For my internship I have the privilege to work with one of the world’s top sustainable tourism consulting firms, Solimar International. Their work enhances destinations and inspires travelers to visit them, through strategic planning, tourism development, tourism partnerships, tourism marketing, and training and education.
Chris Seek is the founder, president and CEO of Solimar. I had the good fortune to shadow Chris for a day. For this post I want to share about that day – a typical day in the life of Solimar’s CEO.
- We started the morning at a coffee shop meeting with a representative of The World Bank, where they discussed projects in Sri Lanka and Albania, as well as extending their existing work in Nepal in support of the recent earthquake relief efforts.
- We walked several blocks where Chris gave a presentation about the value of sustainable tourism to a group of tourism ministry representatives from 19 countries, invited by of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (photo above).
- After a quick bite of lunch, we were off to meet with Chemonics, an employee-owned international development company, to discuss a potential future project in Madagascar. In 2005 Solimar created the country’s travel website to follow the publicity created by the Disney movie, “Madagascar.”
After Chris showed me The World Bank Group InfoShop Bookstore (imagine a Barnes and Noble full of World Bank publications and resources), the last stop was a meeting inside the tightly-secured World Bank. In this three hour meeting, with The World Bank project manager and a Bhutanese consultant who happened to be in town, Chris reviewed the detailed plan for the project to implement Bhutan’s draft Heritage Sites Bill.
Realizing that he had to be at a Columbia Heights community meeting across town, we walked outside of The World Bank, where Chris found a Car2Go. After tapping his membership card to the windshield, we zipped in this car back to the office, where the 11th Street Business Alliance was planning the annual festival that Solimar helped launch to bring the neighborhood together.
It was a busy day for a busy man, and all of this was before he went home to his favorite job, that of husband and father.