Egret Communications


Tourism Engineering

Destination Master Planning


An Overview

Egret Communications was founded by Bob Harvey and Diane Kelsay in 1986.  The company works to help destinations share natural and cultural experiences with carefully selected visitors and through that process to foster the protection of those fragile resources.  Egret Communications specializes in the communications, developmental, and operational challenges of natural and cultural tourism. 


Additionally, the company has developed strong skills in engineering tourism to accomplish specific goals.  Those goals have included creation of jobs, stabilization of destinations ravaged by disaster, keeping ranches in family ownership, augmenting weak agricultural revenues, using tourism to help manage growth, changing tourism clientele, funding resource protection, underwriting species recovery, and, of course, profitability.

Our clients have ranged from nations, to international conservation organizations, to tourism industry organizations, to states, and large and small businesses.

We understand sustainable tourism and resource management issues thoroughly. We were in the discussions in the early days of "ecotourism", teaching the various partners to speak each others' technical jargon and to see through each others' eyes. We've dealt with tourism development and natural resource management issues at a conceptual and philosophical level, and we've applied them to real-life situations.
We engineer tourism products that are designed to output business and employment opportunities, environmental sensitivity, and economic sustainability. We have worked in situations where high volume tourism has been in conflict with high value destination travel and where tourism conflicts with community needs or other economic activity. We have worked to resolve tourism impacts on both resources and local communities. We have sought, successfully, solutions that made tourism a partner to community and environment.

We take on projects that are likely to be implemented. We prefer to avoid projects that generate studies destined to gather dust on shelves. Our planning documents are designed to be used, often incorporating action steps, responsibilities, and timelines.

We keep our fingers on the pulse of travel to natural and cultural destinations, following trends, understanding fads, and predicting new patterns. We analyze data from around the world to have a handle on what is working and why - and what is failing and the reasons behind that. We spend time in the field and have ongoing  first-hand contact with both tourism providers and patrons.

Our work requires that we move between the public and private sectors, between Washington, D.C. and remote villages, between tropical and temperate ecosystems, between desert and rainforest. And, it requires that we carry ideas back and forth among cultures, and oftentimes between parties that have barriers to discussion.

The relationship between fragile natural and cultural resources and the people who live amongst them has become a passion for us.  We have kept that relationship in focus as we have worked on many projects throughout the world. 

Egret Communications is, by design, a small company that pulls together teams of experts to fit each project.  This "project team" approach enables us to tackle diverse projects with the best people available, rather than to build a cumbersome team that must make the project fit within our expertise (and drives up overhead).