Tourism

Meet the newest speaker at Women in Travel 2018!

Lauren Croft

ICYMI, the 2018 Women in Travel Awards are next week! We know, time flies when you move the awards up a few months.

Which means the night of nights to celebrate women in travel is almost upon us – and you’ll be heading to the awards next Thursday like:

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Despite the awards being so, soooo close, you can still get tickets here! Which is pretty important if you plan on attending one of the best industry nights of the year. Just sayin’.

Our dear old sponsors at Intrepid Travel have been supporting this event from the beginning of time, and we can’t thank them enough.

James Thornton, Intrepid Group CEO (pictured below), said that (like all good ideas) this one started over a drink.

James Thornton

“[We] ended up discussing barriers to gender equality in the industry. That conversation over a couple of beers spurred the idea of the Awards and then it was a no-brainer for us to sponsor the event,” he told Travel Weekly.

“We’re really proud to have been the headline sponsor of The Women In Travel Awards from the beginning. We continue to sponsor it because we can see for ourselves that it’s making an impact.

“It’s started conversations that needed to be had. The Awards are a really positive way to make a difference because they shine the spotlight on some of our industry’s stars and that often provides a much-needed confidence boost,” he added.

Shining a spotlight on the many, many deserving women in our industry is just one of the perks of the awards – plus a fab night out with your best industry pals. Empowerment, celebration and supporting women? What more could you want on a Thursday night?!

No, not today, Thursday. Next Thursday 21! BTW, if you haven’t got a party dress at the ready, tonight is late night shopping day.

And we’re not the only ones super, duper excited for a weeks time.

“It’s an event that always generates a lot of buzz at Intrepid. It’s a real pleasure to see our own stars get recognised by their peers, but also to see the impact this event is having on the industry as a whole,” Thornton told TW.

“We fly our nominees up from Melbourne for the evening and last year one of our female leaders from India left her country for the first time to attend. We can’t wait to be part of this year’s celebrations of incredible women.”

And this year, Intrepid isn’t just flying up their nominees – they’re flying in a GM from Morocco!

Zina Bencheikh (pictured below) is a trail-blazing woman who is tackling stereotypes for women in travel on the front line. And she’s sharing her story at the Women in Travel awards.

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She’s responsible for all Intrepid Group trips in Europe and North Africa, as the general manager of Peak DMC Marrakech. And we can’t wait to hear her speak.

Intrepid’s aim is to double female tour leaders by 2020, but in some nations, this is a tough ask and cuts to the core of women’s role in society – especially in Bencheikh’s home turf, Morocco.

Just 25 per cent of the Moroccan workforce is female, and only three per cent of tour guides in Morocco are female. But Bencheikh is paving the way for a new way to travel, with gender parity the priority – and has already experienced a plethora of success.

After one year in the role as general manager, she took the number of female guides from zero to 10, which works out as 15 per cent female to male.

How did she do it?

You can hear her story at Women in Travel.

Lucky for you, tickets are still on sale. Grab them here to hear Zina Bencheikh’s inspirational story.

The fabulous cocktail party and awards will be held on June 21 at Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf. All other info can be found on the Women in Travel website here.

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