I believe in challenging the status quo. I believe that weaving Responsible Tourism principles into your business story can have an enormous impact on your marketing success and resilience over time.
My aim is to make Responsible Tourism an integral part of everything you do. My focus is to get this done by helping businesses and destinations make decisions and take action that generate change where it matters. My passion is in working with your actions to create authentic stories to share so that you stand out to the world.
The School for Responsible Tourism is to become a space filled with valuable, inspiring, and motivational online tourism courses that will support you in your quest to make a difference.
By detecting where and how you can make change you begin to enhance your offer, generate increased customer satisfaction, and improve sales through authentic marketing. The most powerful part is that you assist in creating better destinations for people to live in, and in turn for people to visit.
Generating change is not dependent on how many rooms you have or the size of your budget. It starts with acceptance that it is the right thing, and the smart thing, to do.
Statistics show us that consumers are increasingly more aware of the challenges our world faces in regard to climate change and biodiversity loss. The same statistics are also telling us that people are searching for holidays that make them feel good.
Now is the opportunity to get in on the game. The only better time was yesterday.
Taking time to understand what responsible tourism is and how you can integrate it into your business is where it starts. Action follows and change is then inevitable.
I am coming at this challenge from a place of practical experience and academic knowledge. I have an MSc in International Responsible Tourism Management, which is how I met Harold Goodwin, WTM's Responsible Travel Advisor.
At the time I was living in Chile and running my own backpacker’s hostel in the tourism adventure capital of the country. My reservations were ground to a halt by the massive 8.8 earthquake in 2010. Not long afterwards I took on the marketing for a luxury lakeside lodge and started a tourism consulting business after finishing my Masters. The volcano in our town erupted in 2015 and, once again, all reservations were cancelled. I dug deep to find ways to keep my clients afloat after that disaster.
I had hoped I would never again need to share the survival and resilience strategies that I created at the time, but the world has a different plan for me.
Having re-located from South America to the Austrian countryside in 2019, I was overwhelmed by empathy for all independent hotel, lodge, b&b, and hostel owners and managers when the pandemic hit. I modified those survival strategies and created a free six-part resource series to support the sector. It was downloaded thousands of times and I received an overwhelming amount of warm thanks and grateful messages from people across the world.
This - along with conversations with Harold Goodwin, who will be working closely with me in the development of this online school - gave me the drive and inspiration to continue on this path. I am also the Head of Training Development for My Green Butler - the world's first behaviour adaptation platform that saves energy, water, cuts waste and carbon emissions for hospitality. In addition I actively participate in the World Panel on Sustainable Hospitality run by Hospitality Net.
Everyone in the industry needs a strong boost of resilience and our destinations need supporting. Getting clear on what Responsible Tourism is and what it can do for you and your business is the perfect place to start. And now is the perfect time.
Let's do this together.