Our Associates

Introducing our global network of Associates who contribute their vast range of experiences and wealth of knowledge to elevate the work of Equality in Tourism International. 

women in tourism Indonesia logo

Women in Tourism Indonesia

Women in Tourism Indonesia is a non profit organisation that embraces women who participate in the tourism industry by spreading awareness that ‘they matter’. Their vision is to promote women’s participation in the sector through better tourism work. They embrace and support all women in the tourism industry, in small, medium and big enterprises.

Karen Simmonds

Karen is the founder of Travel Matters, a travel concierge company which specialises in arranging bespoke worldwide adventures & holidays. She is passionate about building awareness and engagement about how we can travel responsibly and in a sustainable way, sharing good practice with clients and the travel industry as to how travel choices and decisions can have a positive impact on the communities we visit. She also created a campaign “Make Travel Matter” which highlights some of the issues around responsible travel. Through this, Karen has spoken in various schools, on podcasts & vlogs to help educate travellers about travelling responsibly.

Alba Sud

ALBA SUD is a Catalan association, specialized in Research and Communication for Development, and founded in Barcelona in 2002. The association also has presence and collaborators in several Latin American countries (currently in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico), and presents itself as a platform of exchange and joint work between professionals from distinct disciplines related to the Research and Communication for Development from different parts of the world. ALBA SUD sees Research and Communication as tools to service proposals on transformation and emancipation, in fight against inequality and in support of societies with higher levels of equity.

Iaia Pedemonte

Iaia Pedemonte

Iaia is a freelance journalist, the founder of the Gender Responsible Tourism Association (GRT), a team of communication, responsible tourism and gender experts promoting women’s empowerment in tourism. As a communications and information group, GRT publishes information about the best travel destinations where women are the protagonists. It is also the antenna of a global network, receiving, transmitting and linking up with initiatives, individual women, enterprises, associations and institutions. Iaia has undertaken assignments for international organisations, including the UNDP for a sustainable ecotourism project in Yemen. She has reported worldwide about women’s empowerment and tourism development in destinations. Iaia has Advanced Diplomas from the Italian Institute for International Political Studies in Post War Reconstruction, Development and International Co-operation, Humanitarian Operations in International Emergencies, Developing Gender Empowering Strategies and New Destination Management.

Maud Masiyiwa

Maud Kumbirayi Masiyiwa

Maud’s mission is to encourage uplifting women in Africa to key decision-making positions, transparent ownership within the tourism industry, and handing the baton over to the younger female entrants. She has widespread training and development experience with a focus on Small Micro and Medium Enterprise(SMME) development.

Maud has worked on AgriTourism projects, Women and Youth Empowerment Initiatives, National Tourism Clustering Market Plans, Community Based Tourism initiatives, and Local Tourism Development Strategy plans to name but a few. She keeps abreast with the fast and ever-changing tourism landscape by acquiring additional qualifications from various local and international bodies.

Fiona Bakas

Fiona Bakas

Fiona is an emerging researcher specialising in the area of gender and tourism development. She recently completed a PhD at Otago University, NZ, using feminist economics to examine the relationship between gender roles and tourism entrepreneurship in Greece.  In September 2014, Fiona took up the position of Research Fellow at Aveiro University in Portugal, looking at gender roles, economic innovation and gender equality in the Portuguese tourism sector and applying for funding for gender and tourism related projects. She is an active member of tourism and gender-related groups, such as the International Federation for Graduate Women and the Aegean University Tourism Research Unit.


Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) is a research, campaign and advocacy organisation charged with the vision of democratising tourism by upholding the principles of equity, justice and sustainability. It was founded in 1985 in response to understanding the impacts of tourism development and from 1990, particularly in the context of the opening of the Indian economy to study the impacts of newer forms of development like tourism on local communities and to understand – if they did really benefit from tourism. This question has been central to their work for the last three decades. Through their engagement with women’s issues, they examine ways in which women can have greater access, control and ownership over livelihoods and natural resources as well as access to the benefits in the context of tourism. They endeavour to influence policy makers in order to evolve greater gender-sensitive models and policies for tourism.

Lucky K. Chhetri

Lucky K. Chhetri is an award winning social entrepreneur and campaigner for women’s empowerment. In 1994, she founded the 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking P. Ltd in Pokhara, Nepal with her two sisters, and has been running it ever since. 3 Sisters is a ground-breaking enterprise, specialising in developing female trekking guides in the Himalayas. In 1999, they also established the non-governmental organisation Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN).  

Empowering Women of Nepal & 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking work in partnership to promote and empower Nepali women through Adventure Tourism. Together they combine a practical skill-based training and paid apprenticeship program with gainful employment opportunities, specifically focused on the trekking industry.

Hilda Namara, CEO of The Ubuntu Women Tourism Foundation

The Ubuntu Women Tourism Foundation

The Ubuntu Women Tourism Foundation is a sustainable tourism startup in Uganda that offers meaningful travel experiences and volunteer opportunities. These experiences allow travelers to explore, learn, and positively impact local communities and the planet.

The project focuses on generating livelihood opportunities for rural women through empowering women with holistic entrepreneurship skills, economic empowerment and linking them with village banking strategy. 

Charmarie Maelge

Charmarie Maelge

Charmarie is the Founder Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership (RTP) in Sri Lanka and created and operationalised the National Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme (NSTCS) for the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) in 2019. She is also a certified trainer and assessor in tourism vocational education and has trained over 600 youth to enter the tourism industry. Charmarie has worked as a Women’s Business Development Adviser and Gender Specialist for UNDP & USAID.

She has conducted comprehensive gender research and analysis that focused on existing gender dynamics within the tourism sector, in order to better understand the legal, cultural, and financial practices at the community, institutional, and national levels for the USAID Indo-Pacific Opportunity Program (IPOP Project) under Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) activity.

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Charlotte Louwman-Vogels

Charlotte is Founder and CEO of Fair Trade Tourism Foundation. The foundation aims to further gender equality in the tourism industry by preventing the exploitation of local communities through tourism.  As indigenous women are often the culture bearers, it can leave them prone to exploitation. Its work focuses on assisting local communities with their transition towards Community Based Tourism (CBT), enabling local people to receive the benefits that tourism brings.  With its focus on raising awareness of the issues around exploitation in tourism and how CBT and sustainable tourism can make a difference, Fair Tourism hold workshops, speaks at congresses, writes academic articles and collaborates with destination management companies, their overseas agents and additional stakeholders.

Kenya Association of Women in Tourism

Kenya Association of Women in Tourism  (KAWT) is a non-profit association, whose primary mandate is to provide a platform for women’s empowerment through engagement, employment and participation in the tourism industry. KAWT through its established networks and associations has engaged and participated with other industry players in formulating policies on issues regarding wildlife and environmental conservation. They aim to unite and mobilise women in the tourism and hospitality sector and advocate among women the spirit of self-worth, self-reliance and self-improvement.

Gavin Bate

Gavin grew up in England and Western Australia and studied English literature in Northern Ireland before embarking on many years of travel, mostly in developing countries, during which he worked as an aid driver in east Africa, as an expedition guide and also scrapping ships on the beaches of India and Pakistan. He also lived in the slums of Nairobi and worked as a teacher for several years, also building clinics and schools with the money he raised as a mountaineer on many fundraising climbing trips. This included six expeditions to climb Mount Everest, a solo walk across the Sahara Desert and a trek to the Magnetic north pole.

He started the adventure travel company Adventure Alternative and the charity Moving Mountains. These organisations continue to thrive, providing careers and livelihoods to many. Gavin now resides in London with his family, still actively traveling and climbing mountains. He occasionally lectures on responsible tourism and small adventures on large mountains, and he is a Fellow of Oxford Brookes University.

Kate Simon

Kate has been a journalist for more than 25 years working on a variety of national UK newspapers and business and consumer magazines. She was travel editor of the Independent on Sunday (2005-11), where she also wrote a weekly comment column, Travel View, which tackled the issues around global tourism. Since stepping down from the role she continues to write for national newspapers and magazines and has co-founded Traveltappers, a specialist travel PR agency. Through Traveltappers, Kate consults on media relations for Equality in Tourism.

Annie Young

Annie has been working in the tourism industry, specialising in the combination of tourism and conservation, for over 20 years. She is both the founder of the pioneering tourism company, EcoCircuitos Panama, and the president and co-founder of the Panamanian Foundation for Sustainable Tourism (APTSO). Through APTSO, Annie played a key role in establishing The Sustainable Rural Tourism Network of Panama (SOSTUR), which provides support to local tourism initiatives developed by community cooperatives, artisans, farmers, young entrepreneurs, local guides, and women groups from diverse backgrounds.

Dr Elaine Yang, Equality in Tourism Associate

Dr Elaine Chiao Ling Yang

Dr Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, originally from Malaysia, is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism at Griffith University and Tourism Researcher at Griffith Institute for Tourism in Australia. Her research expertise lies in diversity management; social inequalities in tourism; and solo travel. In 2019, she delivered a research and training project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to empower women entrepreneurs in Latin America to succeed in their tourism businesses by cultivating their digital entrepreneurial competency. She has also worked with Tourism Australia, Asian Development Bank and other organisations on consultancy and funded projects. Elaine has been identified as an Emerging Tourism Scholar by e-Review of Tourism Research and she won the Early Researcher Award from the Critical Tourism Studies Asia-Pacific Network in 2020. 

Heather Jeffrey

Heather Jeffrey moved to Dubai as adjunct faculty at Middlesex University after completing her PhD in 2017. Heather’s doctoral studies have focussed on the influence of tourism on Tunisian women, but she has also researched work life balance and maternity protection in Malaysia. In 2016, Heather travelled to the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba in Argentina as part of the International Network for Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities commissioned by the European Commission/Horizon 2020-Marie Curie (RISE). These projects reflect Heather’s research interests in all intersectional social inequalities, though her primary focus is gender.

Heather teaches on a variety of courses including media and marketing, where she draws on her doctoral research to explore ethical issues related to the (re)presentation of peoples and places. Heather has already written several papers and contributed to books on topics that engage with the vision of Equality in Tourism. In addition to scholarly outlets, her blog for the Huffington Post regularly communicates issues related to gender equality and women’s rights to a non-academic audience.

Carla Ricaurte Quijano, our associate

Carla Ricaurte Quijano

Carla Ricaurte Quijano is an Associate Professor in Tourism at ESPOL in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has worked as a tourism-planning consultant for the Ministry of Tourism and local authorities, contributing to the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development. Her research focuses on the dynamics of tourism and its potential for social transformation. Carla holds a Master’s degree from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and a PhD from the University of Brighton, where she participated in the Brighton Complex Systems Knowledge Exchange Project. Her research interests include agency and self-organisation in tourism governance. More recently, she has started looking at the themes of gender and social inequality in tourism spaces, including women in tourism academia, women in the public tourism sphere and the informal tourism economy in beach destinations. She is currently leading the Coastal and Marine Tourism Research Group at ESPOL.

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Elisa Spampinato

Community Connector and Storyteller, Elisa Spampinato has dedicated her professional life to creating visibility for indigenous communities and turning tourism into a tool for their sustainable development.

She started in the Academic world as a researcher and consultant involved in international seminars and research projects in Italy and Brazil in 2005. Until 2009 she worked there collaborating with the Federal University of Piaui and Rio de Janeiro, Community-Based Tourism (CBT) projects, local enterprises, and international NGOs.

In 2020 she founded Traveller Storyteller with the mission to bridge the gap between indigenous communities and responsible travellers through their stories. She applies an ethnographic approach to storytelling and writes compelling stories about local cultures, and women empowerment.

She designs and delivers Community Storytelling training programmes aimed at strengthening and developing storytellers at the grassroots level, to boost the ethical marketing of their products and services.

She co-creates new innovative marketing collateral with CBT enterprises to promote their market access and commercial visibility.

Nyamirambo Women’s Center

Nyamirambo Women’s Center, a Rwandan NGO, was launched at the end of 2007 by 18 women living in Nyamirambo, Kigali. Together they created a project which aimed to address gender-based violence, gender inequality and discrimination, problems faced today by many Rwandan women. NWC’s mission today is to provide education and training to disadvantaged women so that they can gain better opportunities for employment.

NWC has become an important community centre for women in Nyamirambo, by offering free classes in literacy, English, basic computer skills, handicrafts and sewing, empowerment trainings on gender based violence and trainings on responsible community based tourism.

Professor Shirley Kaye Randell

Professor Shirley Kaye Randell

Shirley is a leading expert in education, public sector and institutional reform in developing countries and in gender mainstreaming and human rights for women, and has provided specialist technical assistance to governments in the Asia Pacific region and in Africa for the past 16 years. She is the founding director of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda, East Africa. She has received numerous awards and honours for her work, including being decorated as an Officer of the Order of Australia and being named one of the 10 global Inaugural Australian Women of Influence. She has organised international conferences and leads tours for various organisations. She also serves as a patron and board member for several women’s organizations.

Dr Hamira Zamani-Farahani

Hamira Zamani-Farahani has worked as a tourism researcher, writer, consultant, lecturer and entrepreneur for several years. She holds a PhD in Tourism Management from Malaya University in Malaysia and her publications include national & international journal papers, book chapters and three books. She has also worked as a Consultant for governmental, nongovernmental and academic institutions in Iran and abroad. Hamira is founder and managing director of the Astiaj Tourism Consultancy & Research Centre in Tehran. Astiaj, founded in 2001 as an independent tourism, leisure and hospitality consultancy company, provides a wide range of professional services designed to help companies, NGOs and Government agencies within the tourism sector.  

Brenda Boonabaana

Brenda is a Lecturer and Gender Specialist based at Makerere University, Uganda where she leads the teaching of Sustainable Tourism and Tourism Resources Management courses.

Brenda has been a Gender Consultant for national and international development partners, including UN agencies.  She has worked with the United Nations Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as a Regional Field Expert for Africa, towards producing the Second Global Report on Women in Tourism and  was part of the team that won a global award of excellence for human development reporting in 2016, for the UNDP country report focused on: Unlocking the development potential of Northern Uganda.

Polly Pattullo

Polly is a publisher, journalist and teacher. Her first books were about the role of women: in employment (Women and Work, with Lindsay Mackie, 1978) and in politics (Power and Prejudice, with Anna Coote, 1990). Since then she has worked for the Observer and the Guardian. Her book Last Resorts: the Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean (1996) was followed by Fire from the Mountain: The Tragedy of Montserrat and the Betrayal of its People (2000). She was co-author (with Robert Cleverdon) of the marketing report on the feasibility study for Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail (2002) and sole author of a report into the posadas (guesthouses) of Sucre, Venezuela. In 2006, she wrote the introduction to Tourism Concern’s book, The Ethical Travel Guide. 

Dr Diana Shakti Maya Luck

Diana is a consultant, author and researcher in Relationship Management and Social Responsibility. Since 1990, she has worked in and been a consultant for the hotel, tourism, car, telecommunications, oil and financial services industries, setting and maintaining quality assurance standards in line with focused strategies. As an academic, Diana has written three books on assessing the marketing environment and has contributed to eight others focusing on the processes of Knowledge Management and Customer Relationship Management. She is published in a range of academic journals and has so far presented her investigations on Corporate Social Responsibility and the creation and auditing of relationships at 16 international conferences. She is a member of the Social Responsibility Research Network, the Institute of Hospitality and the Ethical Corporation. Diana’s current focus as a non-fiction author and photographer is on gender equality and on women’s empowerment.

Shelagh Mooney

Shelagh Mooney is a postgraduate Program Leader at the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), where she lectures in organisational behaviour and human resources management. She has a background in the hospitality industry, holding senior executive positions in various hotel groups. 

She noticed a lack of diversity and gender inequality at these levels and as a result became actively involved in research and industry panels on these issues.

In 2018, Shelagh joined the ATEED Tourism Steering Group and co-founded the HARM Forum to address harassment and bullying. She is also a co-editor of ‘Hospitality Insights,’ a publication that provides industry research on trending topics. 

Hazel Tucker

Hazel Tucker

Hazel Tucker is Associate Professor in Tourism at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and specialises in the area of tourism’s influences on socio-cultural relationships and change.

Along with a number of published articles in refereed journals and books, Hazel is author of Living With Tourism: Negotiating Identity in a Turkish Village (Routledge 2003), and co-editor of Tourism and Postcolonialism (Routledge 2004) and Commercial Homes in Tourism (Routledge (2009). Hazel is engaged in curriculum development at the postgraduate level and teaches courses on tourist culture and research methodologies, as well as leading a Masters level ethnographic field school course in northern Thailand.

Lucy Atieno

Lucy Atieno

Lucy Atieno is a tourism researcher currently pursuing her PhD at Bremen University in Germany. She applies participatory research techniques to research gender, tourism and climate change. Her academic journey is complemented by professional experience in sustainable tourism consulting
in East Africa, where she focused on enhancing local linkages to tourism value chains. Lucy also
has a background in academia, having given guest lectures and taught university courses on tourism and environment.

Lucy Ferguson

Lucy Ferguson is an international specialist in gender issues in tourism, following her PhD on the topic in 2007. She has collaborated with UNWTO since 2010, and was the Lead Consultant for the Global Report in Women in Tourism, 2nd Edition. As part of the current UNWTO Centre Stage project, she has produced the “Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines for the Public Sector in Tourism” and the “Gender-inclusive Strategy for Tourism Businesses”. She has trained key public and private sector stakeholders across the tourism sector in a wide range of countries, as well as trained 65 new trainers to conduct these trainings in Jordan, Costa Rica, Mexico and Dominican Republic. Lucy is currently working on a study on women’s empowerment in tourism for the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

Pierrette Nicolosi

Nicolosi Pierrette

Pierrette has run a travel agency in Brussels for the past 25 years. Her experience in the travel business prompted her to set up Toures (Tourism Responsable) in 2000 to offer professional support on ethical tourism projects and work with local partners, as well as to sensitise the public to the impact of tourism on host countries and to organise “alternative tourism” projects. From 2005 to 2008, Pierrette was president of Tourisme Autrement, the first Belgian initiative for fair trade in tourism. Her tourism projects are based in Palestine: supporting civil society movements and the most vulnerable – the women and children.

Dr Marina Novelli

Dr Marina Novelli

Marina is Professor at the Centre for Tourism Policy Studies (CENTOPS) at the University of Brighton. She has considerable research experience in the field of international tourism planning and development, rural diversification, sustainable tourism development, niche tourism, capacity building and community based tourism approaches in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia. She has undertaken assignments for international organisations such as the World Bank, Unido, Unesco, the EU and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Her book Niche Tourism: Contemporary Issues, trends and Cases (2005), looks at niche tourism as a core aspect of global tourism development and policymaking debates. She is currently researching and writing about tourism and development with a specific focus on Sub-Sahara Africa.

Sarah Becklake

Sarah Becklake

Sarah has a PhD in Sociology (Lancaster University, UK), and is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Lancaster University (2017), having previously finished her MA in Global Political Economy at Kassel University, Germany. Her special interest in global tourism mobilities has led her to extensively research the gendered aspects of tourism labour and security. Sarah is currently in the process of publishing her PhD as a book, entitled ‘Making Destino Guatemala: Everyday Enactments of Global Tourism Competition’. Sarah’s most current research project interrogates the practice of ‘touristic securitisation’, wherein she seeks to offer an alternative understanding and approach to the tourism-security nexus.

Erum Khan, sustainable tourism expert

Erum Khan

Erum Khan is a pioneer in sustainable tourism and one of Pakistan’s foremost advocates in this field. She has initiated the first sustainable tourism practices in the region, targeting some of the toughest destinations for adventure and wellness tours. Erum drafted the first-ever Sustainable Tourism Policy for a province and is now collaborating with the federal government on several sustainable tourism and hospitality projects.

Recently named a Climate Change Maker by the UN, she is dedicated to integrating climate change policies to address global challenges. She has served as a Senior Fellow at ISDR Geneva, promoting the integration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into policy frameworks.

Erum serves on the Board of Directors at the Ministry of Tourism, Sindh, and is a member of the Climate Change Committee at the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce. She is the Chairperson of the Climate Hub Forum and Founder of Odyssey – A Sustainable Tourism Company. Under the Climate Hub Forum, she launched “Art for Climate Change” with a Hollywood producer, whose climate change documentary was featured at COP28, and initiated “Towards Zero Waste” for the hospitality and food sectors.

Through her SustainBizz Coffee with Erum podcast and as Editor-in-Chief of Travel Explorer Weekly International, Erum amplifies sustainability initiatives globally.

Njeri Gachuhi

Njeri Gachuhi

Njeri Gachuhi is a lawyer and a social justice activist who merged her passion for travelling and fighting for the rights of women and sexual minorities to build a travel start up called The Travelling Wakili.

Wakili is Swahili for lawyer. The Travelling Wakili is a bespoke travel company built around providing safe and inclusive travel experiences for women and queer folk in Kenya and the larger African continent. 

Njeri has been involved in various advocacy movements within the queer and legal spaces in Kenya and brings this aspect of advocacy and education to the trips that she hosts and curates.

She encourages women to embrace solo travel, provides safety tips, delves into historical and cultural contexts and amplifies the diverse and marginalised voices of the travellers who come on her trips.