Edward L. Beauchamp
October 21, 1950 - April 22, 2012
World Tourism Foundation
Here is what he believed in...
I will never forget his very first call... Sometime in Fall 1996.
I close my eyes and see myself working at my desk when Ed called me the first time. He said that he had seen my very first publication - the Worldwide Travel Information Contact Book (Gale Research, Inc., Detroit) - and asked me to join the project which he himself, his wife - Cj - their sons - Ryan and Taylor -, tech guru - Nick in Colorado - and some other people had initiated. The project which was called: The "World Tourism Foundation + World Tourism Network". It was then when he provided me with the very first explanations...
He said everything was very very new, and still needed a long time to be developed and no one could expect much that early. He said that he intended to create a network of people who were qualified and willing to make the project idea into reality within the forthcomming years.
In those days, sometime around 1996, we all had just started to talk about the internet. However, some years before 1996 their vision for this "internet based project" was born, although the internet was launched to the public in mid 90s. He talked about the missing "Unique and Globally Shared Brand for the World's Largest Industry", and how to create it. He said that they intended to do something good for the industry, our planet and its people...
Ed talked about their plans about education, creating jobs and reducing poverty, sustainability, environment and climate projects, renewable energies, youth exchange, international, intercultural, interreligious exchange among the areas in conflict, political lobbying, creating bridges among nations, countries, religions for a better mutual understanding, prevention of social conflicts i.e. "Peace Through Tourism".
To get those projects funded or to support organizations, NGOs, Destination Management Organizations, and other organizations which were involved in the above mentioned domains, there needed to be a financial engine. The World Tourism Network, the network of commercial Destination Management Organizations and their partners/members and the stakeholders of the tourism industry were forecasted to carry on this very mission. He spoke about a so called "Destination Tree" where every destination management organization would be put at the "Centre of its Universe- its own destination", and he asked me to create this after funding, which he expected to be in "some years".
It took me several years to get the complete picture of the project, which was permanently developing. Even after these years, I still cannot claim that I understood the complete idea of the World Tourism Foundation and the World Tourism Network. And so I was not surprised when Ed told me that he himself had made drawings/drafts in his basement on the back of a lot of big sheets, popped on the wall to draw the connections of the different pieces, what would result in the World Tourism Foundation and World Tourism Network plan; even he himself realized several new aspects and realities about his own project. As a result of months of attempt, he created the blue prints for the brand business plan of the world's largest employer.
Some years ago, a contact in California had given the information about the project to his lawyer, asking him to check the papers. That contact telephoned me some time later and said, his specialist lawyer first was confused, but then he said - all is quite easy, one just has to invest little time - and his key statement was "If one human being on earth understands marketing then he would say that is the visionary leader of this project!" Also from the organizer of the World Economic Forum there was a statement like (from memory) "very future oriented economic 50/50 model, a good model also for other industries, some kind of potential new economic world order the world is looking for." Yet the question, like always is, when and how to start? Who delivers the tools? Fighting against "chicken-or-egg" questions. In the time when some people who were aware of this project (but not with the very core group) had the impression Ed disappeared somehow as they did not hear from him for a long time and it seemed that he had suspended the project for a while - especialy at those moments Ed worked hard, very hard on the plan and finaly came back with a handful of ideas and plans, and those people where surprised again.....
For those of you who might be interested to know further about Ed and Cj's story please go to
Some years ago Ed met my former partner Conny, her daughter Alexandra and me in Germany during his Round-The-World-Trip after maybe 25 meetings around the globe. Of course we spoke about business and the projects, but he also used the time to relax after 4 weeks at airplanes, airports, and hotels, from Sydney, to Singapore, Hongkong to Doha, Honolulu to Los Angeles, Malta to London, Stockholm to Madrid .... During this time he was the most welcome member of our family. He was the most comfortable visitor one could ever imagine. I / we will never forget that time.
"The biggest danger is not to dream big and fail, but to dream small and succeed"... Yes, Ed was a dreamer, but one of those who was far far ahead of the leaders of the industry and the political arenas.... Everybody who gave him/herself the chance to go deeper into the project said "realistic, very doable". But those who criticized never listened to him or read his thesis, plans and solutions. If the world did not have people like Ed; we all still would have lived in the stone age beating each other with clubs.
To me he was always like a father or an older brother. We trusted each other very much. The huge geographical distance between us never existed in reality, since we were connected to each other via our thoughts and got the confirmation within the next telephone chat.
Following a heart attack, at the age of 62, Ed passed away last weekend on 22 of April, in his home in Earlysville, Virginia, USA . He was cremated Wednesday, the 25th and the family has spread his ashes at the bridge over the little river behind of their house, where he spent hours and hours on the plan -- our plan of "Giving the Tourism Industry a Real Voice and a Globally Shared Brand Which Will Contribute to Poverty Alleviation and create Peace Through Tourism". Some of the ashes will be kept by Cj for the first World Tourism Foundation meeting...
When I talked to him last time on Thursday, 19th April 2012, and he told me his thought of first investment which was somehow in the air, his plans to write a license agreement for the project of World Tourism Intelligence, he was full of fresh energies. I never expected I would write this text one week later...
Ed, you often said "Everything Happens for a Purpose". Maybe you were right, but please accept that I have difficulties accepting this today.
I lost a real friend. The world lost a visionary leader who sought for peace, peace through the world's largest employer - the tourism industry.
My thoughts, my heart and feelings are with Cj, Ryan, and Taylor, and all others who loved Ed.
Ed, we all can now reach you without telephone, email, internet, or stamp - but, Ed, I miss you so much! Standing ovations, tears in my eyes, and with a very big "Thank you for being with us!"