Paul Rogers
Paul Rogers
Planet Happiness

Paul has 20 years’ experience as a senior tourism advisor to national and local tourism organisations, and has worked in more than a dozen countries in South and South-East Asia, Africa and Australia. His focus has been on the policy and planning arena – on using tourism as a vehicle for development. Paul’s passion for this field began with a life-changing backpacker experience to Nepal’s Everest Basecamp in 1989.

He completed his PhD on “Tourism, Development and Change in the Sagarmatha National Park and its Environs” in 1997 (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), and in 2002 secured £3 million from the UK’s DfID for HMG Nepal’s “Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Programme”. Paul is versatile, respectful and an astute listener. He’s a proven networker and team player with a solid international reputation for producing state of the art multi-disciplined strategies and plans that are centred around tourism and: income and employment generation; poverty reduction; protected area management (ecotourism); and, heritage management.

Work in Bhutan is central to Paul’s interest in the happiness, wellbeing and “beyond GDP” agenda – which provide the foundation for Planet Happiness, a global grass-roots project focused upon UNESCO World Heritage sites Paul co-founded in August 2018. In recent years Paul has undertaken assignments for ADB, DfID, Istituto Oikos, ICIMOD, Luxembourg Development, SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation), UNDP, UNWTO, USAID and WWF.

Highlights include:

▪ Ecotourism Specialist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Myanmar’s MONREC to prepare an ecotourism plan for the Hkakaborazi Landscape, proposed as the country’s first natural World Heritage site and the Himalaya’s largest most intact ecosystem.

▪ Senior Tourism Expert for Luxembourg Development and Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, to produce a 2016-2020 Myanmar Tourism Human Resource Development Strategy and Action Plan, covering governance, education and training, and industry sectors;

▪ Chief Technical Advisor for ICIMOD and Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism to produce an Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy for Myanmar’s Protected Areas, also on-going Consultant to Istituto Oikos to design and implement an Ecotourism Plan for Lampi Marine National Park in Myanmar’s Myeik Archipelago;

▪ Team Coordinator to design Luxembourg Development’s 2014-18 €5million fiveyear tourism HRD programme for Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (Sept – Dec 2013);

▪ Team Leader for ADB and Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism to produce Myanmar’s 2013-18 Tourism Master Plan (Oct 2012 – June 2013);

▪ Observer of the Bhutan PM’s Jan 2013 International Expert Working Group meeting on GNH (that seeks to facilitate change and replace GDP with GNH as a measure of national and global development by 2015) & Participant & of the 2nd April 2012 “High Level Meeting on Happiness and Wellbeing” at the UN in NYC;

▪ Anchor consultant for UNWTO’s “executive training programme” for senior most managers from the national tourism organisations of UNWTO’s Asia Pacific members (June 2012);

▪ Chief Technical Advisor for Bhutan’s 2013-18 National Tourism Strategy & Development Plans (Nov 2011 – June 2012);

▪ Tourism Specialist for ‘tourism as trade’ assignments for Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies in Cape Verde, Lao PDR and Bhutan (see; ! ! Tel: +61 488 073 042 Skype: skype-paul-rogers

▪ Tourism Specialist for more than 20 other short-term destination-planning assignments for the above development partners (2007-18) Prior to his consulting work, Paul worked for five years as a Senior Tourism Advisor to the Lao National Tourism Administration for SNV Lao PDR.

Over this time he: prepared a National Ecotourism Strategy and advised a multi-stakeholder taskforce created to oversee the strategy’s implementation; advised the national and provincial governments on the development of Viengxay (the birthplace of the Lao PDR) as a new flagship destination and arguably the country’s most important tourism resource; represented SNV and Lao PDR on the Greater Mekong Sub-region’s Tourism Working Group; and, was an active member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Sustainable Tourism Committee.