The International Women’s Day is on March 8. For more than 100 years, this day has been drawing attention to the demand for gender equality around the world. On this occasion, we present women whose commitment and visions spur sustainability in the tourism sector, just like Green Pearls® founder Stefany Seipp: “I always followed my believes, no matter what other people thought, sometimes stepped in shoes that were too big, which made me grow. I founded Green Pearls® at a time when sustainability was not a trend, because I believe it is my duty to leave a better world to my kids and the next generations.”
When girls dream, they make history
When Anne Stauder was a girl, she already knew she would open her own hotel one day. She held on to this dream until it came true one day. Together with her husband, she has been pioneering sustainable tourism in the Ulten Valley since 2007 with the holistically Arosea Life Balance Hotel. “Protecting and appreciating nature and a sustainable use is a central issue at the Arosea Life Balance Hotel,” Anne emphasizes. As one of the very first hotels in the region, it not only paved the way for the Ulten Valley as a travel destination, but also for an environmentally friendly hotel practice in harmony with nature.
I founded Green Pearls® at a time when sustainability was not a trend, because I believe it is my duty to leave a better world to my kids and the next generations.
Embedded in the jungle
As daughter of a successful hotelier family, Samornpun Somnam follows in the footsteps of her ancestors. When she planned the concept for Keemala Resort together with her brother, she developed a sustainable strategy. The resort should be a place where guests can “revolt against their hectic lifestyle and slow down to enjoy nature and local culture,” she says. Respecting the surrounding nature, protecting animals and carrying on Thai traditions and cultures in all daily actions, the eco-friendly Keemala Resort is leading the way in transforming Phuket to a more sustainable destination in Thailand.
Turning old into new
Marion Muller became aware of the negative consequences the travel industry has on nature and humans for the first time during her studies of tourism. She decided to do better at Lifestylehotel SAND and give back to the environment. Sustainable commitment at all levels is particularly relevant in much visited places, such as Timmendorfer Strand. “Nowadays, it is not about being able to go anywhere, it is rather about whether you have arrived at the right place,” Marion emphasizes. Hence, she established a green oasis on the Baltic Sea inspired by nature and offering her guests a home on vacation.
Nowadays, it is not about being able to go anywhere, it is rather about whether you have arrived at the right place.
The female entrepreneurship at Hotel Lamm dates back to 1926, when Katrin Holl’s great-grandmother transformed the small brewery into a hotel. For several generations, sustainability has been vital to the hotel practice, but the further positioning as a selfness-hotel is credited to Katrin’s commitment. “Selfness is a longing for security, stability, inner balance, self-reflection, vitality, a sense of home,” Katrin describes her inspiration for initiating the selfness concept. With the Wellness Village she has created a place for health, physical and mental well-being in the Black Forest. Moreover, she is committed to social sustainability by supporting youth projects and donating to social institutions.
Women power in the Atlas Mountains
Elsewhere, sustainable hotels support social projects supporting young women and thus their independence. The Moroccan hotel Kasbah du Toubkal co-founded Education for All (EFA) a few years ago promoting girls’ education by offering them an accommodation near secondary schools. In many rural Moroccan communities, girls often do not have the opportunity to carry on their education after primary school because the schools are remote and attendance would be too expensive. In the Atlas Mountains, EFA runs a boarding school for enabling young women to access to secondary education. In 2017, the first “EFA girl” received a bachelor’s degree in economics and was accepted for master’s studies. The NGO received special attention through the visit of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, at the end of February 2019.