July 1, 2020 / Leave a Comment
Joined by Beth Santos, the CEO of women’s travel platform, Wanderful, we are tackling the topic of responsible, sustainable travel. Safety for women, environmental sustainability, social impact, and many other key ESG topics in travel play directly into success for leaders in the travel industry. As all of us expand our horizons and travel the world, we have a duty to ensure our travel leaves the world better and not worse. And as we consider going “back” to travel following a global pandemic, how do we evaluate the values and practices of a company we may patronize in our travel?
Travel has a fraught history of exploitation, even now. We must all make sure we are using our travels to make ourselves and the world better.Beth Santos, Founder and CEO, Wanderful
Our Guest Today:
With a background in international development, thoughtful community building and social enterprise, Beth Santos is out to change the landscape of travel for women worldwide.
In 2009, while cruising her blue motorcycle through the streets of São Tomé and Príncipe, Beth created the first iteration of Wanderful as a travel blog aimed to explore the diverse and shared experiences of women traveling the world. Today, Wanderful has exploded to an international community and social network with the active participation of over 40,000 women and nonbinary people of all ages and backgrounds. This is manifested through an active online platform, chapter events in over 30 global cities worldwide, annual community trips, and the first-ever identity-verified women’s homesharing network.
The group’s success has attracted partnerships with well-known travel and lifestyle brands such as TripAdvisor, Schwinn, Kiva, WordPress, Samsonite, Rail Europe, Turkish Airlines, and numerous tourism boards.
In 2014, Beth created the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), the leading event for female travel influencers, creative entrepreneurs, and industry to use their voices to champion change in the travel industry, now hosted annually on two continents This event has earned international acclaim and attracted top talent in the travel industry and beyond, and led to the recently launched Wanderful Creator Collective to support and empower travel creators to create and nurture their authentic voices and build engaged, thoughtful communities.
Wanderful is the creator of the first-ever identity-verified woman-to-woman homesharing network that helps women travelers to meet, connect, and stay with other women — wherever they are in the world.
In 2019, Wanderful launched the Bessie Awards— an award ceremony to honor women of impact in the travel space. The ceremony honors nine women and brands that have added a compelling voice to travel.
In 2021, Wanderful will launch its first consumer festival, designed to educate, support, and inspire diverse women to travel the world.
Wanderful has been recognized in top publications such as Skift, Lonely Planet, the Boston Globe, the South China Morning Post, and the Chicago Tribune.
Beth has been recognized as a BostInno 50 on Fire, a Chicago Scholars 35 Under 35 Young Leader Making an Impact, a Zell Fellow (a prestigious fellowship for entrepreneurs pursuing their MBA), and an alumna of the Babson WIN Lab. She was recognized by the Obama Administration as one of the top 100 travel bloggers in the US.
Beth is the co-founder of #AtTheTable, an initiative focused on bringing together female founders from different industries to build community, strength and resources. She is a keynote speaker and an entrepreneurship and marketing consultant who thrives on building lasting, impactful communities.
She has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Wellesley College. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s refinishing furniture in her home in Boston.
Find Beth Online
The list below details any key topics, issues, articles, notes mentioned in today’s show.
- Keri Potts from “A Fight Back Woman” and her TED Talk on her experience being sexually assaulted abroad
- Pathways to Safety: Empowering victims of interpersonal & gender based violence abroad
- The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
- Runners’ World Runners Alliance: Safer Together
- Hasan Minhaj’s “The Real Cost of Cruises”
- Smithsonian Magazine: Conservationists Want You to Stop Building Rock Piles
- Unearth The World: Pairing Volunteers With Non-Profits
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating by Barbara Kingsolver
- Impact Travel Alliance
- The Icelandic Pledge (see photo below)