Editor's corner

As you read this, I am on an around-the-world journey to visit clients in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Nicosia, Cyprus, with a stop at our Middle East office in Doha, Qatar. People across the globe are universal in their desire for leisure and entertainment, and clients everywhere are developing projects to satisfy that thirst. For White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group, that sometimes means serious travel. Fortunately, the principles of feasibility and design are universal, provided you take a crucial step: adapt the project to the local culture. That applies not only to international projects, but also to customizing for the varying cultural differences throughout North America.

We believe all leisure projects should respect and reflect the local culture. Cultural competence is not only the morally right approach to design and operation of a leisure project, but the one that will maximize success. In our work we have adopted the following “Prime Directives of Location-Based Leisure:”

  • Develop the project and operate it with understanding and respect for the cultures of its guests and staff.
  • Don’t impose your culture, values and customs.


  • First, thoroughly research the culture, including its norms and values and how it deals with universal cultural dilemmas;
  • Determine how the culture will relate to the project and how any aspects of the project might be in conflict with the culture;
  • Then design the physical facility and operations to reflect and reinforce the culture and identity of its staff and guests.

Our company has worked in the many diverse cultures of 28 countries on five continents. We pride ourselves on our knowledge of how to research, analyze and understand culture as it relates to leisure to assure we comply with our “Prime Directives” and produce successful projects for our clients.

In this month’s issue, we have articles on the importance of businesses being family- and kid-friendly and how at-home electronics are capturing a larger piece of the entertainment spending pie. Also, if you have been thinking about attending Foundations Entertainment University, now in its seventh year, your last chance for 2009 will be October 6-8 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. (See article below.)

In our next issue, I’ll share a travelogue about my visits to Vietnam and Cyprus.

Randy White