I've been shouting from the (herb and bee-filled) roof-tops about sustainable travel for the last ten years. A travel experience, hotel or destination that respects its local communities, indigenous culture and the environment will always surpass those that don't. For a large chunk of this time, I suspect I've been preaching to the converted. But times are changing. The industry is paying attention and travellers are more enthusiastic about the hotels and travel experiences that do good than ever before. In today's world, luxury is underpinned by provenance and authentic human stories are more engaging than extravagance. Perhaps sustainability is the new luxury.
As Editor of Green Hotelier and Communications Manager for the International Tourism Partnership for five years, I gained an in-depth knowledge of how to implement and communicate sustainable practices within the hospitality industry. Working for the likes of Hilton, Starwood, Marriott and smaller brands like Soneva, demonstrated how complex and rewarding corporate social responsibility can be.
Drawing on this experience, I now help hotels and travel companies to implement and communicate 'doing good' in a way that enhances their brand message and differentiates them from competitors.
I'm currently working with Juliet Kinsman, founding editor of Mr & Mrs Smith to set up Bouteco — a community, platform and consultancy to raise standards within, and aspiration for, the world's finest sustainable hotels.
Since circumnavigating the world without flying in 2008, I have written about being chased by whales across the Atlantic, cycling across Europe, the UK's top family-friendly adventures and the world's finest eco hotels. My portfolio is as diverse as my tastes are eclectic — off-grid on muddy hikes in Yorkshire one minute, sipping cocktails on an open-top bus in Lisbon the next. That said, inspiring landscapes and people underpin everything I'm enthusiastic about, and since having two little ones in tow, sometimes the simplest of experiences are the most memorable. I've written for Mr & Mrs Smith, Running in Heels, Green Hotelier, LOVEexploring, Tatler, Suitcase, Little London, Th Telegraph, The Ecologist and Geographical Magazine, to name a few. When I'm not writing about adventures, I consult and create content for travel brands including Sally and Alice, The Long Run and LUX* Hotels and Resorts.
Before sliding into the travel industry, I worked as a brand and research consultant conducting qualitative research for the likes of the BBC, ITV, Nokia, Tesco, TUI and Sony. As a qualified focus group and workshop facilitator I still enjoy putting these skills to good use and getting stuck into literature reviews and research reports. My two most recent reports have been an overview of the Fintech Industry for a private equity firm and Bouteco's Trend Report on Sustainable Travel www.stopthinkdiscuss.com.