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Neil Rogers speaking at the Wild Scotland Annual Conference 2013
Neil Rogers speaking at the Wild Scotland Annual Conference 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the Wild Scotland’s Annual Conference on the 27th November at the Perth Concert Hall. The theme of the Conference was “The Business of Adventure” and I was joined as a speaker by Daniel Robb of Google (by video), John Mayhew of the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, Stephen Leckie, the Chair Scottish Tourism Alliance and Niall Benvie the outdoor photographer and writer.

Over 100 tourism stakeholders attended including key industry organizations such as the Cairngorms Business Partnership, Cairngorms National Park Authority, the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, the Forestry Commission, John Muir Trust, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish National Parks Strategy Project, Scottish Natural Heritage, Tourism Intelligence Scotland, Visit Scotland and Wild Scotland.

It was fun meeting the many tourism businesses including Stevie Christie, Paul Easto and Myles Farnbank from industry leader Wilderness Scotland. Wilderness Scotland’s commitment to training, quality assurance and sustainability is second to none and I thoroughly enjoyed the breakout session Myles led on guide training.

I even met legendary Finnish entrepreneur and photographer Jari Peltomäki the MD of Finnature who was attending the summit with a small delegation of nature tourism entrepreneurs from Finland. Getting the latest insight into what’s happening with Finnish birding, nature watching and photography tourism added considerable value to my trip.

The sad news was that Caroline Warburton the amazing manager of Wild Scotland is leaving the organization after many years at the helm. The good news is that she’s taking on a new challenge as National Strategy Delivery Coordinator for the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

The best dressed man award has to go to Pete Varley of the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research based at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Pete, known for his sartorial elegance was dressed from head to toe in Harris Tweed so narrowly pushed Stephen Leckie out into second place.

Neil Rogers invited to speak at the Wild Scotland annual conference

WildScotland

Neil Rogers has been invited to speak at Wild Scotland’s annual conference held on the 27th November 2013 at Perth Concert Hall. Rogers will talk about the importance of nature and adventure travel to Scotland’s tourism industry.

The Wild Scotland conference brings together over 150 adventure and nature tourism businesses and public sector representatives from across Scotland.

For more information about Wild Scotland visit their web site at www.wild-scotland.org

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Wildlife Worldwide to collaborate with Wild Norway

European Brown Bear #2

After successfully helping UK-based Naturetrek develop their Swedish wildlife watching portfolio back in 2008/09 Neil Rogers is now collaborating with the UK’s Wildlife Worldwide help them develop a Norwegian portfolio.

“ I’ve known Chris Breen the founder and Wildlife Worldwide for over 25-years and so when we met at the PURE Life Experiences travel show in Marrakech last year we discussed Wildlife Worldwide’s push into Scandinavia and how they were keen to develop a Norwegian wildlife watching portfolio” said Rogers.

Neil Rogers has been advising the Trøndelag based Wild Norway project for the last 2 years and so we identified 4 core wildlife watching destinations within Trøndelag where Wild Norway entrepreneurs could deliver a quality experience.

The next step is to coordinate a FAM trip for Wildlife Worldwide’s product manager and also host a media trip for top-tier wildlife journalists from the UK.

Developing business relationships between service providers, destinations, key travel trade contacts and the media is at the core of our consulting services.

David Mills the Managing Director of Naturetrek UK gave the following recommendation after working with Neil Rogers on the development of their very successful Swedish programme.

Despite being Britain’s best-known specialist wildlife tour operator, and having sent large numbers of tourists to countries all over the world for 24 years, Sweden had never featured in our range of destinations until 2008.

It was then that we came across Neil Rogers, an Englishman living in Sweden with an infectious passion for Scandinavia, its wildlife and its magnificent wilderness regions. 

Neil’s enthusiasm, knowledge of Sweden and Norway, and huge experience in understanding the international tourism market, have single-handedly transformed our business to Scandinavia.

He has brought us a great range of invaluable local contacts through whom, with Neil’s guidance, Naturetrek has been able to develop a large and ever-expanding range of wonderful tours and destinations in Sweden and Norway.

We are indebted to Neil for his drive and expertise in the area of Scandinavian tourism. He is an enormous asset and source of guidance to anyone in the tourism, travel and hospitality sector. Don’t work without him!

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Neil Rogers wins bid for Sámi Culinary and Adventure Route

Neil Rogers (Lexlaw AB) has won the “Be the international expert in marketing a Sámi Culinary and Adventure Route” consulting contract from the Svenska Samernas Riksförbund (SSR).

The project will focus on creating a Sámi culinary and adventure route initially focusing on an assessment stage with the consultant and VisitSápmi expert providing a value chain / gap analysis of the chosen route covering infrastructure, product development, quality and sustainability.

The project then calls for the consultant to develop content for the Slow Food Sápmi and VisitSápmi web sites through ‘story telling’ relating to culinary Sámi traditions (and new Scandinavian cuisine where appropriate), traditional Sámi knowledge, reindeer herding, Sámi nature / cultural activities and experiences, accommodations along the route and transport logistics.

In addition to the web-based content collateral materials and resources will be developed to help enhance both travel trade and media knowledge of Sámi cultural activities/experiences and cuisine.

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Neil Rogers appointed Chair of Destinations Working Group by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Posted on June 4, 2013 by Neil Rogers — 1 Comment ↓

GSTC_MEMBER_VERT

Neil Rogers has been appointed as Chair of the GSTC’s Destinations Working Group (DWG).

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) serves as the international body for fostering increased knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices, promoting the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and building demand for sustainable travel.  This is accomplished through the work executed by its diverse programs:  international standard settingdestinationseducation and training, market access, and accreditation.

At the heart of this work are the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and the development of theGSTC Criteria for Destinations. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.  Sustainability is imperative for all tourism stakeholders and must translate from words to actions.

Rogers and the DWG team are currently working to finalize the Destinations Early Adopter Pilot Program and the release of the GSTC Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.

As as sustainable tourism consultant I’m honoured and thrilled to be working with some of the world’s leading experts in sustainable tourism” – said Rogers.

Rogers will be representing the GSTC at the ATTA’s Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Namibia, 26-31 October 2013. He will also be attending the VestNorden Travel Mart in Nuuk, Greenland 17-23 September, 2013.

GSTCs Destinations Working Group includes:

Prof. François Bédard, Chair – World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)

Tony Charters – Tony Charters & Associates

Sarah Dayboll – Fairmount Hotels & Resorts

Prof. Don Hawkins – George Washington University

Jamie Sweeting – Sweeting Sustainable Solutions

Jonathan Tourtellot – National Geographic

Jiwei Xu – Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area

Joana Homs – Barcelona Tourism

Andreas Vermöhlen – TUI

Patricio A. Diaz – Instituto de Turismo Responsable (ITR)

Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information on how to get involved with GSTC Destinations or on ATTA’s work with Sustainable Destinations.

neil.rogers@telia.com

In search of the Sápmi Lodge

Site 1 Sápmi Lodge

Late last week on a warm spring day the Sápmi Lodge project team drove, walked and scrambled along boggy roads, forest trails and hidden lake shores in search of the prefect lodge site.

After several weeks locked in the office alone I was in nirvana. I often feel that the joy of being part of a highly talented and creative team can only be truly appreciated by ‘lone wolf’ consultants who more often than not ply their trade alone from a home office.

Working with Thomas SandellMårten CyrénBertil Harström, Jenny Kåhre and Christine Tam is a delight. We share the view that architecture and creative design are key components that can positively enhance a unique site and landscape.

visitSápmi’s Dan Jonasson and Lennart Pittja had previous scouted our target area by snowmobile during the winter reindeer herding season. Now spring was arriving we had the task of personally verifying each location to weigh the merits or pitfalls of each site.

Seldom have I come across a location with so much moose poop, surely a good omen. Bear scat, raptor activity, abundant water fowl, salamanders, obvious beaver sign and varied flora confirmed the rich biodiversity we’d hoped for. The wintering reindeer had retreated west in April yet the landscape retained its appeal as spring melted the smothering sheet of snow and ice.

When we finally visited our last evaluation site the team fanned out and descended the gently sloping ridge that led to the water’s edge.

From the shore a panoramic view unfolded over melting ice and across the lake to a thickly forested ridge line. Bird song punctured the silence. Sunlight flickered through the canopy and the design team slowly settled themselves on fallen logs, rocks and mossy mounds.

When we finally came together smiles spread across our happy faces and we instinctively knew we’d found ‘the place’. Once again we split into small groups to confer and debate. Cameras, sketch pads and iPhones captured the essence of the site, our imaginations excitedly overlaying landscape with conceptual design.

Sápmi Lodge to be designed by trio of top Swedish architects

I’m thrilled to be working with Thomas SandellBertil Hatström and Mårten Cyrén on the conceptual design and site planning stage of the Sápmi Lodge pilot project.

The trio are the design gurus behind the design-led Tree Hotel project in Harads in northern Sweden. Along with their creative genius they bring a strong passion for the outdoors to the project.

Their views on creating stunning architecture for unique tourism destinations comes in part from their love of travelling to remote places to fly fish. Their holistic views on architecture embracing culture, landscape and nature are very close to my own and are summarized in their own words.

In recent years we have spent an increasing amount of time in rivers to fish and have a good time. Travelling with anglers to remote places with great fishing is one of life’s great pleasures.

These experiences have given us reason to reflect on the possibilities within the unique conditions of each place. To find the destinations own “Genius loci” – spirit of place.

Being architects, we strongly believe that architecture is a competitive tool along with the destination’s natural conditions and good services. Crucial elements of a travel experience.

To enhance a unique site through architecture is an ideal way to let people experience interesting destinations. This is how we like to bring profession to our passion“.

Welcome Thomas, Bertil & Mårten, we look forward to working with you.

The Ice Collection

Image

For tips on places to stay and things to do in Scandinavia and the Arctic region check out my new blog at http://www.theicecollection.com

As it’s in it’s first week of development the content is currently limited. I’ll be adding images and detailed ‘insider’ information to the links currently posted on the site.

If you like the idea please follow the site so you’ll get automatic up-dates.

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Wild Norway nature tourism workshop in Røyrvik

Reindeer Idre copy LR

I’m heading to Røyrvik in north Trøndelag, Norway next week to give a seminar on behalf of Wild Norway to a group of 28 stakeholders from the Røyrvik, Lierne and Namsskogen communities. I’m sharing the platform with my good friends Petter Thorsen of Proneo who’s project leader for the Wild Norway initiative and with Dan Jonasson, the project leader for theVisit Sapmi initiative.

These three communities are located about three and a half hours north of Trondheim’s Vaernes Airport so speed of access for short stay visitors is somewhat of a challenge but one we feel can be overcome through innovative product development in niche markets.

The region is blessed with magnificent mountain landscapes rich in both cultural ( the Sami are actively involved in several tourism initiatives – Destination Daerga has been formed and new Sami cultural centre is soon to open) and wildlife assets ( the Blåfjella Skjaeketfjella National Park, the Blåfjella Kjaekerfjella National Park, Lierne National Park and Børgefjell National Park are all part of these communities).

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Inspired by Kenya

Cheetah MNC

I have just returned inspired from a wonderful 2 week holiday in Kenya with the family. Our gracious hosts Cheli & Peacock created a magical tour of Meru National Park, Shaba Reserve and the Mara North Conservancy. We returned home inspired to do more to help save these wonderful places by supporting those that play a vital role in conserving through their commitment to the environment, wildlife and local communities.

As one chapter in my life has closed with leaving Coppola Resorts I’m looking for new challenges, ideas and experiences. Our trip reinforced my belief that we must focus more than ever on creating innovative and sustainable tourism solutions on a truly global scale.

Wildlife conservation in Kenya as in the rest of Africa is locked in a life and death struggle for survival. The Mara continues to captivate hordes of tourists due to the high densities of the big five (except Black Rhino) and the massed concentrations of migratory species during July through September. Despite the visible pressure on wildlife in other areas of the Maasai Mara I was impressed by how the Mara North Conservancy manages its 28,000 hectares through operating only 12 members camps that practice enlightened game drive etiquette.

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Thank you ATE and Nordic Life for an amazing training course

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Just back from an amazing few days in Jämtland learning the inside track on expeditions to Arctic environments from the experts at ATE.

Nordic Life provided a wide range of kit from Brynje, Bergans and Hestra as well as fantastic dehydrated food from Turmat.

We also enjoyed an exciting dog sled adventure with Norway Husky Adventure.

I’m off back up to the mountains of Jämtland on Wednesday for a workshop with the architects consulting on the Sami Hotel Project but will post a trip report on my return.

In the meantime here’s a picture of me on the course kindly supplied by Andrew Mazibrada ofSidetracked.

ATE Arctic Training Course

PetterThorsen552011-03-15

The training includes practice pulling “pulk” sleds on skis by harness

It’s a chilly -16C today in Stockholm and I’m getting my kit together for next weeks Arctic Training Course with Petter Thorsen and the ATE team at Storlien, the tiny ski destination that straddles the border between Trøndelag in Norway and Jämtland in Sweden.

The four day course covers the basics of how to prepare and take part in a trek to the North Pole (or for that matter trans-Greenland or anywhere else in the Arctic region).

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Inderøy Seminar creates interest in cultural and culinary tourism

Neil Inderoy #1

Neil giving his lecture to Inderøy stakeholders

I was happy that there was a positive reaction by the Inderøy public and private sector stakeholders to my seminar on developing destinations for cultural and culinary oriented tourism. The seminar was organized by regional consulting company Proneo and I shared the keynote with Anne Marte Solberg of Solberg Solutions.

There is undoubtedly strong potential to further develop cultural, culinary and experiential based tourism in the Inderøy destination and in Innhered as a region through improving infrastructure and working on a more focused approach to product development, marketing, sales and branding.

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New challenges

MediaTeamTikal

A last goodbye to Tikal with the Coppola Resorts media team

After an almost 20 year association with Francis Ford Coppola Resorts I’ve decided to resign as Director of Marketing to take on new challenges in 2013.

Life is suddenly less stressful with more time to think, be creative and enjoy life.

I’m planning an exciting new project to promote unique, high end travel experiences to pan-Scandinavian & Arctic region (possibly to include the Highlands & Islands of Scotland). It’s my belief that Scandinavia is lagging behind in this lucrative market and that a trusted source of information on accommodations, experiences and expeditions will help drive interest and new investment in unique experiences and luxury travel to Scandinavia.

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PURE Life Experiences

Having just returned home from the PURE Life Experiences travel show in Marrakech I’m catching my breath before heading to Belize next week to help lead a media FAM trip for 8 journalists to Coppola Resorts properties, Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn.

It was my first time at PURE and I cannot recommend it highly enough. What a collection of inspiring travel experiences, companies and individuals. Tim Smit one of the guest speakers was funny and amazing, his message resonating with many in the audience. The interest we had in the 5 Coppola Resorts properties was phenomenal and we hope the interest will turn into solid business in due course.

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Inderøy region, Norway invites Neil Rogers to be guest speaker

Neil Rogers will be a guest speaker at the “Baerekraftig Reiseliv – Inderøy 2020″ seminar on the 04th January 2013 that is to be hosted by proneo, a regional consulting company.

Neil will talk over two sessions covering ‘destination vision & strategic development’ and ‘destination branding and product development’ focusing on Inderøy and mid-Norway, including a case study of the UNESCO World Heritage site Røros.

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Neil Rogers wins “Sápmi Lodge” pilot project contract with SSR

Traditional Sami Laavu

Svenska Samernas Riksförbund (SSR) have awarded Neil Rogers (through his Swedish based company Lexlaw AB) the consulting contract to produce the specifications for a nature based Sápmi Lodge Pilot Project and to be part of the pilot project ‘expert group’.

The project will run between December 2012 and April 2013 and will involve a series of field trips to engage with regional stakeholders and to evaluate potential sites for the nature based lodge. Other elements will be the development of a “lodge-kåta” prototype focusing on design, materials, sustainable solutions, logistics, infrastructure and operations.

For more information on this project contact Neil Rogers at neil.rogers@telia.com or project leader Dan Jonasson on danj@sapmi.se

Rainforest Alliance & Sustainable Trip

Neil Rogers was featured in an interview by Rainforest Alliance for their Sustainable Trip web site. The article focused on the sustainable tourism policies and initiatives at Coppola Resorts Blancaneaux Lodge. Blancaneaux Lodge was awarded Sustainable Trip’s ‘Making a Difference’ Award for the month of September, 2012.

Click on this link to read the article in full :

http://www.sustainabletrip.org/blog/index.cfm/2012/10/9/Making-a-Difference-Francis-Ford-Coppolas-Blancaneaux-Lodge

Børge Ousland and Manshausen Island

I’m proud to have been contracted to help world famous Polar Explorer Børge Ousland to realize his dream of building a world class tourism retreat on Manshausen Island off Bodø in the Norwegian Arctic.

Work will include the evaluation of lodge design and site planning; branding and positing, the identification of market segments, product development, sales, marketing and last but not least mentoring during the initial start up phase.

Click here for more information on Børge and his amazing expeditions.

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Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2013

A ‘ call for entries’ will soon officially start for the 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards with the award ceremony being held in Abu Dhabi, UAE 8-10 April 2013.

The Awards provide a wonderful showcase for companies to tell the world about the difference they are making by adopting sustainable tourism practices.

There are four categories – Destination Stewardship, Global Tourism Business, Conservation & Community Benefit.

To learn more about the Tourism for Tomorrow Award and how to apply go to the official WTTC web site by clicking here.

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Belize’s Chiquibul Forest in Peril

Neil and Alexandra Cousteau visiting the Chiquibul Forest for Expedition Blue Planet Belize

Neil Rogers is in talks with Chris Minty, MBE FCIM FRGS, Head of Project Management for the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. As we’re both passionate about protecting Belize’s Chiquibul Forest and the Maya Mountain  Massif we’re brain storming to develop innovative solutions to help support the efforts of Friends for Conservation  and Development (FCD are the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park and administrators of Las Cuevas Research Station) to protect and conserve the Chiquibul Forest. Currently there are too few National Park Rangers and resources available to FCD so more funding must be found urgently. In the longer term REDD can be part of a sustainable future for the Chiquibul Forest but in the short term enormous damage is being inflicted on the forest’s biodiversity through illegal activities instigated by nationals from Guatemala. The Chiquibul contains Belize’s only viable nesting site for the endangered sub species of Scarlet Macaw ara macao cyanoptera. With just 100 known breeding pairs left in the Chiquibul and with only one other viable breeding site known in southern Mexico and northern Central America (The Maya Biosphere Reserve in Peten, Guatemala) it’s critical that urgent action is taken to protect the critical habitat for the macaws.

Read more ›

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Wild Norway Field Trip and Seminar – Trøndelag

Chris Doyle, Pete Varley, Ole Martin Dahle (the Eagleman), Tore Kristian Aune, Neil Rogers and Petter Thorsen at Flatanger Harbour.

Just got back from an amazing 5 day field trip to Trøndelag for the Wild Norway project. Three days in the wild were followed by a 2 day seminar on how to develop nature based tourism in Trøndelag. The seminar was sponsored by Trøndelag ReiselivOpplev MidNorsk Natur and Innovation Norway. Presentations were delivered by myself, Chris Doyle, ATTA Europe and Dr Peter Varley of the Centre for Recreation & Tourism Research at the University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland).

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Destination Røros wins 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Award

Destination Røros has won the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow’s Destination Stewardship category award at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Tokyo, Japan.

As one of the 12 judges for the awards and as the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards site inspector of Røros I’d like to offer my congratulations for all the hard work, team work and strategic planning that has gone into making Destination Røros a global model for Destination Stewardship.

Please click on Destination Røros for more information on the destination.

Neil Rogers quoted in Andrew Harper Traveler Magazine

Andrew Harper Traveler Magazine April/May/June 2012 ‘Go Wild‘ issue focuses on Global Wildlife and Sea Life Adventures.

Neil Rogers is featured as a Central American expert on wildlife tourism to Belize and is quoted on wildlife encounters that can be enjoyed at Coppola Resorts properties Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn.

Wild Norway expands to cover north and south trøndelag

After a successful meeting in Trondheim with major regional stakeholders Petter Thorsen, the project leader for Wild Norway announced today that the Wild Norway project has secured support and funding to expand into south Trøndelag in 2012/13 after a successful pilot project launch in north Trøndelag.

The expansion and future planning for the project will be discussed at a regional stakeholders meeting to be held in Trondheim, Norway on the 19th June, 2012. Neil Rogers who has worked with Petter as a project advisor for the initial phase of Wild Norway’s development will be one of 2 key note speakers at the seminar along with Chris Doyle, the Executive Director-Europe for the ATTA.

a photographic tour of the Adventure Travel World Summit

Neil Rogers has been featured in “a photographic tour of the Adventure Travel World Summit 2011″ published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

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Neil Rogers to be interviewed by Charles Kao, CEO and Publisher of Travel Mole

I’ll be doing a short interview with Charles Kao the CEO and Publisher of Travel Mole at the up-coming WTTC Summit in Tokyo. Travel Mole has an audience of 400,000+ travel industry professionals and generates 1.2 million page views per month.

TTG – Luxury Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Just been interviewed by TTG about Coppola Resorts, the MENA region, sustainability and my views on future trends for the luxury travel segment. I’m not sure when the article will be  published but will post a link once it’s available.

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The Tree Hotel

A visual tour of the stunning Tree Hotel. I need to go back and see the new additions that have been planned since Dan and I visited earlier this year.

Alternatives?

If you’re interested in Tree Houses I suggest you check out Urnatur and visit their “Sky Castle”. Urnatur is located in an amazing landscape and offers one of Sweden’s premier ecotourism experiences. They just won Sweden’s 2012 Grand Travel Award for Ecotourism. Hosts that really know their woodcraft, offering fantastic food in a wildlife rich living landscape. Håkan and Ulrika have designed and built Urnatur from the ground up, it’s a true labour of love. www.urnatur.se/english

Note: The opinions above are those of Neil Rogers and not VisitSapmi.

Nikkaluokta and Kebnekaise field work for VisitSapmi

Just back from 4 days in the field providing product development support and entrepreneur mentoring for VisitSapmi. Dan Jonasson and I visited Nikkaluokta Sarri, STF Kebnekaise  and discussed destination planning with Kiruna Lapland. The Nikkaluokta and Kebnekaise region is without doubt one of Sweden’s most spectacular and exciting destinations for nature, culture and adventure tourism niches.

The photo of me above was taken with the Kebnekaise massif in the background. Dan and  I took a fun snowmobile ride from Nikkaluokta to the STF mountain station at Kebnekaise (about 1 hour in good weather) and hired snow shoes to hike to the top of a nearby ridge for clear views of Sweden’s highest peak. I wished we’d had more time as I could easily have spent a week snow shoeing and cross country skiing among Sweden’s wildest peaks.

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Caving in Belize

Yippee! My photo of cave tubing in Belize got used by Conde Nast Traveller.

Click on the link below to see the real on-line version.

http://www.cntraveller.com/news/2012/february/adventure-trips-and-caving-in-belize

Destinations

Going underground

  • By Hazel Lubbock
  • 14 Feb 2012

BELIZE

Want to get under the skin of Belize? Blancaneaux Lodge has launched a series of caving adventures to take travellers deeper into this Central American land.

The lodge – one of Francis Ford Coppola’s hotels – sits in the Maya Mountains, surrounded by rainforest and tumbling waterfalls. Five explorations to nearby caves range in difficulty, and can be undertaken by everyone from beginners to more experienced adventurers.

Read more ›

Second year as an on-site evaluator for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

For the second year in a row I’ve been asked by the World Travel & Tourism Council to be an on-site evaluator for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

Here’s what the World Travel & Tourism Council say about the on-site evaluation process.

Lotus Magazine interview

Neil Rogers of Coppola Resorts interviewed by Fred Schruers for Lotus Magazine. It wasn’t until after I’d spent a fun 90-minutes chatting to Fred about Coppola Resorts that I googled him and found out what a cool background he has as a writer and journalist. Our mutual connections with Katie Valk, his through Steely Dan and mine through Belize had got me curious. A veteran of Rolling Stone magazine and an interviewer of rock stars and celebrities, Fred sure has A-list credentials! Lotus Magazine looks like a really cool read, check it out at http://magazine.lotuscars.com 

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Swedish Ecotourism Society article

Lake Siljan © Neil Rogers

The Swedish Ecotourism Society / Ekoturism Föreningen have posted an edited version of Neil Rogers interview with Naturkompaniets 365 magazine. The article is a summary (in Swedish) of Neil’s views on how Swedish ecotourism is in danger of falling behind its rivals.

To read the article click on the following link – Ekoturism Föreningen article

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Adventure Travel World Summit

image Marius Jovaisa ©

With 600 adventure travel professional, gear manufacturers and journalists descending on Chiapas I’m honored to have been asked to speak at the Summit.

My talk will focus on how to build community oriented conservation networks and I’ll be using Belize’s Chiquibul Forest and the Maya Mountain Massif as a case study.

The 1.2 million acre Maya Mountain Massif is part of the Maya Forest or Selva Maya and it is the largest tract of rainforest north of the Amazon.

Illegal logging, xate harvesting and the poaching of Scarlet Macaw chicks is all taking its toll. Political tensions, poverty and unsustainable farming practices in neighbouring Guatemala are fueling the problem.

How can local stakeholders work together to help make a difference and protect one of the America’s most important biodiversity hot spots?

Neil Rogers is collaborating with Friends for Conservation and Development, co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park to find solutions and help find funding to protect the nesting site of Belize’s last remaining Scarlet Macaws.

Keep tuned for more up-dates on Nurture Belize, a mechanism that Rogers is founding to provide broad based support to help fund biodiversity protection in Belize.

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