Sustainable heritage tourism

Published: 21 January 2021
Last edited: 22 February 2021

Soqotra is a “must see” tourism destination, all the more so as it is difficult to reach and is hard work when you arrive. Local tourism infrastructure is not well established, and local actors offer very similar and restrictive opportunities to visit a small number of localities.

The Soqotra Heritage Project sought to change this behaviour through documenting sites and practices and compiling a broader itinerary that could offer added value to tourists, local actors and global operators while at the same time increasing the conservation of sites and localities through diversification.

Sustainable heritage tourism is now being discussed again as a potential livelihood enhancement mechanism on Soqotra while at the same time addressing potential mechanisms to input directly into heritage conservation measures.


Alliance and partnership development
Sustainable livelihoods
tourism planning
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase

Enabling factors

Involvement of expert sustainable tourism consultant (Carey Tourism) with knowledge and experience in this specific geographic context and with regional experience in less well known locations.

This required to gain and ensure access to tourism stakeholders at all levels.

Lessons learned

It is extremely challenging to work on re-invigorating sustainable tourism ideas in a location with poor infrastructure and enforcement, with very limited travel options, and under a conflict scenario nationally with little access to regional and global stakeholders beyond the direct tourism industry makes it extremely challenging to achieve practical and measureable outcomes.

This is a work-in-progress.