One benefit of the Global Network for Advanced Management is that it gives students from throughout the network the ability to take advantage of the particular faculty expertise of a member school. At the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, faculty have made extensive study of ecotourism, examining how environmentally conscious investors can create profitable enterprises while preserving the country’s pristine beaches, ecological preserves, and diving sites, which are among the world’s best.
“Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing fields in the Philippines,” says Mark Chan, director of the MBA Program at the AIM. “To understand that industry, you have to effectively utilize the lessons learned on the ground. That information though can be applied across cultures in a variety of scenarios.”
AIM will focus on ecotourism at its first Global Network Week in October, joining nine other member schools in what will become the largest week since the program started in 2013. Through AIM’s Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, students will discuss successful business models, environmental ethics, and natural resource management techniques with faculty with expertise in the tourism industry. Site visits will include a look at sustainability practices at an eco-friendly resort and a visit to Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, a social enterprise that has used previously non-arable land to create a sustainable food program. At a diving site, students will learn about efforts to protect and preserve biodiversity while making a profit.
“Ecotourism is about creating and maintaining a balance,” Chan says. “You serve key stakeholders by making it profitable while leaving a place as beautiful as it was when you first arrived there.”