Wouter Schalken

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Tourism Component Manager, Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme



Wouter Schalken is a tourism development expert, specialising in post-conflict and recovery markets. Enhancing Inclusive and pro-poor tourism is at the heart of his 20 years of experience. This experience covers the complete scope of tourism ranging from individual (small) enterprise development to national policy and tourism strategy formulation with sustainable heritage resources as a core product.

Wouter is based in Kathmandu and supports the Nepal tourism stakeholders with recovery, redevelopment and repositioning of the destination in the aftermath of the April `15 earthquake and the dwindling market position of the country. As portfolio manager and chief technical advisor for tourism on the Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme, he guides an advisory team on product development, marketing and institutional strengthening around the brand of the Great Himalaya Trails. Lessons learned from formulating a tourism strategy in Yemen, eco-tourism product development in the national parks of Sierra Leone and the tourism utilisation of Mozambique beaches after severe flooding, proof to be valuable when adapted and applied to his current assignment.