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The
Tourism 
CoLab

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REDESIGNING TOURISM

AS IF PEOPLE, PLACES AND NATURE MATTERED

The Tourism CoLab is a social enterprise collective. Our 'why' is simple:

We cannot travel, be hosted, or experience special places if those places, their communities and nature are not flourishing, vibrant or able to regenerate.

At the The Tourism CoLab, we are experts who work in regenerative development, education, community development, environmental planning, place-making and visitor economies. We are thought leaders and practitioners working from global to local scales to dissolve boundaries and build the capacity of individuals, business, organisations, governments, places and communities to navigate the change ahead.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

BECAUSE WE ARE IN A CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY EMERGENCY

There is compelling evidence that our current trajectory is unsustainable. If we do not take bold and courageous action, there will be increased social, economic and ecological disruption ahead. Local communities understand the urgency of building resilience and are seeking input into the decisions that affect them. Our experience is that communities and small and medium sized businesses want to become creative environmental stewards of their place and contribute to a different way of hosting and experiencing place. They need to be brought into the conversation and empowered.

EMBRACE NEW THINKING 

AND DO NOT FEAR THE CHANGE

The unfolding polycrisis is a manifestation of our current economic and social systems and our distant relationship to nature. It tells us that the future cannot be a projection of the past. We need to think differently, build resilience, reconsider our relationship to nature, and experiment with new approaches, tools and practices. Working at the level of place, we can encourage places and communities to be the co-creators of a different future. We have always travelled, but we urgently need to consider how we might travel, host and experience places through the lens of regeneration. We need not fear this change because change is inevitable - it's our attitude to the change that matters.

TRANSITION IS NECESSARY

AND TRANSFORMING OUR WORLDVIEW IS THE PLACE TO START

Travel, hosting and experiencing special places can be a force for good, connecting us to nature and contributing to greater connection and well-being. At The Tourism CoLab, our mission is to redesign travel, hosting and the experience of place. It's a future where tourism will be required to reinvent its reason 'why' and take responsibility for restoring and regenerating people, place, and nature.  New business model, place-based businesses ecosystems, governance arrangements and community networks are part of this transition towards a more resilient future. It's a creative and energising change making journey of hope, inspiration, and connection.

HOW TO DRIVE THE TRANSITION

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Cultural transformation is a core feature of the regenerative paradigm shift. We know the next tourism cannot be a projection of past practices. We need the courage to admit we don't know and that we need to unlearn before we can see the challenges differently. The CoLab contributes global thought leadership founded on deep, sustained engagement with local businesses, places, organisations and communities. We develop and support regenerative leadership through collaborative learning, coaching and mentoring. Our focus is on opening the way for real and sustained systems change that moves us beyond the limitations of sustainability tools and 'how to' workshops.​

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Regenerative approaches are easily scaleable to different places, communities, and organisations. We have the framework, the tools and the knowledge to replicate regenerative approaches. The main barrier is the willingness and courage to undertake the cultural transformation necessary for regeneration. The CoLab is already scaling our regenerative approach through our framework and our communities of practice. A central feature is our Communiversity - a pocket-sized community university where you can participate in courses, social gatherings, ask questions, access resources, take a deep dive and connect with others of this learning journey. 

OUR VALUES

We bring our whole selves to our work with communities and place. We bring the entire sum of our experience in co-design, community engagement, place-making, environmental planning, research, education, policy, regional development and community wealth building. We are boundary spanners, interdisciplinary and creative thinkers. This combination of skills and experience where we have worked from global to local levels is not only quite rare, but allows us to innovate and think differently.

We also bring a commitment to connect because we know that change happens through relationships, connections, sharing, and growing together. Generous collaboration is our way of being in the world.

We are not consultants, dropping in and leaving with the knowledge and expertise. That old model of consulting is dead. We invest in your community, build skills and confidence. We reframe challenges, think differently and unlock potential. We build trust and confidence in lived experience and local knowledge because it is equally, if not more important, than expertise 'from away'.

 

Our commitment is to make sure your communities, organisation, and place are better off as a result of us walking together on this journey.​ This new networked co-created way of working opens space for new and alternative ways of working as if people, places, communities and nature mattered.

 

To learn, share and thrive together is at the core of our regenerative practice.

OUR PILLARS OF PRACTICE

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