CAROL PATTERSON

CAROL PATTERSON

Born in Calgary, Canada, Carol Patterson is well known as a nature and ecotourism industry consultant, speaker, and author. Her company, Kalahari Management Inc. (www.kalahari-online.com) provides assistance in assessments, strategic planning, feasibility studies and capacity building for the tourism industry. Carol is the author of the book, The Business of Ecotourism, which offers business guidance for individuals, companies and organizations involved in the nature tourism industry. She is also a coauthor of The Business of EcoTourism Development and Management, a book on ecotourism business planning used by The Nature Conservancy in their tourism projects in Latin America. Carol also co wrote Saving Paradise: The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge with Albert Teo, founder of Borneo EcoTours, a book detailing the challenges in creating and operating a viable ecolodge.

Carol has degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Geography, and a Certified Management Accountant Designation. In 1991 she was named Merit Winner in the Pannell Kerr Forster Research Award competition and won an Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for product development and marketing strategies for nature based tourism in Nevada.

Carol first went to Borneo in 2002 for Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APECO) while in 2005, and speaker at the Borneo Ecotourism Conference. Carol observed, “I have been to Sukau three times which may sound like a lot, but it is not near enough. The wildlife found in the Kinabatangan river basin is stunning in its diversity. There are few other places in the world where you can watch elephants, great apes, rare monkeys such as the Proboscis, and numerous tropical bird species all in the same day. The fact that this visual extravaganza is available to people with varying physical conditions and outdoor skills is exciting to me as well. The facilities at Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL) make it easy for people to discover the tropical rainforest in a way that is comfortable, but educational. People come to understand the impact they are having on natural areas with their travel choices and the ways in which they can minimize their footprint. The lessons can be simple such as reminding people to save water when they brush their teeth, to the more profound such as the influence travelers can exert on government policy by their presence”.

“One of my contributions was to help Albert Teo in telling the special story of the Lodge in the book, Saving Paradise: The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge. It is an inspiring story of how people and communities can work together to have a positive impact on natural environments. I have used this book and the story of the people and wildlife of Sukau in my speaking engagements around the world. Many people are fascinated to hear about Borneo, a place they know relatively little about. They like to hear about the amazing wildlife in the region and about the best practices for balancing conservation and tourism demonstrated by BET and SRL. It gives them hope that there is a business model that allows organizations to balance the competing needs of business, conservation and communities. The book, Saving Paradise: The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge has been used as a text and reference book for several colleges and universities including the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, the University of Calgary, Lakeland College, the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism and Fleming College”, said Carol.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge honors Carol's contribution by dedicating room No. 12 to her.