Often it’s those we meet on our travels who create lasting memories long after returning to familiar shores and this year, to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, The Travel Corporation has rounded up eight inspiring women in travel from across the globe.

From the likes of Beatrice Tollman’s famous recipes bringing a mother’s touch onboard Uniworld’s Super Ships to meeting a fourth generation dedicated Umbrian textile weaver, these women in travel are changing the way we view the world.


1. A Generous Host


Jasmina (R) and her family

In the historic city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, besieged and ravaged by war as recently as 1996, Jasmina and her mother Senada open their home to Insight Vacations travellers for a delicious home-cooked dinner. Jasmina is a chef in a top international restaurant, but she originally learned to cook from her mother.

There’s something truly special about a family opening their home to guests and wanting to learn about their lives back home. Jasmina loves hearing their stories, and passionately wants to share hers, making sure visitors realise what a beautiful city Sarajevo is despite the damage of the war.


2. A French farm owner and Restauranteur


Beatrice (L)

After living in the United States and Mexico for some time, one of Trafalgar’s Be My Guest hosts, Beatrice and her husband returned to their native France to set up home on a farm close to the famous Chateau de Villandry.

On Trafalgar’s Highlights of France and Barcelona trip guests will meet Beatrice, the hostess with the mostess who will make them feel instantly part of the family, telling guests everything there is to know about this 17th-century farm before serving up a traditional three-course homemade Tourangelle dinner with local wines.


3. A Mother


Mrs Bea Tollman (L) and her daughter Toni Tollman

Food is a major part of your travel experience and a part of who Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is – with much credit given to Mrs Beatrice Tollman and her fantastic personal recipes served onboard.

Mrs Tollman, author of the highly acclaimed cookbook A Life in Food, dedicated to her husband, five children including The Travel Corporations CEO Brett Tollman and generations of food lovers to come is her living legacy.

A mother’s love can be felt through food and sometimes a hearty homemade meal is exactly what you need to make a mealtime a masterpiece. Guests can try her Chicken Soup or famous Honeycomb Ice Cream on a Uniworld river cruise.


4. A Guardian Angel and Philanthropist

Petra Nemcova

Petra Nemcova

U by Uniworld, the new river cruise brand has welcomed Petra Nemcova, model and noted philanthropist, as the brand’s ‘Guardian Angel.’

Petra following her harrowing experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami founded the All Hands and Hearts program, dedicated to rebuilding safe, resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters.

The non-for-profit fund is now active in 10 countries around the world and has helped rebuild more than 160 schools and assisted nearly 100,000 students in getting back to school following natural disasters. This week construction will commence towards rebuilding a school in Nepal, on behalf of U by Uniworld’s donations towards the relief.


5. A Widow empowering others

Eat my cake, Pondicherry, India

Eat my cake, Pondicherry, India

Using organic and locally sourced products, local widows in India’s Pondicherry run a small café called Eat My Cake, creating sustainable work opportunities for locals by teaching them hospitality skills.

These women come from uneducated backgrounds and without the education required to work it becomes quite hard. Contiki stumbled upon Eat My Cake and is now dedicated to supporting this tiny café’s purpose of empowering local women.

The philosophy of Eat My Cake is you don’t need to speak a language to be able to cook. Contiki travellers can support these women and their independence when travelling on the Southern Spice Southern India trip.


6. An Owner of an Italian Hand-Weaving Workshop

Marta Cucchia

Marta Cucchia

Founded by a housewife turned elementary school director Giuditta Brozetti in 1921, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti workshop in Perugia was inspired by Brozetti’s fascination with traditional textile weaving.

This passion for the art of hand-weaving using antique wooden looms has been passed down through the generations and today the workshop is run by Giuditta’s granddaughter, Marta Cucchia, who has embraced her Umbrian heritage and family traditions.

Marta is now the only person in the world still practising this traditional art and her love and passion for weaving Umbrian, Medieval and Renaissance designs from silk and wool is captivating. Guests on Trafalgar’s Italy Bellissimo trip can meet Marta and help keep this ancient craft alive.


7. A Duchess

The Duchess

Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland

There’s more to a Duchess than her title – Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland is an inspiring entrepreneur, who is best known for turning Alnwick Garden into one of North England’s biggest attractions.

With so much support, the garden became a charitable trust separate from her husband’s Northumberland Estate. Guests can join the Duchess for a private tour of her beautifully restored gardens at her home, Alnwick Castle on Luxury Gold’s British Royale journey. This exclusive experience is a part of Stanley Tollman’s Chairman’s Collection, offering a holiday that is unparalleled.


8. A Filmmaker, Storyteller and Ambassador

Celine Cousteau

Celine Cousteau

As a documentary filmmaker and gifted storyteller, Céline Cousteau has travelled the world working to help amplify the voices of the amazing individuals who are working to protect ecosystems, wildlife and people. Cousteau, embodies the TreadRight Foundations philosophy – working to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come.

In her role as TreadRight Ambassador, Cousteau assists in communicating the TreadRight mission while telling the stories of the many sustainability project partners TreadRight helps to support around the world, including its efforts to support global artisans through the TreadRight Heritage Initiative, and its work to stem Rhino poaching through the TreadRight Wildlife Initiative.

Who are your female role models in the Travel Industry? Share your thoughts below.