Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anna Pollock

Anna's voice has been so inspiring.  It has been almost like I'm speaking face to face with her.  I hope each of you take the time to visit her links, and read what she has to share.  She believes rural women will be at the epicenter of change.  Follower her vision and pay close attention to what she is encouraging.   You will learn from her.  I am so excited for you to meet Anna Pollock, a rocking rural woman with a vision for changing tourism.

Anna Pollock – a Woman rocking the travel sector!

Even though I write this from downtown Vancouver, I am, in fact, a rural woman who adores the countryside of her home country England and the wild beauty of Canada where I have also spent a significant portion of my adult life.

I am fortunate to have been able to travel much of the world – starting out by travelling on a $1 a day across from New Zealand to the UK back in 1973 – long before mobile phones and The Lonely Plant Guide! I was blessed to visit many magical places long before they were “developed” and all started to look the same. For more on this, you’re welcome to read: desticorp

I work in the sector known as Travel and Hospitality and there I am called a strategist – someone who helps her clients figure out where they are, where they wish to go and how to get there. Another word for that might be “navigator.” I’ve spent most of my adult life working for tourist destinations and their constituent businesses and, frankly, I am worried.

You can’t be a strategist, a woman or even a human being that’s half awake and not be worried for our children and their children. We live at a huge tipping point in history with a multiplicity of issues converging to threaten our relatively comfortable lifestyles. To survive, let alone thrive, we have to change the way we do things collectively and individually. But I am not a pessimist. I know the solutions to virtually every challenge exist – we simply have to find the will and determination to leave our comfort zones and try something different. What’s really exciting is the fact that it’s not a negative story – it’s not about loss and what we must give up but it’s a story about what a better, healthier way of life we that we can create together.  That’s why I am starting this movement called Conscious Travel – so that we can envision and build a travel sector that doesn’t cost the earth. Whether you have travelled or will travel, I’d be most grateful if you would pop into my site, Conscious Travel, leave a comment or two and spread the word. 

Another reason I love the community called RuralWomenRock is that I believe most women know intuitively that there’s something profoundly wrong and rural women have lower tolerance for denial and self deception.  Some 99% of businesses involved in travel and hospitality are small and the majority are located in rural, sometimes remote locations.  I happen to believe the richest source of innovation and ingenuity will come from the grassroots – from small, rural communities where women play a significant role and I wrote an article titled Get Inspired: Grassroots Tourism is THE Future  last year after attending a Rural Tourism Conference.

The highlight of 2011 for me was the chance to spend 3 months in the beautiful country of Samoa – the heart of Polynesian culture in the South Pacific. A place where rural women play a pivotal role in maintaining their amazing culture while making significant contributions to their economy and operating micro businesses. I am hoping to introduce my friends there to RuralWomenRock too as the cross fertilisation of ideas could be really exciting.  I work with a small team in Samoa to produce this blog www.samoaselect.wordpress.com

It would really help if you’d provide some comments to the post that I think you’d like the most which is Tourism: What’s the Point?
Do you agree that this might be the “higher purpose” of tourism?


  1. Anna, I am honored you have taken interest with this wonderful group of ladies. I do hope they all take the time to visit all your links. You are so inspiring. I believe you are right on about rural women and our ability to drive change, and recognize need. I hope we all join forces for your movement. It is visionary.

  2. What a wonderful post! Change is definitely needed and the way we look at our situations need not be negative, but should prompt us to look at things from a different angle.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story and I can't wait to visit your links.