On a warm autumn day last week, I had the wonderful pleasure of attending a luncheon in New York City for the 2012 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards. The accolade Pack for a Purpose received as the Editor’s Pick for Digital Initiative was an incredible honor. To have received this recognition in less than 3 years on the internet is quite an achievement. This was made possible by an awesome group of volunteers, all of whom except for me have full time jobs! Their talents and expertise have made Pack for a Purpose a website, which as Peter Greenberg stated on CBS This Morning is a valuable resource for travelers. Their dedication and commitment to our initiative has enabled us to grow from 25 lodgings in January 2010 to over 280 Lodgings, Tour Companies and Cruises in 45 countries in October 2012.
I was thrilled that three of the other winners recognized at the luncheon, Wilderness Safaris for leadership and Nihiwatu and Tongabezi Lodge for community building, were already partners on our website. During the lunch, which was delicious, we also participated in a round table discussion which was very insightful. The participants agreed to share information in the future which will help promote innovation and responsible tourism in the travel industry.
After the luncheon, several attendees came up and expressed interest in becoming part of our website. We are very grateful to Travel + Leisure Magazine for creating and promoting these annual awards.
To maximize our trip to New York, we spent the next two days making valuable connections with current and new partners.
Pack for a Purpose is thrilled that The Leading Hotels of the World has chosen to benefit the community in Cape Town South Africa by asking all participants at their annual conference to pack for a purpose. We had a wonderful meeting with the team at LHW’s corporate headquarters in New York who were responsible for reaching out to us and setting the project in motion. We want to particularly thank Jennifer Oberstein, Senior Director of Communications, and Claudia Kozma Kaplan, the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, for their belief in our initiative.
Our partner, Luxury Link, invited me to meet their New York team. This wonderful group of individuals is already adding Lodgings to our website through their commitment to Pack for a Purpose and their outreach to the lodgings they represent. Several members of their experienced and creative team shared ideas with me to enhance Pack for a Purpose and increase our effectiveness. Meeting the east coast members of the Luxury Link team was inspiring and enjoyable.
I was also able to meet with two travel writers from New York-based magazines and a potential new partner who represents many lodges in Africa.
It was a whirlwind three days full of positive connections and impactful meetings.