"We must not rely on the government and foreign aid for solutions. With a critical mass adoption of meaningful collaboration throughout the tourism supply chain of meaningful philanthropic partnerships in the communities we operate, we have the power to change lives and uplift communities.
The African tourism industry has an ethical obligation and an economic opportunity to support climate justice. We mustn’t continue to ignore the worlds greatest levels of economic and environmental inequality occurring in the very places we operate in.
The polluter pays principal must apply and WE must normalize this as an industry. Supporting social and environmental sustainable projects and initiatives can NOT be anomalies!!
It’s time for us as the African Tourism Industry to engage in a more meaningful and authentic level to support a critical mass adoption of proven holistic solutions to address our climate crisis. A recent global study showed 1/3 of companies responsible for deforestation have no plan or policy to address it, and we shockingly are not an exception. Traditional climate solutions in the tourism sector such as reduction of long-haul flights, public transport, rail travel etc are not realistic solutions for us. The obligation is on the private sector to implement creative holistic, and collaborative solutions into our supply chain and operations.
In Sub Sahara Africa -we are physically operating and profiting in the areas that represent the highest rates of environmental inequality on the planet. We have an ethical obligation and economic opportunity to support climate justice in the places we operate, but first we must release this outdated and lazy mentality that profitability and sustainability compete and cannot complement each other."
Melissa Foley, WTM Responsible Tourism Panel 2023
Utilizing over 20 years as a corporate marketing and business development executive in the US, extensive global travel experience in over 90 countries, and more than a decade consulting globally for a varied grass root NGO’s, Melissa Foley has been able to provide a unique perspective on tourism development.
She has organically curated a unique and diverse international network and relationships and strives to benchmark meaningful social and environmental sustainability practices that are realistically adaptable and relevant for the tourism industry. Her superpower has always been an unsurpassed ability to cultivate strong relationships with stakeholders, and trade partners via social networking, marketing campaigns, trade associations, and exhibition representation.
Melissa’s vast experience advising clients throughout the tourism supply chain has provided valuable insights into this niche tourism sector that have been gained as a marketing and operations consultant to lodges, operators, NGOs, and the largest safari vehicle manufacturer in East Africa.
Creating All About Africa Consulting was inspired by a simple philosophy that everyone in the tourism supply chain shares a collective ethical obligation to ensure we are leaving a positive impact on our communities, natural resources, and cultural traditions. Recognizing how overwhelming the concept of sustainability has become to most tourism-based businesses, she brings a pragmatic approach to supply chain and operations practices and policies. Melissa believes in a holistic approach, by addressing global consumer trends and demands and capitalizing on the genuine storytelling of partnerships and impact to inspire others to engage for an even wider reach.
Based in Cape Town, she currently represents a portfolio of private sector and not-for-profit clients who all share common values. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the International Mountain Explorers Connection, an organization that supports the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program which advocates for ethical climbing conditions on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her true passion and commitment have become identifying the synergies and facilitating the integration between various stakeholders to create lasting collaborations where transformational tourism can truly thrive.