The Journey

We’ve chosen the The Journey as our appropriate metaphor for transformation because of its obvious relevance to the travel industry.

It is rooted in one of the most frequently expressed patterns in nature – the cycle of birth, life and death as pictured in the S-curve to the right. This curve can be applied to people, ideas, empires, trees, landscapes, tourism destinations, institutions, the diffusion of mobile phones, political parties, ideologies  – in other words, virtually any living system, anywhere etc.

In tourism, Dr. Butler applied this model to the life cycle of a destination. Only recently have we begin to recognise that the S-curve also applies the core operating model on which tourism has been based.

We’re at that point in history when two journey paths overlap. We’re shifting the fundamental paradigm – our consciousness, the basic assumptions, beliefs and values about how the world works. One way of being is becoming obsolete, another is rising to replace it.

This has happened many times before, but it’s different this time. Different because many are conscious participants in what is an evolutionary, quantum leap. Our choices will determine the trajectory of LIFE on earth. The planet will survive our choices, regardless of what they may be, but many other life forms, including ourselves, may not.


Now please use your imagination and apply apply our journey metaphor to the climber in the picture above (top left).

The steep climb our traveller has taken is up a mountain called mainstream travel. He is recognised as a high achiever and in good company at the peak, where he finds many others questioning whether that model of unrestrained growth and exploitation can continue. He gazes across at the distant peak and wonders whether there lies the more beautiful world his heart tells him is possible.

While pondering that question, he hears a voice from someone offering guiding services,

“It’s a demanding but beautiful journey that involves four distinct stages: 

  1. Meeting up by forming a close community of adventurers that learn, work and travel together;
  2. Waking up – being prepared to delve beneath the surface to root causes and look at challenges in a different way
  3. Growing up by taking responsibility for the whole and committing to becoming better as opposed to mete rely growing better
  4. Stepping up to development and implement a shared vision for a tourism that works for all.

Because the conditions will be so variable, and full of unexpected dangers, you’ll need to rely on a Compass and figure much out for yourself”.




  • The change process is a journey
  • It starts with a birth – a person, or an idea
  • That person or the idea develop an identity
  • That is expressed through life, constantly changing in response to its context
  • As the person or/idea matures, its capacity for self-generation wanes
  • The person passes, the idea is let go

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