Mr. Geoff Hyde M.Sc. (Tourism Planning/Development Economics), B.A. (Leisure Planning) is the Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Sustainable Tourism International Ltd. (STIL), a registered tourism consultancy company dedicated to the principles of sustainable tourism as a tool for socio-economic development. He has 30 years of work experience as a Tourism Development Planner, Project Manager, Team Leader, Technical Adviser, Industry Trainer and Business Consultant.
He has completed 150 project assignments in 17 countries, particularly developing island countries, including assignments for the World Bank, ADB, UNWTO, AUSAID, NZAID and the European Union. He is a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and a Professional Member of the International Development Executive Group.
He has extensive experience working with and facilitating partnerships between local indigenous communities, Government agencies, NGO’s and commercial tourism operators, investors and developers throughout the South Pacific, Australia, the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. He has advised governments, international development agencies, private companies, SME businesses and local communities in the planning, development, investment, marketing and training for tourism enterprises, organisations and destinations.
He is currently assisting the Vanuatu Department of Tourism with their Tourism Recovery Plan to tackle the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic which has closed borders and shut down the tourism sector. His previous experience in crisis management comes from being involved as a tourism adviser in the Pilots strike in Australia in 1989, Cyclone Val in Samoa in 1991, the civil riots in the Solomons in mid 2006 and the Fiji Coup in late 2006. More recently in 2019/20, he has been the lead sustainable tourism planning consultant completing the Vanuatu Cruise Tourism Development Strategy and the Feasibility Study of Air Charters from the Asian Markets in the Federated States of Micronesia.
From 2016 to early 2019 he was the Project Team Leader implementing the NZAid funded Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan under the Ministry of Tourism. With 6 local counterpart staff and a range of contracted technical assistants they implemented 35 projects and programs in capacity development, tourism investment, destination marketing, infrastructure development, product development and human resource development.
In 2014/15 he was the Team Leader for the ADB funded Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) National Tourism Policy and Four State Tourism Investment Plans Project. From 2006 to 2015 he was based in Fiji operating his company and undertaking numerous tourism consulting assignments. In 2008/09 he was the Team Leader for the World Bank funded Empowering the Poor in Siem Reap tourism project in Cambodia. In between assignments he lectured on a sessional basis in the MBA program at the University of Fiji in 2011/12 and from 2013 to 2015 he was contracted as the Course Facilitator and training specialist for the Pacific TAFE Centre at the University of the South Pacific to deliver training workshops and short courses in Project Management, Business Marketing and Strategic Planning for senior managers from the public and private sectors, including Fiji Airways and the Fiji Sugar Corporation.
In late 1991 he commenced a number of overseas postings as a specialist tourism sector adviser, funded through the Commonwealth Secretariat. He was the first Tourism Development Adviser in Samoa from 1991 to 1995; Tourism Marketing and Planning Adviser in St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1996 to 1998; Tourism Investment Adviser in Tonga 2001 to 2005; and Tourism Sector Strategy Planner in the Solomon Islands in 2006. He has assisted and advised on the National Tourism Development Plans for Fiji (2004 and 2007), the Solomon Islands (2006), Tonga (2003), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1998) and Samoa (1994).
In between overseas postings from 1999 to 2001, he worked back in Australia as a specialist sessional lecturer in tourism studies at four universities – Victoria, Monash, Ballarat and RMIT – at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2001 he co-authored his second textbook The Road to Tourism: Skills for the New Professional, with an updated second edition in 2007. It is still widely used in tourism courses in Australia and the Pacific. In 2000 he completed the AusAid funded review and assessment of the National Tourism Policy and Development Plan in Mozambique.
In late1988, after a six-month posting at the UN World Tourism Organisation in Madrid, he was recruited by Touche Ross Consultants in Melbourne to support their Tourism and Leisure Division undertaking a number of special tourism projects for their clients. He was soon head hunted and appointed as General Manager of Destination Australia Marketing and Consultancy, one of the companies under a new vertically integrated consortium called The Travel Professionals which had also acquired eight Wandana retail travel agencies, and established Destination Australia as an inbound tour wholesaler and Destination International as an outbound tour wholesaler. Geoff undertook a number of consulting assignments as well as sitting on and advising the consortium Board of Directors. He also established a joint venture with the Central Land Council to form Mingatjuta Consulting, a specialist adviser to aboriginal owned and operated tourism businesses in remote Australian regions, including Arnhem Land.
His early career in Australia included eight years in Local Government as a Recreation and Leisure Planner. While at Prahran City Council he also organised and co-ordinated the Chapel Street Festival for 5 years which became a major tourism attraction in Melbourne. During 1984/85 he completed his Masters in Tourism degree at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon returning to Australia he was recruited by Victoria University as a specialist tourism lecturer. He assisted with the curriculum development for Australia’s first tourism business degree courses and in 1988, with assistance from a Commonwealth Bi-Centenary research grant, he co-authored the textbook Tourism Marketing in Australia, the first such textbook focusing on the marketing strategies of Australian based tourism companies and organisations as case studies.