New day tours in London led by women who have overcome challenging circumstances have been introduced by Intrepid Travel to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The responsible travel specailist has teamed up with social enterprise Women in Travel to give three women the opportunity to take their first steps in the tourism industry and embark on a career as tour guides.
The women, who are from Ethiopia, Morocco and Albania, will share stories about the customs and traditions of their home countries and their influence on the immigrant communities in Shepherd’s Bush, Kingston and Southwark.
Food and drink are central to the three urban adventures, with visitors taking part in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, trying Balkan kofte and learning how to make Moroccan mint tea.
The three women have gained mentoring and coaching needed for a career as a tour guide over the last six months.
They were previously unemployed and approached Women in Travel to gain the training and support needed to eventually find economic independence.
The tours are commissionable for agents, while 15% of the price will be donated to Women in Travel, which reinvests all profits into the training and mentoring of underprivileged women like the ones leading the tours.
Intrepid Travel EMEA managing director Zina Bencheikh said: “Women in Travel shares many of our values at Intrepid Travel, particularly our belief that we cannot have a sustainable travel industry without female empowerment.
“I am very proud to launch these tours for International Women’s Day and hope that people will enjoy experiencing a new side of London after many months of lockdown.”
Klaudija Janzelj, managing director of Urban Adventures, added: “It’s been a privilege for our team to work with Ella, Sefanit and Kaoutar on their journey to becoming tour guides. Their passion for the culture and flavours of their home country and appreciation of their new home London is truly inspiring.”
Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel, said: “Women in Travel is proud of and inspired by these trailblazer women, who arrived in the UK with little money, limited English and no connections.
“Yet through sheer determination and hard work they have been able to forge a career in this great industry. We are grateful to Intrepid for their continuous partnership and hope that more travel and hospitality businesses will follow their lead.”
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