As we celebrate the UNWTO’s World Tourism Day with the theme ‘Re-Thinking Tourism’, one can’t help but look back at the highs and (many) lows that the tourism industry has experienced over the last three years. And, although the lows were very low, we must look to the future and be thankful that tourism did slow for a while, as it gave us the unique and needed opportunity and realisation that there was a dire need for the industry to stop and ‘re-think’ its future development.

This year’s celebrations are being held in Indonesia, where industry leaders will be discussing ways to pivot and transform the recovering and fragile tourism industry to a brighter and more sustainable future. They will be highlighting the importance of the industry and the positive role that it plays socially, environmentally, and economically, and how these can be further improved to create a more inclusive and sustainable industry.

Here at Acorn Tourism we have been witnessing and following many of these positive changes, both through projects that we have been working on and others that we have been promoting and applauding from afar. Below are some of the projects that we have been involved with since the Covid-19 pandemic that reflect this year's theme of ‘re-thinking tourism’.

The Digitalisation of Tourism Services in Rwanda

Working alongside the Rwanda Development Board, Acorn has been helping to digitalise Rwanda's tourism offering through the promotion of SME stakeholders and the less well-known players in the industry. Many tourists who visit Rwanda are there for the gorillas, with very few experiencing or even being aware of the other diverse activities that the country has to offer. This lack of awareness creates a void of engagement with rural communities living away from national parks, meaning they gain little benefit from the tourist dollar. The aim of the product database and app is to promote all tourism businesses and attractions including the smaller community projects including hiking, cultural and other activities such as cycling, spreading benefits throughout the country and not just within proximity of the National Parks.

The Falkland Islands

We have been working with the Falkland Islands for many years on a large range of different development projects. More recently, we have been working on projects geared towards sustainable growth and conservation. We are helping them on their journey towards Green Destination Certification as well as working on certification schemes for conserving their exceptional wildlife and wilderness.

Tourist Routes for Forests and Peace in Colombia

Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world after Brazil and has more bird species than any other country. It is important that this exceptionally diverse flora and fauna is conserved, and tourism can play a huge role in its protection. Alongside local experts and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, we have been working with two post-conflict communities to develop eco-tourism offerings. Not only will this help to conserve the local surroundings, but it will also provide local employment and skills development to help improve local livelihoods.

Seychelles Tourism Statistics

We have just completed a study in the Seychelles assisting the tourism sector to improve the current systems that are in place for collecting tourism data. The collation and tracking of this data are essential for future sustainable development planning, as they can help to identify future trends in the sector.

Green Destinations – Top 100

As the UK Green Destinations representative, this year we sponsored five emerging destinations in Africa to apply for the Green Destinations Top 100 Sustainable Stories Competition through their free waiver scheme. Sharing best practice stories is key to learning from one another, whilst also highlighting and promoting those that are taking a step in the right direction. Collaboration and promotion are key when re-thinking tourism.

These are just a few examples of the positive projects that are happening in the industry currently, and we look forward to celebrating and learning from many more on World Tourism Day and into the future.

To find out more information about our past and ongoing projects click here, or contact us at


Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Falkland Islands
Strategic Planning
Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Falkland Islands

Developed an eight-year Tourism Development Strategy for the Falkland Islands with the aim of increasing tourism numbers and expenditure, lengthening the season, and creating an industry that will provide better employment opportunities for the population.

EcoTourism Routes for Forests and Peace
Branding and Marketing
Colombia tourist routes community based ecotourism

We worked with three very different rural communities, all with exceptional biodiversity and all of which had been severely affected by the conflict in Colombia. Together with E3 Group in Colombia and RHS Kew Gardens, we developed tourist routes that promote forest protection and peacebuilding through community-based ecotourism.

Measuring the Economic Impact of Tourism in the Seychelles
Economic Impact and Statistics
Measuring the Economic Impact of Tourism in the Seychelles

Assessment of the system of tourism statistics, and design and development of an airport exit survey and cruise visitor survey, leading to the development of a tourism satellite account. The study included extensive training with staff in the statistics and tourism ministries.



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