For this interview with Guillaume Cromer we take you to France, world’s most visited country and a region with tremendous potential for sustainable and responsible tourism. As a multi-cultural nation with a long colonial history, France faces many challenges. As a destination, its future is in the hands of entrepreneurial leaders who appreciate change as an opportunity to do better rather than a threat to let go: Guillaume Cromer, Managing Director of ID Tourism consultancy, is one of those.
- What brought Guillaume Cromer to sustainable tourism;
- How his view of the field has changed over time;
- The secret(s) to sustainability success in tourism;
- The key challenges which need to be addressed;
- The key to the future success of sustainable tourism;
- Three books recommended by Guillaume.
Guillaume, when and where did your sustainable tourism journey begin – when did you discover your passion for sustainability?
Ten years ago I went to Nepal for a 6-months internship, working for a local travel agency, trying to help them with marketing and product development. Back then I didn’t understand why so many tourists were visiting Nepal, paying a lot of money (especially mountaineers) and, on the other hand, you could find street children taking drugs, sniffing glue. So I decided to find a solution for linking tourism development with international aid.
Nepal was a big step in my life, both personally & professionally.
What was your view of sustainable and responsible tourism when you first started your professional career?
When I started (at the end of my studies around 2006/2007), I realized that responsible tourism in France was focused on small tour operators offering trekking tours & community-based tourism in Southern countries. In my view, sustainability in tourism has to be wider, encompass all the different stakeholders in tourism, like the government, the big players (Accor, Club Med, Thomas Cook, TUI, etc.) and not only these small NGOs or tour operators.