Knight Consult


Public Section Projects

In the public sector Manuel Knight has joined numerous master planning and strategic sector planning teams and also serves as independent advisor reporting to ministries of tourism or financial institutions. In such work he has performed various tasks for places like: old Jerusalem & Bethlehem, the Mayan Trail, a slave port on the Gulf of Guinea, biblical Damascus and the painted desert of Lawrence of Arabia. He serves as team leader for tourism studies, and as tourism expert for various types of regional development plans and infrastructure master plans. The tourism sector assessment he prepared for Azerbaijan served as the basis for that country's Tourism Promotion Law. As economist he reshapes projects to boost their socio-economic impacts for local populations and has crafted tourism-related programs for indigenous peoples in different cultures.

He can develop concepts for cultural facilities such as: the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex and Scenic Drive, Mayan Trail visitor centers in Central America, the rehabilitation of La Goulette castle of the Barbary Pirates, Jordan's National Museum, a touring trail to Angkor Wat through NE Thailand, the rescue of Washington's famed Willard Hotel as an anchor for downtown revitalization, and a hotel connected to the fabled Theatre Bobinot in Paris. Most recently in collaboration with Diaspora Haitian interests he is leading efforts to save heritage structures in some Haitian cities via adaptive reuse as elegant hotels B&Bs and other businesses.
Religious Tourism: Mr. Knight is experienced in the upgrading of destinations of religious importance in various countries to increase their functionality, visitor appeal and sustainability. He has some familiarity with management of severe demand peaking patterns and development of management reforms to introduce incentives for private sector players to adjust to improved processes. Experience includes Jeddah, the gateway to Mecca; Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Axum in Ethiopia, Medugorje in Bosnia, and various sites in and near Damascus and Amman. He is also familiar with Santiago de Compostela, Guadalupe near Mexico City, and Lourdes in France.
Selected UNESCO World Heritage designated sites in past work: Walled city of Baku [Azerbaijan], Old Quarters of Aleppo & Damascus [Syria], Qadisha Holy Valley & Forest of the Cedars of God [Lebanon], Medina of Tunis & site of Ancient Carthage [Tunisia], Ancient quarter of Aksum [Ethiopia], Colonial City of Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic], ancient Mayan cities of Tikal & Copan [Central America] and the Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra [Indonesia].

     Primary products

  • Tourism diagnostics & strategic planning
  • Master plans & action plans for destinations
  • Regional & urban development plans
  • Regional & local tourism sector strategies
  • Historic district rehab & preservation plans
  • Privatization of hotels

    Additional expertise

  • Investment advisory & promotion plans
  • commercial uses inside national parks & heritage areas
  • Religious pilgrimage destinations & demand management
  • Commercial airline service diagnostics
  • Air base conversions for commercial uses

    Selected clients

  • World Bank FIAS
  • US Trade Development Agency
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Asian Development Bank
  • CDC International
  • Inter-American Development Bank

      Selected Assignments

  • Mayan Trail Sustainable Tourism Plan, IADB. As team leader prepared an analysis of the functionality of a trail of 12 archaeological parks in Mexico and 4 Central American nations, profiled current tourist demand in the region and formulated a 20-year forecast of future demand, income and jobs.
  • Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority: preparation of long term destination master plan of public and private works for the zone's urban core and waterfront areas including an integrated hotel district set on an artificial lagoon.
  • Tourism Sector Strategy for Azerbaijan: Assessed the regulatory and economic environment for the tourism industry and formulated laws and reforms to be adopted by the Ministry of Tourism. Included plans for “Silk road tourism”
  • Ethiopia Sustainable Tourism Development Project: Prepared a US$6 million destination development plan to strengthen Axum Municipality and Tigray Province tourism agencies to develop the Axum-Adwa cluster for sustainable cultural and pilgrimage tourism. Plan covered ancient churches and antiquities.
  • Red Sea Sustainable Tourism Initiative: At Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority formulated a set of incentives for hotel owners to adopt environmentally sensitive approaches for development of utilities and shared services in urban tourism zones. Developed a socio-economic profile of Egypt's dive industry estimating jobs, hard currency earnings, investment value of boat fleet, census of dive businesses and aqua centers. Evaluated dive industry usage patterns and trends, defined implications for sustainability of 1,000 km long fringing reef.
  • Livelihoods & Income from the Environment: Planned touring trails, visitor center and related facilities at various archeological and natural sites within Wadi Gimal National Park on Egypt's Red Sea coastline south of Marsa Alam. 
  • Egyptian Government Organization for Tourism & Hotels: Prepared series of pre-feasibility studies for proposed Nile-side hotel-retail complex in Cairo.
  • Luxor City Development Office-UNDP: Prepared an investment document for creation of international new town for hotels [2,000 rooms], leisure, golfing at El Tod for relocation of commercial development from city center.
  • National Tourism Master Plan for Syria-JICA funded: Analyzed various sites in historic districts for commercial projects by private developers in Damascus, Hama, Aleppo and Tartous for hotel, retail and cultural uses.
  • IFC West African and Indochina Project Development Facilities: Assessed various hotel projects and a waterfall park in Nigeria, Vietnam and Cambodia. Trained staff members in evaluation of tourism investment opportunities.
  • Caribbean cruise industry advisory role: Assessed cruise operations for Cap Haitien and various Dominican locations to extend economic benefits into interior communities.
  • Japan's Kansai International Airport passenger traffic forecast: For Mitsubishi Research Institute/Nathan Associates designed a business-to-business survey of 100+ air carriers to offer commercial service into this totally new airfield located in Osaka Bay. Formulated plan featuring various survey techniques according to different priority groupings of the carriers.
  • Privatization of Alexandria's Borg el Arab and Asyut airfields in Egypt: Evaluated demand for commercial passenger and freight traffic into two military facilities and characterized competitive environment and impact on tourist industry in their spheres of influence.



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