We are Place Generation


PLACE GENERATION is the name of a team deeply invested in a new way of looking at places. Shifting perspective from "destination" to "place" reveals so much more. For us, a place is a living system, both a community of people and a bioregion.

In doing this, you'll see that:

  • Residents are as important as visitors.

  • There are many other ways to create an impact beyond economics.

  • Diverse and Indigenous communities and cultures are vital to place identity and collaborating benefits all.

  • If you treat visitors as guests they will respect you as hosts.

The established processes involved in nurturing and empowering a place to grow and prosper now require a significant transformation, including development, sustainability, marketing, branding, policy-making, leadership and stakeholder engagement, among many others. We refer to this transformative renewal as "generating places" or Place Generation.

We understand that the successful futures of places hinge on embracing this radical shift, reimagining conventional practices, and embracing innovative strategies. By adopting a holistic and forward-thinking approach, we can create vibrant, sustainable, and thriving places that meet the needs of both residents and visitors alike.

Generation of Places


We are no longer in an era where superficial change is enough; a profound system shift is necessary, and one that requires deep thinking and adaptation to the world of tomorrow. Our conviction lies in the idea that thriving places are those that embrace a situational leadership approach.

If you view residents as equal to visitors, then you are on your way to aligning with our approach. Merely engaging in consultations with residents will no longer suffice in the future. To earn the license to operate, establishing a continuous dialogue with stakeholders and residents becomes essential.


Place Generation is a global team of esteemed thinkers renowned for their visionary expertise in the realm of places.

Anna Pollock deserves immense recognition for her trailblazing efforts in challenging the tourism industry long before terms like "regenerative" or "circular" gained popularity on social media. Through captivating keynotes and workshops, she inspires individuals to adopt unconventional perspectives and fearlessly challenges organizations to align their actions with their rhetoric. She remains vigilant against the pitfalls of greenwashing and virtue signaling, urging genuine commitment and action.

Frank Cuypers and Elke Dens are the founders of Place Generation. Cuypers and Dens draw significant inspiration from Anna's pioneering work.

Frank is a respected educator in place-making and place-marketing. He has been instrumental in bringing development to the heart of effective place strategies, with an unwavering focus on engaging residents. His innovative approach and insightful reflections on the essence of a place have garnered recognition and awards across North America, the Pacific region, and Africa.

Elke has more than 15 years of leadership experience in destination marketing organizations (DMOs). She is one of the most respected figures in European tourism marketing and has earned the prestigious Marketer Of The Year award in 2019 from the Belgium Association of Marketing. Elke also works parttime at The Travel Foundation and is a co-founder of FairBnB Belgium. She teaches transition management and marketing at university, and contributes to publications and discussions about the future of tourism. Her recent book, "Tourism is Dead. Long Live the Traveler," further showcases her thought leadership in the field.

Together, Frank and Elke have assembled a diverse team of accomplished professionals from around the world, bringing their unique backgrounds and perspectives to the table. Their collaborative efforts foster innovation and a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of places.

Place Generation's collective experience spans the globe. We are international thinkers and have worked with approximately 100 places, but we are also attuned to local sensibilities and potential challenges.

Our global perspectives do not mean that we take a universal approach; quite the contrary. Our consultancy philosophy believes in and recognises that every location possesses a unique identity, distinct challenges and opportunities, and individual starting points.


At Place Generation, our unwavering commitment lies in delivering bespoke, comprehensive solutions that reflect the distinctive characteristics and requirements of each location with which we engage. We create a custom process for each place, rather than templated "products" that only require parameter adjustments. We also employ a wide array of meticulously researched methodologies and concepts, which we apply as relevant to each specific project.

In adopting this approach, we have successfully collaborated with major cities in Canada and Europe, rural areas across the United States, picturesque coastal destinations in New Zealand and Australia, influential international tourism organisations, and even some of the world's most economically challenged countries like Malawi and Cambodia.


We understand that successful implementation requires effective organisational leadership and to that end our services extend to change management. We have a proven track record of transformative processes, ensuring that clients execute their strategies with precision and purpose.

At Place Generation, we are committed to a real impact on the places we work with. Our dedication to implementation sets us apart and empowers us to deliver tangible results for our clients.


The name for our organization also takes into account future generations, a sort of "Generation Place." We embrace Indigenous "Seven Generation'' principles and understand that the decisions we make today must consider those who have come before and how we can benefit future generations.

We also understand that we must nurture new thinkers. There is already a new generation of tourism professionals who see things differently and want to change the course. We want to support them. To bolster the emergence of this Generation Place, we aim to spotlight their efforts. We also plan to actively mentor young individuals within our team and wholeheartedly believe in the reciprocal exchange of knowledge and learning from everyone's experiences and processes.