Beyond Traditional Tourism: How Women Have Changed the Way We Travel

by Celia Cooksey

In the dynamic landscape of the travel industry, women in leadership roles have emerged as architects of change, reshaping not only how we do business but also leaving an indelible mark on the way we travel. Under the transformative impact of female leadership, the industry has shifted away traditional tourism towards more expansive, fulfilling, and memorable experiences. What was once a flight, hotel and a to-do list has evolved into a tapestry of enriching moments characterized by attention to the smallest customer-centric details, such as silky throw pillows in hotel rooms and amenities immersed in local cultures.

With unique perspective, experiences, and insights, women have crafted strategies that resonate with a broader range of travelers, ushering global connectedness beyond conventional boundaries. One trend seen is a new era of fostering connections with local communities and curating authentic, meaningful interactions for vacationers and travelers.

Stephanie Linnartz, in her role as Group President of Marriott international, has been instrumental in driving customer-centric initiatives. She has shown her commitment to addressing the diverse nature of travelers by spearheading the company’s initiatives to intersect technology with hospitality through the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty platform. The platform was rated #3 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs and allows the travelers to receive points and rewards to pay for anything from TSA Precheck applications to concerts and sporting events.

Another transformation in luxury travel hospitality has been under the direction of Sonia Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group. She oversees over 40 properties in operation across 20 countries, and has been a key figure in the design of hotel spaces. “The key is to design a hotel that doesn’t feel like a hotel.” She combines local culture with luxury amenities to create an elegant, and culturally immersive stay.

Peggy Fang Roe from Marriott International has been instrumental in curating culturally immersive experiences. She has overseen the development of Marriott’s “More Local, More Often” strategy which emphasized authentic and locally inspired offerings at Marriott properties across Asia Pacific.

Furthering the vision of blending the travel experience into the local offerings, Rity Mehrotra, Country Manager for focused her efforts on collaborating with local hosts and communities to offer unique stays, ensuring that travelers can engage with the culture and traditions of the travel destination.

By incorporating local authenticity, fostering community engagements, and luxury design details, women have been especially influential in promoting culturally immersive, diverse adventures resulting in a more enriching approach to the future of travel. Their leadership has propelled the industry beyond traditional tourism, embracing the diversity of the world’s cultures, and promising travelers a journey that exceeds the ordinary.

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