Founder: Anna Pollock
After graduating with a First Class Honours Degree from London University, Anna Pollock’s extensive and intensive experience working in the tourism sector sharpened and depended her natural skills as a strategist, entrepreneur and change agent.
For most of her career, Ms. Pollock ran a successful international consultancy specialising in providing strategic planning, research and advisory services to the tourism industry in general and to tourism destinations in particular
Her professional career started in western Canada where she undertook seminal work in human resource development, sustainable tourism, health tourism and adventure travel prior to specialising in IT and demonstrated her capacity to sense patterns and trends in an emerging future. Her clients include most of the provincial departments of tourism, the Canadian Tourism Commission, the Pacific Asia Tourist Association (PATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and several major private sector clients.
Not content with just seeing and understanding, Mrs. Pollock spearheaded developments in a number of fields including the creation of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) that is now a major advocacy body; and the Pacific Rim Institute of Tourism that focuses on professional development programmes for persons employed in the tourism sector. In 1999, she was awarded the Visionary Award by the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia for her contribution to tourism in Canada.
After returning to Europe, Anna quickly established a reputation as one of the leading thinkers and strategists in the application of information technologies to destination marketing and management. She completed innovative IT strategies and finding applications for several regional tourist boards and the Scottish Tourist Board before starting up a software company, The Pembridge Group, which supplied a number of destinations with innovative and integrated software. Her concept of an intelligent Destination Management System and her numerous papers on the subject have helped inform the thinking and practices of a number of destinations around the globe.
Anna became a popular presenter at IT conferences in Europe and developed a reputation for identifying and interpreting market trends and potentials ahead of her time, For example, her focus on “interoperability” and “web services” which became apps and widgets enabled her to appreciate how the network technologies would enable any party to become an intermediary. She suggested back in 2004 that major hotel chains might find themselves competing with their own customers should ta B2B provider connect homeowners with guests! Clients during this period included the European Travel Commission, European Cities, Innovation Norway, Tourism Vancouver.
Sustainability and Beyond
In 2007 Anna turned her attention towards climate change and, in anticipation of the need by the tourism industry to reduce its carbon footprint, created The Icarus Foundation a not-for-profit agency formed to assist the Canadian tourism industry both mitigate and adapt to its impact.
Saddened by the hesitancy with which mainstream tourism approached the need to reduce its environmental footprint and heartened by research that shows customers might be changing faster than suppliers, Anna developed the barebones of a concept she called Conscious Travel.
Writer, Speaker, Change Agent
Anna is a prolific writer as she uses writing as a means to making sense of new ideas, seeing connectiions and “joining the dots” She is first and foremost a sense maker and educator with a very positive vision regarding the future of tourism. Her blog posts, papers and slide decks are all publicly available on the web, published under a Creative Commons licence – see Inspiration & Resources