Travel and tourism in Utah has a sunny outlook going into 2016, being named on Fodor’s list of top places to visit, and our ‘Mighty Five’ National Parks at the forefront of this year’s 100 year celebration of the National Parks Service. We have been noted as one of the fastest growing states more than once, and are among the new wave of leaders that have long championed a future of sustainable business, travel, and preserving our outdoors. So what does the future of transformative travel look like for us, and what are we doing about it?
As someone who has been in the industry of marketing and tourism for over fifteen years, one of the things that dragged me down the most, seemed out of my control. The multi trillion dollar travel industry consumed resources, communities, and was more of a cultural voyeur than a caregiver. The hidden costs of tourism are real, including unfavorable economic and cultural effects in host communities. So I started thinking, “If you can’t change a situation, change your mind.” This shift lead to an inspiring trek in the highlands of Sapa, Vietnam getting to know the history and lives of those behind tourism. As chance would have it, my change of mind, and a fierce desire to create a social return, started an international partnership that supports the education of women and children both in Utah and Vietnam.
Women have long been underserved in the business sphere, impacted by tourism, and have less access to capital and training. Even though they make over 85% of household purchasing decisions, and are starting new businesses at twice the rate of their male counterparts. It’s time for a change in thinking. The initiative to launch the cause based social in March, benefiting Miao & Co. Ethical Imports, hopes to bring more transparency and support for social enterprise, transformative travel, and an open discussion with an informative impact panel during the event.
I feel we all have a desire to build trust in our communities and create powerful connections that shift ideas towards the social good. This event is an chance to join a growing voice to create travel plus social good. Where profit, tourism, enterprise and conservation co-exist. In March leading entrepreneurs, the Utah.Gov, WTC Utah, and Women’s Business Center will be among other panel members who will share their expertise, support and share business goals that impact our bottom line in local and global tourism.
We all have choices and experience setbacks, but it’s how we handle them that really determines the course of our lives. It’s about doing work that is fulfilling. Changing something I can control, like providing impact in our local communities and fundraising, has made all the difference for me. I can bridge gaps between transformative, ethical tourism and the connection of millions of intelligent and motivated travelers who are bombarded with profit oriented branding that leaves a disconnect. The Give Bold Benefit social is open to the public with, RSVP for the evening of March 8th, where we can all create a more transparent world of travel that leaves more than a footprint.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your tickets. This event is created with the special support of sponsors: Royal House Management, Latitude 38 Luxury Adventures, SLC Chamber Women’s Business Center, Five Wives Vodka, CORT, Utah.Gov, WTC Utah and many more.
Enjoy a fashion show of ethical imports on ethnic handmade fashion, and create ongoing giveback throughout 2016 with the Miao & Co., fundraiser.