Cultural Tourism Case Study Portugal National Soccer

Case Studies

Namibia North American Marketing Campaign and Online Campaign Case Study

This case study explores our extensive work promoting the country of Namibia alongside the Namibian Tourism Board through two different Millennium Challenge Account funded contracts—the North American Destination Marketing campaign and the Namibia Online Campaign. Read more about our innovative marketing and promotion strategies to put this adventure destination on the map.


US Gulf Coast States Geotourism Program Case Study

The US Gulf Coast States (USGCS) comprising of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida has actively sought to enhance its online tourism presence and to interconnect its travel experiences across states. This case study presents the promising results at the conclusion of Solimar's year-long involvement with the USGCS Geotourism Program.


Colombia BIOREDD Case Study

This case study explores our work in Colombia with the USAID-BIOREDD + Program where Solimar addressed weaknesses in Nuqui/Utria National Park by leading a series of capacity building and implementation support activities—including marketing and on-site support for community tourism operators.


The Community Tourism Enterprise Development Case Study - Uganda

Learn more about how Solimar improved the sustainability of community tourism   enterprises while reinforcing their linkages to conservation.



Local Government Engagement Case Study - Uganda

Primarily focused on conserving biodiversity, this case study demonstrates the ways in which local governments can partner with national government agencies, community groups, NGOs and the private sector both inside and outside protected areas to address threats and realize economic benefits through tourism.


Partnership Case Study - Uganda

This case study explores a variety of activities that fostered relationships amongst the private sector, community tourism enterprises, government and conservation agencies with the goal of increasing the promotion of, technical assistance to, and funding for sustainable tourism and conservation in Uganda's Albertine Rift.


The USAID Regional Program and Go Blue Central America Case Study

This case study examines the process and results from Solimar’s efforts to promote sustainable tourism destinations in coastal Central America and to help micro, small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (MSMEs) at these desitnations reach new markets. Learn more about how our partnership with National Geographic helped to bring destination stakeholders together and create the Go Blue Central America Geotourism website.

The World Tourism Organisation tells us that cultural tourism accounts for 37% of global tourism, and furthermore affirms that it will continue to grow 15% each year. With all of this market interest, destinations should leverage what makes their societies unique and invest in developing cultural tourism programs.

What is Cultural Tourism?

Cultural tourism allows travelers to be immersed in local rituals and routines, taking away not only pretty photos but also shared memories of unique experiences. For destinations, it encourages local communities to embrace their culture and boosts economic growth. Developing culturally geared tourism programs encourages destinations to celebrate and promote what distinguishes their communities, and in doing so, provides the opportunity for authentic cultural exchange between locals and visitors.

Solimar has a long history of involvement in development projects that promote cultural tourism. Here’s a glimpse at four of them:

Morocco: Down the Road of Traditional Crafts

Before 2010, Morocco has a vibrant craft industry, yet artisans had insufficient opportunity for direct sales. Solimar collaborated with Aid to Artisans and the Moroccan Ministry of Crafts to facilitate direct linkages between artisans and tourists in Marrakech and Fez. This was achieved through establishing new or updating existing artisan and cultural heritage routes, and furnishing them with engaging creating marketing collateral. The team involved as many as 6,603 sale points and was successful in increasing artisan revenue. As a result of this project, crafts and tourism in the area are now more linked than ever before.

Ethiopia: Empowering Community Enterprises for Long-term Success

Ethiopia’s Bale Mountain area is lush and beautiful, and is the home of successful community-led tourism initiatives. In 2009 Solimar addressed the conservation and regulation problems in Ethiopia by affecting a sustainable tourism development project in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The team created 7 community tourism enterprises as well as branding and marketing tools aimed at awareness-building among foreigners and locals alike. The local communities now leverage their cultural heritage, which includes expressive dances and crafts, in its tourism development. This offers them alternative livelihoods that in turn benefit environmental conservation.

Namibia: From North America to Local Villages

Namibia is a country of rich tourism potential that prior to 2010 had not been successful in fully captivating the North American travel market. Solimar launched a comprehensive trade-focused marketing campaign with the goal of increasing North American arrivals in Namibia over the course of 4 years. By fostering partnerships between Namibian and North American trade, and leading destinations awareness campaigns, this mission was successful.

 Community-based tourism was a large component in promoting the country to the North American market. The campaign succeeded in increasing the number of tourists and routes visiting Namibia by 75% by 2013, exceeding expectations. This helped improve local employment opportunities and enhance cultural awareness among international visitors.

Colombia: More than Whales at Nuquí/Utría National Park

Nuquí/Utría National Park is famous for its prolific whale watching opportunities. However, it suffers from a lack of organizational and business capacity, as well as weak marketing outreach. In 2012, Solimar and its project partners tackled the challenge by creating a destination marketing alliance with four local community tourism enterprises, providing them capacity building trainings. The team developed and promoted new tour packages that incorporated cultural elements, such as visits to a typical Pacific Chocó village. The team liaised with the Colombian Ministries of Tourism and the Environment to feature the park as a model for sustainable tourism development in a protected area. Through this work, the team was successful in increasing the gross sales of each of these community tourism enterprises and the number of tourism products in this remote area.

Cultural tourism is economically advantageous for both destinations and the communities that reside in them. Solimar is dedicated to the development of cultural tourism that benefits destinations, communities and visitors. We hope to continue to be an active and positive support in promoting sustainable travel, protecting cultural heritage and improving the living standards of local communities around the world. 

To learn more about cultural tourism, check out our Sustainable Tourism Enterprise Development Toolkit!

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