The Power of Tourism Geeks and Nerds: The Tourism Academy Philosophy

The tourism industry faces unprecedented challenges and opportunities, and the role of geeks and nerds is more crucial than ever. At the helm of this movement stands Stephen Ekstrom, the CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit Tourism Academy. This organization is a pioneering force in harnessing the power of these individuals to deliver online training programs, cutting-edge technology, subject matter expertise, and innovation to destination marketing organizations and tourism trade associations. This article will delve into the benefits and business philosophy behind The Tourism Academy's unique approach.

  1. A Team of Passionate Learners

The heart of The Tourism Academy's philosophy lies in its dedication to cultivating teams of passionate learners. As a self-proclaimed nerd, Stephen Ekstrom understands the immense value that individuals who are curious, eager to learn, and passionate about their interests can bring to the tourism industry. His favorite quote from Maya Angelou, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better," resonates deeply with this philosophy. It emphasizes the importance of continual improvement and learning, a mantra that guides the organization's ethos.

  1. Subject Matter Expertise

Geeks and nerds often have a deep-rooted passion for their areas of interest. This passion is the driving force behind their pursuit of knowledge and expertise. The Tourism Academy recognizes the immense value of subject matter experts in the tourism industry. By harnessing this passion and expertise, the organization can deliver training programs that are not only comprehensive but also fueled by genuine enthusiasm. The result is a more engaging and effective learning experience for destination marketing organizations and tourism trade associations.

  1. Technological Advancements

The rapid advancement of technology has revolutionized the tourism industry. Stephen Ekstrom's second favorite quote, "When one teaches, two learn," by Robert Heinlein, perfectly encapsulates the organization's approach to technology. The Tourism Academy believes in the power of teaching to drive innovation. By sharing their knowledge and insights with destination marketing organizations and tourism trade associations, the geeks and nerds of the academy foster a culture of continuous improvement. This approach ensures that the latest technological advancements are integrated into the industry, keeping it on the cutting edge.

  1. Innovation and Creativity

Geeks and nerds are often known for their creative problem-solving abilities. The Tourism Academy taps into this well of innovation to address the challenges the tourism industry faces. By encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and fostering an environment that values creativity, the organization's teams develop fresh solutions to longstanding issues. This innovation benefits the academy and the broader industry, as it adapts to changing landscapes and customer demands.

  1. A Culture of Authenticity and Kindness

The values of authenticity and kindness are deeply ingrained in The Tourism Academy's philosophy. As a proud uncle, Stephen Ekstrom seeks to pass these values to those he cares most about. This philosophy extends to the organization's approach to client relationships. The teams at the academy prioritize authentic connections and interactions, fostering a culture of kindness that extends to the clients they serve. This approach enhances the learning experience and strengthens long-term partnerships and collaborations.


The Tourism Academy's unique approach, driven by geeks and nerds passionate about the tourism industry, sets a new standard for online training programs, technology integration, subject matter expertise, and innovation. Stephen Ekstrom's dedication to continual learning and sharing aligns perfectly with the organization's values and goals. By embracing a culture of authenticity, kindness, and a commitment to doing better, The Tourism Academy is at the forefront of building sustainable economies in the tourism industry. In an ever-changing world, the geeks and nerds of The Tourism Academy are leading the way, demonstrating that knowledge, passion, and a commitment to excellence can transform an industry.


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