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In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we reached out to leading women in the travel industry—from cruise line presidents and ship captains to travel advisors, hotel GMs and tourism bureau CEOs—to ask what their daily inspiration is and how they keep moving forward, forging a path for all. Their words are sure to inspire you. And I’ll shut up now, so you can hear from these 14 fabulous women….

“I’m inspired by our employees, both on board and ashore, as they have continued to work diligently as we plan to resume service, as well as our incredibly loyal guests and travel advisors who continue to support us every step of the way. Their amazing support keeps all of us at Carnival motivated.”
– Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Lines

“Every day I find myself inspired by my family and teammates. To see the drive and determination of my 10-year-old son as well as the determination and agility of my team during this very complicated time gives me a true positive outlook on the future. While we experienced many challenges this past year, we also saw opportunities, including the opportunity to create a safe and worry-free environment for our guests as they regained their desire to vacation again and also the ability to provide a hybrid work environment for our colleagues, well aligned with the ‘new normal’ we all experienced. As we look into the future, we believe that travel will not only resume thanks to the on-going vaccination efforts, but the demand and desire will be extremely strong. And at Club Med, we are ready for travel to have its rebound, with 70 resorts worldwide that are well-equipped and excited to safely welcome back travelers. Each day, I feel more hopeful about the future.” – Carolyne Doyon, CEO and President, Club Med North America

“Walking through the front doors of The Confidante each morning is a daily reminder that I love what I do. The space, culture and experiences we offer are second to none, all due to our inspiring colleagues who are so passionate about their work. You can feel that through the innovation and creativity of each service offered at our retro-glam hotel.” Amy Johnson, GM, The Confidante Miami Beach


Building Cruise Planners has been my life’s work—I can’t imagine anything else and am committed for the long haul. During this time, it’s been our amazing franchise owners who continue to inspire our team to innovate and create new tools, answer questions for their clients and are keeping the faith while struggling through this very difficult year. The strong will not only survive but will thrive.”
– Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative

“The diversity of the Cruise Planners family has always been an important part of who we are, but now more than ever, it’s about coming together as an industry and our collective strengths continue to impress me. At Cruise Planners, we have always called it Cruisitude and I love that during these trying times, we continue to have a positive outlook on the future of travel—we will rebound.”
– Vicky Garcia, COO and Co-Owner, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative

“Our amazing guests, my incredible team and my wonderful family inspire me every day—each in their own way—and give me the energy to keep going. This past year has changed our perspective in so many ways and I have certainly developed a much deeper appreciation for so many things I used to take for granted—having a meal out, giving someone a hug, traveling…. I’d love to think that we manage to keep that attitude of gratitude alive throughout the next normal and beyond and as I look with growing optimism towards the future, I see a real opportunity for travel becoming more meaningful and being a true force for good—socially, environmentally and economically.”
Ulla Hefel Bohler, Global CEO, Insight Vacations

“I’m so inspired by all my clients, friends, and family who truly yearn to travel. Even if they’re not ready to travel yet, the desire is definitely there, and they want to go somewhere meaningful as soon as they can. I’m also truly inspired how the entire travel industry banded together over the last year to lift each other up and make the best of the all the changes that we experienced. I’m so fortunate to work in the best industry out there.” – Kim Goldstein, President/Travel Consultant, Journeys Inc.


“I strive to create an environment in all facets of my life that encourages diversity, builds inclusivity and leads to an everlasting impact. This mantra founded in authenticity, empathy, integrity, and simplicity is what motivates me on a daily basis. I’m lucky to have had several strong women—from my mom to my sister to my mentors—that have helped shape who I am today and continue to inspire me every day. I strive to provide that same inspiration to build and bring out the best in my colleagues, partners and friends as well.”
Elizabeth Fettes, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Premier Worldwide Marketing

“It is life itself that inspires me. Life is a journey that is as fascinating as it is mysterious. I was once a wide-eyed girl watching in awe ships sail into Livorno port, full of curiosity for my future. I would never have dreamed of becoming the captain of a luxury cruise ship such as Seven Seas Splendor. And now I am a woman, with a career I’m extremely proud of, and it is life’s previous experiences that keep my eyes on the future, just knowing that something else incredible is waiting for me just around the corner.”
– Serena Melani, Captain, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

“The daily inspiration comes from my husband, family, my team, friends and everyone around me. I have an opportunity to dream, define and create the future. It is in my hands to make a difference, be the role-model and to inspire and motivate the current and future generation of hospitality professionals.” Jacqueline Volkart, Dual GM, The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Miami Beach (The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach & The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour)

“Gratitude continues to provide my inspiration in what has been a most challenging year. Looking into the eyes of our young people, knowing their future is determined by our decisions in the toughest of times, provides motivation to press forward. It certainly helps to live in and visit places that are inspiring—incredible natural beauty helps to keep you grounded, soothing the soul through troubled times.”
– Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CEO, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority

“Leading a global tourism organization during this crisis has undoubtedly brought challenges. The world has faced a pandemic that has had a devastating impact on families, the global economy and our industry. My primary motivation throughout has been to ensure that our organization delivers on its priority, to support our tourism industry, one of the first and hardest hit economic sectors, through crisis to recovery and beyond. My focus has also been on staff welfare, ensuring we are in the best possible position to deliver on our priority, as reflected in our recently launched ‘people strategy’ with diversity and inclusion at its heart. We have all had to get used to new ways of working to stay connected, as we have seen just this week with our global ExploreGB Virtual event. The sheer resilience and innovation of our outstanding tourism industry continues to be a constant inspiration. Businesses right across the sector have worked flat-out to welcome visitors back safely, time-and-again demonstrating their flexibility, adaptability and outstanding customer service in the face of huge challenges. Finally, being able to see green shoots firmly on the horizon is hugely energizing. It is going to be fantastic to see our tourism businesses reopening their doors and on the road to rebuilding, as restrictions can be lifted, and to be able to welcome visitors back to our shores in person once we can travel again.” – Sally Balcombe, CEO, VisitBritain

“First, I would have to say that it is my three children who have helped keep my eyes planted towards the future. This new normal has allowed me to spend much more time at home and has granted me the opportunity to watch my children grow up, this has been inspiring. On another front, my hardworking team at VistaJet really helped me adapt over the past year and inspired new ways to think ahead. My team adjusted well to the new norm; balancing work from home while proactively and reactively responding to the needs of our clients as private travel demand increased during the pandemic. I am proud that we as a company were ready and able to fly clients where they needed to go and am looking forward to continuing to connect the people across the world.” – Leona Qi, U.S. President, VistaJet

“It’s been a tough past year for all, but I remain hopeful and optimistic about the future, and I am inspired by the knowledge that more people have recognized the true value of their own good health. This alone will help drive the interest in wellness travel. I am also self-inspired by my own passion to do everything I possibly can to help the wellness tourism industry recover stronger, and with a greater effort to be more inclusive, regenerative, and sustainable. Witnessing a range of mountains set against the sky and prompting me to ‘reach for the sky’ is yet another source of inspiration.”
– Anne Dimon, President/CEO, Wellness Tourism Association

Celebrating women—click here and here.