Anna Pollock

Who I am

Based on an extensive career as a researcher, strategist and change catalyst serving the international tourism and hospitality sector, I’m passionate about its capacity  to generate well-being, wealth and welfare for people and places provided that it is managed properly i.e. with respect for the interdependence and connectedness of all life and in harmony with the laws of nature.

I have been privileged to live during the same period that tourism has grown and developed to a force transporting over 1.2 billion people across international borders each year and to be able to apply my strengths to a sector that now operates in every corner of the planet. I also believe that the industrial system on which it is based has run its course and needs replacing. I now work to serve those who wish to expedite that transformation.

I see myself as a sense maker, communicator, and catalyst with a knack and drive to delve beneath surface details in order to discern and describe the shape and power of underlying forces. Since I am driven by curiosity and delight in finding patterns and asking questions,  I am comfortable assuming the mantle of “constructive non-conformist.”

Blessed or cursed with the epithet “always ahead of her times” and recognised by the industry as a visionary, I have successfully anticipated and helped shape some key dynamics:

  • the emergence of wellness and sustainability in the 1970s;
  • the transformative impact of technology on the marketing of tourism;
  • the need to shift from a focus on products to the development of experiences;
  • the importance of Climate Change and its impact;
  • the deep shift in human values that is underpinning the emergence of a more mindful, discerning traveller.

What I Do Best

I am happiest and most fulfilled when I can help others make sense of an increasingly bewildering world and feel confident to take action. I do this by writing and “thinking out loud,” listening, detecting patterns from a variety of sources, researching, teaching, presenting and facilitating conversations that matter.

I can be very practical and not averse to risk having started and run two software companies, an executive leadership program and consultancies in both Canada and the UK.

My Why and How

I believe travel and hospitality will sustain a far greater level of prosperity for itself and the communities it serves when it shifts its primary purpose from maximizing profits for those with capital to invest, to delivering long-term tangible benefits for all stakeholders.

People and places flourish where and when there is a passionate commitment to a shared, higher purpose.

Flourishing places and people operate at their peak expressing joy, vitality, adaptability, resilience and creativity.

The shift from an older industrial model that has, until recently,  served tourism well to a new, more ecologically sound model, involves a huge transformation that will take more than one generation to play out.  Conscious Travel was formed to assist with three key steps:


  • Changing our mindsets – the way we see, be and do tourism, community by community, host by host;
  • Exploring and expressing what it means to be fully human, fully alive and living in harmony with nature;
  • Coming together in communities to break down the barriers that isolate tourism from other sectors.

Selected Achievements

  • Created Canada’s first word processing service bureau; and first education and training strategy for the tourism industry;
  • Co-founded and co-developed the UK’s first internet-based digital destination management system rated as “best of breed,” and advised European Union on 5th Framework for the application of information technology;
  • Prepared first discussion paper on impact of Climate Change on tourism for the Canadian industry;
  • Founder of the Icarus Foundation for thepurpose of educating the Canadian industry about climate change;
  • Developed early IT strategies for  the Federation of European Cities, Jersey Tourism, European Travel Commission, Scottish Tourist Board, Edinburgh, Vancouver, Innovation Norway
  • Acclaimed keynote speaker for the UNWTO,  PATA, ATTA, HEDNA, WINTA, and numerous regional and sector associations.

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