an Asia link residency at the (then) Chiang Kai Shek Performing Arts Centre in Taipei; Non-Executive Director of What’s On Stage (UK); and a range of consulting/contract work with several independent artists, including: Arts House, the Australia Council, Hackman (NZ), Four Larks Theatre, Museum Victoria, The Australian Ballet, Theatre Works, Centre for Contemporary Photography and St Martins Youth Theatre, Arena Theatre, and Chamber Made Opera.
Jo is the Co-Producer of Victoria’s inaugural Regional Centre for Culture, and a board member of Back to Back Theatre and Theatre Works. She teaches Governance and Leadership in NIDA’s MFA in Cultural Leadership program and has guest lectured in arts management at the University of Melbourne.
International – Food and Wine Tourism
Jane has 15 years experience in tourism and hospitality business development, operations and marketing. She is a professional and accomplished business-woman who seamlessly moves through the multi-dimensional world of small business and the hospitality sector. She blends lateral thinking, creative concepts and a passion to deliver interactive experiences.
Jane has a Diploma of Hospitality and is a Cert IV qualified trainer.
Jane joined SMA in 2013 to deliver best practice research, benchmarking and competitor analysis. Her style is to start with the Internet, find promising leads and then pursue them on a one to one basis.
Jane’s persistent yet polite style results in deeper insights about why practices worked or failed, and what reflections to make implementation work better.
Some examples of her recent work with SMA include:
- Online needs analysis market research competitor analysis and focus group market research to test potential product development ideas for a Feasibility Study for a new art museum in Shepparton (Victoria);
- Benchmarking and competitor analysis for a Feasibility Study for a new Ballarat Museum, Exhibition and Heritage Centre (Victoria);
- Visitor research and market testing new tourism product development ideas for new interpretation experiences at Hill End (NSW);
- Ecotourism accommodation, tour, attraction, food and beverage product assessment in Kenya; and
- Accommodation supply and analysis for Forrest (Victoria) to support a Feasibility Study for additional accommodation.
Jane was also a founding member of ‘Essentially Barrington’, a branded cooperative initiative involving a group of local food producers united in their pursuit to produce quality products and market under a united brand.
Jane was an active member of the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce for many years, and held the role of acting President for one year (2011). During this time Jane worked with other committee members to take an active role in developing business related skills; marketing and supporting businesses via presentations and workshops; partnering with organisations with a capacity for growth; and encouraging positive communication between local business and the community.
During Jane’s time with the Chamber, she was also involved in events promoting Gloucester as an ideal tourist destination, including the Chill Out Festival, Gloucester Motorcycle Expo and Mountain Man Triathlon.
Colombia – Conservation & Environment
Carolina represents SMA Tourism in protected area management across the northern half of South America.
Carolina has solid experience in the design and implementation of policies, plans and the development of projects to promote sustainable tourism in protected areas generating benefits for local communities simultaneously utilising personal skills of stakeholder coordination.
Carolina’s Undergraduate Thesis focused on design criteria for load capacity & direct the planning of ecotourism activities in the Amacayacú National Park and its area of influence; Amazonas – Colombia.
She has five years contracted experience with the National Natural Parks of Colombia (PNN) Bogota, Colombia, coordinating ecotourism planning and development. As a consultant for ARD Inc. – Bogotá, Colombia, she provided support for ecotourism projects and developed community birding areas of PN. As a contractor for the National Natural Parks of Colombia (PNN), Bogota, Colombia. She strengthened private and community conservation initiatives for Nature Reserves of the Civil Company.
Carolina speaks Spanish (native language_ and has good English (reading, writing and speaking).
Australia – Art Gallery Advisor
Maudie Palmer is an expert in the field of Australian modern art and contemporary visual art as a curator and director, and is skilled in the development of visions for the design and operation of new museums or renovated gallery buildings.
After beginning her career as Assistant Director / Curator at the University Gallery (now Ian Potter Museum of Art) at the University of Melbourne, Maudie has fulfilled a number of roles including that of Founding Director and curator of both Heide Park and Art Gallery (now Heide Museum of Modern Art), and TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA). At TWMA she continued her work as a curator through exhibitions and acquisitions of modern and contemporary art. At Heide and at TWMA, she was the Project Director of the major buildings. Both museums are remote from Melbourne and both are now firmly established as tourist destinations.
She was also commissioned by Parks Victoria to provide a concept and to build Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park (which features a number of permanent environmental sculptures) and the conversion of the rundown scout hall as a gallery, working with architect Gregory Burgess.
International – Landscape Architect
As a director of TBLD, Glenn has a Ba L.Arch (Hons) and brings to the project over eighteen years experience in stakeholder consultation, landscape architecture, masterplanning, tourism site planning and design of large scale landscape and recreational infrastructure projects.
Glenn offers extensive expertise in masterplanning of complex sites with high conservation value, providing high-level strategic planning advice with government and agency stakeholder’s consultation, and creative and technical design solutions.
Glenn’s skills include designing high quality and innovative infrastructure responses in sites with challenging geotechnical, environmental and construction conditions. He has successfully delivered large scale tourism, trail and infrastructure projects, including the Wonga Wetlands Masterplan (with SMA), Narrabeen Trail Masterplanning and Design (6M), Triplet Falls Trails and Lookouts Masterplanning and Design with SMA (4M), Great Ocean Walk planning and design projects (2M), The Dales Christmas Island Iconic Boardwalk Design and Documentation (current) and the Quarantine Station HLMP and documentation of all site works.
Glenn offers SMA extensive experience working in sites with exceptional ecological, recreational and tourism values, developing bespoke facility designs supported by robust and proven documentation. He has worked with SMA on various Master Plans and Product Development Strategies in various parts of Australia.
Australia Estimator and Construction
Max has over 40 years experience in the building industry, hospitality education and hotel business management. Working with construction companies such as K.B. Hutcherson and Condux, he developed project concepts, feasibility studies, land purchases, supervision of construction and financial control.
During this time Max was responsible for projects with a development value in excess of $40 million, completing projects for Vogue Magazine, Hartland & Hyde, IBM, the P & O Group Head Office and Dalgetty Developments. He has played an active management role in the operation of the Mercure Resort Blue Mountains, the Blue Mountains Hotel School and other international projects.
Max has been involved in a variety of consulting roles, including the Education and Policy Unit of Australian Business Limited. He was also the initial chairperson of Blue Mountains Tourism. Max established the heritage tourism development company, Mawland, in 1986.
As Director of Mawland, he project managed the restoration work at the historic Everglades Gardens, Lilianfels Guest House and Munn Street Bond Store (all in NSW).
Max, Simon McArthur and Suzanne Stanton won the lease and proposal for the conservation and adaptive reuse of the Quarantine Station in 1997.
Max personally financed the first stages of the development and coordinated the financing of the remainder of the project. He also directed the conservation adaptive reuse work. He remains the Managing Director of the Q Station Board and its operations.
Australia – Property Law
Suzanne Stanton brings to our consulting arm a strong expertise in legal drafting and negotiation, documentation project management and tracking skills and an absolute commitment to meeting deadlines.
Suzanne has worked closely with Simon McArthur on the negotiation and management of the leasing and development of the North Head Quarantine Station to become Q Station. She has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of property law including acquisitions and sales, development projects and hotel, commercial, industrial and retail leasing, strata title issues, subdivision, drafting, commercial leasing, and joint ventures.
Many of the developments sell overseas and involve liaison with, and advice regarding, the Foreign Investment Review Board. Her experience includes involvement in several complex multi-million dollar sales of real estate under instructions from vendors, purchasers, managers, receivers and banks. These matters have ranged from residential properties, farms and luxury home unit developments to hotels resorts and shopping centres.
Suzanne’s work on these projects has also included financing, leasing work and consultancy regarding improvements of the properties before the sale to maximise potential income or re-sale value.
Suzanne has appeared as an expert witness in the NSW Supreme Court on the subjects of leasing, old system title and covenant compliance.
International – Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism
Marcello is an economist with over 20 years of experience in sustainable tourism development. His career began in market analysis, feasibility studies, and gradually shifted into sustainability and special interest tourism products. He now focuses on sustainable tourism policy, management, marketing strategies, standards, product development for environmental and cultural destinations, and self-financing mechanisms for protected areas.
Marcello is also an accomplished trainer for various universities and research centres. He has worked with a range of international organisations including UNDP, UNWTO, EU, IADB, ADB, ITC/ILO, SNV, and Italian Cooperation in over 25 countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He also has significant exposure to major international development programs including GEF, MDGs, ST-EP, Inclusive Business, EU Asia Invest and Life Program, and was involved in the International Year of Ecotourism 2002.
As SNV Sustainable Tourism Program Leader in Central America and Latin America, and ICIMOD Senior Tourism Specialist, he gained practical experience on inclusive business models, using the tourism value chain as a tool for poverty alleviation and heritage tourism strategies and sustainable tourism practices in trans-boundary landscape. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Banking and a Master of Tourism Economics from Bocconi University (Italy).
Marcello’s recent projects include:
Strategic and technical evaluation of projects proposal in the tourism value chain, natural and cultural heritage in the “Colombia + Competitiva” Program
- Poverty Reduction in Liupanshan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region program, China for ADB
- Mid Term Evaluation of the UNDP/GEF Project, ‘Enhancing Resilience of tourism-reliant communities to climate, change risks’ with SMA Tourism
- Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, Integrated landscape program between China, India and Nepal for ICIMOD, GIZ – Germany, DFID-UK
- Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, Integrated landscape program between Bhutan, India and Nepal for ICIMOD, GIZ, DFID-UK
- “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into the Operation of the Tourism and Fisheries Sectors in the Archipelagos of Panama” for UNDP, GEF and ARAP
- Develop the Guyana National Ecotourism Training Strategy for IADB and the Guyana Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce
- Strengthening the financial sustainability of the Guatemalan Protected Area System (SIGAP) through ecotourism for the National Council of Protected Areas of Guatemala (CONAP), GEF and UNDP
- Developing a Sustainable Tourism Model for the Exuma Cays Land Sea Park in Bahamas for a GEF project and Bahamas National Trust with SMA Tourism
Marcello is a key Associate for SMA Tourism across Europe, Latin America, South and Central Asia. A native Italian, Marcello is fluent in English and Spanish and good knowledge of Portuguese and French.
Caribbean – Marine Protected Areas Management
Emma is a marine protected areas specialist and the SMA link to the Caribbean region. She recently worked with SMA in preparing a Sustainable Tourism Model for the Bahamas.
Emma is an environmental management professional with 15 years’ experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her experience covers some 70 international cooperation projects and stretches across a range of themes related to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, climate change, outreach and education, sustainable alternative livelihoods and coastal tourism.
Marine protected areas play an important role in helping to conserve marine biodiversity, in addressing impacts of overfishing, in helping to solve conflicts between marine resource users, and in providing opportunities for sustainable alternative economic activities for local coastal communities.
Emma works with government agencies, NGOs, multilateral organizations, the private sector and technical experts in the nearly 40 countries and territories of the Wider Caribbean region to build and strengthen connections between marine protected area managers, as well as with potential partners, to exchange information and share best practices. Her connections within the region are vast, and she brings first-hand knowledge of the realities of coral reef and protected areas management to our group.
Emma first worked in the Caribbean region as the manager of bilateral cooperation and project funding for a diplomatic mission, and she has a solid reputation in both grant-making and project management. She is an experienced researcher, strategic planner and author of reports, briefs and papers with a flair for environmental communications. She frequently facilitates workshops and organizes training activities.
Emma studied coastal zone management at Sydney University and has a Master of Science in urban environmental management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Emma’s recent projects include:
- Development of a Sustainable Tourism Model for the Exuma Cays (Bahamas) with SMA
- ‘Implementing Capacity Building in the Mesoamerican Reef Marine Protected Areas Community’ (a Cooperative Agreement Project with the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP)
- ‘Developing a Strategic Plan for Tobago Cays Marine Park, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ (for Tobago Cays Marine Park and CERMES, University of the West Indies)
- ‘A Management Capacity Assessment of Selected Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean’ (for NOAA CRCP, GCFI, UNEP-CEP and CaMPAM).
- ‘Strengthening Reef Management in the Grenada Bank’ (for Sustainable Grenadines Inc. with funding from the US National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, NFWF).
- ‘Incorporating Climate Adaptation into Marine Turtle Conservation: Strengthening Capacity for Planning and Implementation’ (for WIDECAST and CaMPAM with WWF, funded by the Organization of American States Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative).
- ‘Promoting Responsible Practices in Marine Ecotourism’ (with Jean Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, funded by the British Embassy, Caracas).
Australia & Japan – Market Analysis / Economic Impact Assessment
Karl is a leader in tourism market analysis, economic impact assessment and policy design. He has 25 years experience as a tourism industry specialist working with:
- Tourism & Aviation Economist and acting Director Strategy and Research for Tourism Australia
- General Manager Policy and Research for Australia’s peak tourism body (Tourism Transport Forum)
- Director Investment for Australia’s Commonwealth Department of Tourism
- Director, Service Industry Policy for Australia’s Department of Industry and Commerce
For many years, as a lead Associate with SMA Tourism, Karl has worked on a wide range of tourism development projects, conducting market analysis, tourism forecasting, economic impact assessment, providing policy advice and project management. Some examples of this work include:
- Feasibility Study and Business Case for a cultural centre and wider tourism development in the Kimberley, Western Australia
- Feasibility Study and Business Case for redeveloping Busselton Jetty, Western Australia
- Feasibility Study and Business Case for the new Shepparton Art Museum in Victoria
- Business Case for new luxury lodges in the Northern Territory
- Business Case for a new luxury lodge on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
- Detailed market and economic analysis of Docklands (Melbourne) supporting A Destination Marketing Plan
- Detailed market analysis of the Great Ocean Road region and Shipwreck Coast, to support a Business Case for its reinvigoration
- Detailed market and economic analysis for North West Tasmania product reinvigoration strategy
- Detailed market analysis of visitors to the Solomon Islands, supporting a Tourism Development Strategy for the Western Province
- Detailed market analysis of river fishing for Destination Hokkaido, Japan
- Detailed market and economic analysis for redeveloping Jindabyne
- Detailed market and economic analysis for developing a nature tourism attraction and ecolodge at Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains
- Market analysis for iconic tourism development in Uganda
- Detailed market analysis and consultation to support a Nature Tourism Strategy for Canberra region
- Economic impact assessment of events at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
International – Tourism Marketing
Anne-Maria has 20 years experience working across the World in sustainable tourism, marketing and product development.
Over the past 10 years she has worked for extended periods of time in DPRK, Albania, Moldova, East Timor, Cambodia, Ghana, Uganda, India, Eastern Anatolia in Turkey.
Through these placements, she has become highly accomplished in tourism stakeholder consultation in developing countries, across public, private sector and non-governmental sectors.
She has worked for major tourism funding bodies, such as the World Tourism Organisation, UNDP, SNV and Trade Mark East Africa.
Some of Anne-Maria’s major projects relevant have included:
- Pro poor tourism development in Cambodia
- Tumen River Area Development Programme (China, DPRK, Mongolia, ROK, Fareast Russia)
- Phu Quoc Tourism Development Master Plan, Vietnam
- Tumen Programme, China
- Heilongjiang Tourism Development Master Plan, China
- Rural Tourism Development in Shandong Province, China
- Tourism Development Master Plan for Yunnan Province, China
- Wujin-Taihu Lake Tourism Development Plan, China
- Coastal Tourism Development Master Plan for Shandong, China
- Inclusive Markets in Tourism Project, Uganda, which involved branding, product development and capacity building / training to increase the participation of the poor and local communities in the tourism sector.
Anne-Maria is a key Associate for SMA across southern Africa, China, India and wider Asia.
During 2016 she worked closely with SMA in Uganda, conducting consultation, product audits, product gap analysis and product audits for cultural tourism, birding, faith tourism and nightlife tourism.
Anne-Maria speaks English, Finnish, Swedish and German.
Anne Teddy Awori
East Africa – Tourism Development Expert
Anne has a solid understanding of Uganda’s tourism industry and sound knowledge and familiarity of Uganda’s existing and potential tourism attractions and activities. She has worked with SMA in forming tourism product development strategies for adventure, cultural, spiritual and ecotourism sectors.
Anne has played a significant role in supporting SMA consultation and research for tourism projects in Uganda. She has solid skills in public, private sector and civil society stakeholder engagement, along with excellent networking skills with all Uganda’s tourism associations.
Anne has a sound understanding of the existing legislative framework in Uganda, including the Tourism Act 2008; Uganda Wildlife Act 2000; National Wetlands Policy 1995; and the Tourism Policy 2015; and a solid comprehension of the Eastern Africa regional planning framework.
Some highlights of Anne’s career include working on the Uganda Tourism Policy and Master Plan 2012 to 2014, and the development of a classification system for Uganda’s hotel sector.
Anne has worked with international organisations such as UNDP, UNWTO, UNECA, USAID, European Union, Trade Mark East Africa, African Union, Wildlife Conservation Society and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
China – Tourism Business Development
Rafael represents SMA Tourism in China, and has a solid understanding of business in China and, some insights on trends and behaviour of the Chinese consumer. Rafael has lived in Mainland China since 2003.
In 2008 Rafael started the Chinese branch of Aragon Exterior, mainly providing market entry services for companies and regional bodies.
During the last five years, Rafael has represented the Tourism Department of Aragon in China, first drafting the strategic plan to attract Chinese tourism and then implementing it. Being a small region with a target on medium-high level tourists and a humble budget, the strategy has focused in B2B actions, initially adapting marketing materials to the taste and needs of Chinese professionals and attending tourism exhibitions to promote the region and gather further knowledge and contacts on the ground. China is currently the main country of origin of tourists in the capital of Aragon, Zaragoza, and the next goal is to divert some niche tourism to small villages.
Rafael speaks Spanish (native), very good English (reading, writing and speaking), Chinese (fluent speaking and reasonable writing) and Italian (excellent in reading, writing and speaking).
Rwanda – Industry Development
Annoncita (Anny) has 22 years experience in tourism development and tourism marketing in Rwanda. Her tourism career evolved from six years in managerial positions in various international brand hotels, to that of a consultant for hotels and government. This included two years with consulting firm Horwath HTL Rwanda and two years with the Rwanda Development Board. In this capacity, some key project highlights have included:
- Adventure Tourism Master Plan for Rwanda
- Feasibility study and development of a four star hotel (Dmall Hotel) in Kilgali Rwanda, through to principle facilitator of the hotel’s pre-opening phase
- Sub-Master Plan for resort projects along the Kivu Belt in the western region of Rwanda
- Sub-Master Plan and Feasibility study for tourism development along a Heritage Corridor connecting Kigali (the hub) to the Nyungwe Destination Management Area
- Tourism Sub-Master Plan for the Eastern Province of Rwanda
- Tourism Sub-Master Plan for the development of the Eastern Lakes Tourism destination to ensure the diversification of tourism products around Akagera and Muhazi Destination Management Areas
- Joint tourism marketing programs to attract more international leisure and business visitors to Rwanda
Anny is the Chief Executive Officer of New Dawn Associates, an ecotourism and community-based tourism operation delivering, among many products, gorilla trekking and gorilla safaris. The company also undertakes tourism consultancies, and in this capacity, Anny works with SMA Tourism on relevant consulting projects.
Anny speaks English, German, Swahili Kinyarwanda, and five other local Ugandan languages.
Mauricio Rincón Falla
South America – Business Development
Mauricio is a sustainable business manager, and specialist in marketing management, focusing on projects that improve community and SME access to sustainable economic opportunities, especially in the tourism sector. He is skilled in situation analysis, and medium and long term planning, has extensive experience in preparing business plans, as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of project implementation. Mauricio leads and coordinates local and regional teams and is a proven project manager.
Mauricio has 11 years’ experience in economic and social development projects, improving value chains and developing multiple alliances between international corporations, the private sector, National governments and regional public institutions. Design and development of marketing plans and market linkages for rural communities, tourism planning and policies (private – public), design and delivery of participatory processes / workshops.
In 2019, Mauricio commenced working with SMA Tourism, assisting to prepare an investment plan for four ‘WOW factor’ nature tourism developments, and identifying and matching a wide range of finance sources to fund these and a wider Nature Tourism Strategy for the State of Narino in Colombia.
His native language is Spanish, and he speaks fluent English.
South America – Finance
Julián has 15 years’ experience in administration, finance, social investment and project management relating to sustainability and tourism.
During the last 10 years, he has been involved in initiatives related with sustainable development of vulnerable communities, most of them related to sustainable tourism and covering: product design and development, finance models, strengthening SMEs, tourism planning and policies (private – public), tourism in protected areas, and greening businesses. His roles in these initiatives have typically emphasised finance, business development and project management (using the Logical Framework Approach and MGA). Concurrently, he is skilled in financial forecasting and modelling, economic modelling and advanced use of Excel.
As co-Director of the Columbia based firm Fundacion Creata, Julián has worked for organisations such as the Global Green Growth Institute, USAID – ACDI/VOCA, Colombian Ministry of International Relations, Colombian Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, National Tourism Fund (FONTUR), Presidential Agency for Cooperation (APC), Artesanías de Colombia, Carbones del Cerrejón, Chevron, Fundación Cerrejón Guajira Indígena, Fundación Vichituni (Petrominerales), Fundación Bavaria, Aid To Artisans Inc, Walmart Foundation, and JP Morgan.
In 2019, Julián commenced working with SMA Tourism, assisting to prepare an investment plan for four ‘WOW factor nature tourism developments, and identifying and matching a wide range of finance sources to fund these and a wider Nature Tourism Strategy for the State of Narino in Colombia.
His native language is Spanish, and he speaks fluent English.
East Africa – Tourism Development
Marina joined SMA Tourism in 2020. She is an internationally renowned tourism and international development expert and Professor of Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton (UK), and an Affiliate Member of the UN World Tourism Organisation.
Marina has written and advised extensively in the field of international tourism policy, planning, development and management, with specific focus on: diagnostic, monitoring and evaluation studies, sustainable development and responsible management approaches; alternative and niche tourism product development; value chain diversification and regeneration; community-based development; training needs analysis, workforce capacity building, train-the trainers programmes and curriculum development; governance and institutional development; service standards and optimisation in hospitality and tourism.
She has played a core advisory role on a number of projects funded by the World Bank, the EU, UNESCO, UNIDO, the UN World Tourism Organisation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, National Ministries and Tourism Boards, Regional Development Agencies and NGOs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia.
She speaks Italian (native language) very good English and basic French.
Africa – Aviation
Ogaga is an aviation and tourism advisory expert that joined SMA Tourism in 2020.
He has had a career across South African Airways, Qatar Airways and Comair Limited with a holistic focus on route development. He previously worked as a commercial strategist (VP) for large African and global airlines. He has built his 10-year career around the idea that transport and connectivity are keys to economic inclusion.
Currently, Ogaga provides advisory services for diverse stakeholders within the broad aviation value chain (OEMs, airlines, airports, regulators, Governments, leasing companies, tourism bodies, banks etc.), due to the catalytic impact of the aviation industry on other sectors. Ogaga utilises global best practices, however applying them within the unique African aviation context. He is passionate about providing value and insights for businesses in aviation, transport and tourism.
Ogaga is also an NPO director and actively sought out thought-leader in local and international media.
Ogaga speaks English (native language) and very good Afrikaans.
Cambodia – Tourism Development
Marta holds a Bachelor of Arts and Tourism Management and studies from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. She has 12 in tourism planning in stakeholder coordination, tourism development and strategic planning.
She has a strong knowledge of the tourism sector in Cambodia, and a good understanding of the application of development aid in the country.
She is currently national tourism expert for the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia on the AFD funded Tourism Commercial Capacity Building Programme. Working with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Ministry of Tourism, she has undertaken significant regional and ecotourism planning for the North east of Cambodia.
Marta is also a highly experienced trainer, being the lead master trainer for rural tourism skill development projects, an ecotourism project in Cardamom Mountain of Cambodia, and Master Trainer and Advisor for high impact tourism training for the Cambodia Restaurant Association.
Marta speaks Khmer (native language) and excellent English.
Lintang Ayu Nugrahaning Tyas
Indonesia – Tourism Development
Lintang joined SMA Tourism as an Associate in 2020, and is based in Indonesia.
She has 15 years experience in tourism and related disciplines. Her focus is on tourism planning and sustainable tourism development in rural and conservation areas. She is also experienced in working in remote areas with different cultures, and has significant experience in tourism stakeholder consultation and engagement across Indonesia. Adding to this is working as a tourism trainer across several precincts.
Lintang has prepared more than six Tourism Master Plans across various parts of Indonesia, several Roadmaps for sustainable tourism development, and various guidance roles for tourism events across the country. She has also prepared Towards Ecotourism in Bali: A best practice guide for small and medium enterprises in Bali and a thesis on Eco-Friendly Homestay Management in Ubud area.
Lintang speaks Indonesian (native language) and fair English.
South America – Tourism Development
Beatriz joined SMA Tourism as an Associate in 2020, and is based in Columbia.
Beatriz has 15 years of experience in environmental and sustainable tourism projects for public institutions, cooperation agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector. Beatriz is an expert in tourism planning and in the development and implementation of applied methodologies for the management, monitoring and evaluation of tourism and biodiversity. She also has experience in design and drafting of methodological guidelines and good practice in the field of sustainable tourism and cooperation. Beatriz has extensive experience in Central and South America (Columbia, Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua and Guatemala), as well as experience in the Maldives, Sa Tome e Príncipe (Africa), Portugal and Spain.
Beatriz speaks Spanish (native language) good English, and a little French.