Xola Consulting, Inc. | Consultant | Santa Fe NM United States
I believe I am part of a community of changemakers in the adventure travel industry. As it grows, the adventure tourism industry has the potential to positively transform people, environments and economies. Adventure tourism can be a catalyst, sparking economic growth across multiple industries in destinations where it is given strategic focus.
By supporting adventure markets and individual adventure businesses the consulting practice and newsletter I founded are creating change.
The deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico where I currently reside; the mountains and rivers of Alaska where I grew up. I recently discovered that a family living in the area where I spent many childhood summers is now maintaining itself as an adventure tourism destination! (http://www.tourdust.com/products/315-bear-viewing-photography)
I would like to see adventure travel businesses become widely accepted as a means of achieving rural economic development and environmental conservation. I would like to see more people, especially women and young people, engaged in various aspects of the tourism value chain experience improvements in lifestyle, education and health.
Christina Heyniger is the President of Xola Consulting, Inc., which she founded in 2004. Xola works with governments, entrepreneurs and community tourism interests to develop and market eco/nature/adventure tourism products and services. Christina has supported adventure travel, blended adventure-volunteer tour operators, and associations operating in Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States.
In 2008 she spearheaded the articulation of principles for sustainable adventure tourism development. These principles are now being used in the Adventure Travel Development Index (ATDI), an initiative of The George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association to measure adventure tourism market competitiveness. (For more information see www.adventureindex.travel).
Xola’s recent work includes supporting the government of Mexico to set a strategy for adventure tourism market development and promotion; working with local entrepreneurs to develop and market adventure and nature tourism products in Northern Montenegro as part of a USAID-funded initiative; and designing a program to respond to the development challenges of the Sundarbans Area (one of four of India’s natural heritage sites inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List) in collaboration with the World Bank and the Government of India and the Government of West Bengal.
In 2005 Xola launched Off the Radar (www.travelofftheradar.com), a newsletter and website promoting sustainable, responsible adventure travel operators to media and travelers worldwide.
Christina holds a BA in Communication from Cornell University, an MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, and an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from American University. Originally from Alaska, Christina now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.