Exploring Empowerment: International Women’s Day and the Transformative Power of Travel

As the world commemorates International Women’s Day on March 8th, we take this opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of women in the travel industry. From fearless adventurers to innovative entrepreneurs, these women have shattered glass ceilings and inspired countless others to pursue their passions and dreams. 

Melody Sky: Capturing the World Through a Lens 

Melody SkyMelody Sky’s lens doesn’t just capture images; it captures stories. As a travel photographer based in Verbier, her work transcends mere visuals, delving deep into the heart and soul of every destination. Melody’s journey as a photographer began in the picturesque landscapes of Scotland, where her mother’s passion for photography ignited her creative spark at the tender age of four. 

A twist of fate found Melody in Tignes, France, inspired by the cinematic beauty of Luc Besson’s ‘The Big Blue’. Here, she immersed herself in the world of ice diving before her journey took a new turn as she delved into the world of skiing, eventually becoming the first female in Europe (and the world) to have her ski films broadcast globally and showcased on cinema screens. Fuelled by her passion for adventure and storytelling, Melody pursued a university degree in film and sport in London and Melbourne, further honing her craft and expanding her horizons. 

Today, Melody’s lens continues to inspire awe and wonder, capturing the essence of each destination she encounters. From the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps to the sun-kissed shores of distant shores, her photographs evoke a sense of wanderlust and a deep appreciation for the beauty of our world. 

A seven-night stay at Hotel la Rotonde, arriving 17 February 2024 is priced from £1,105 pp based on two sharing a room on a B&B basis. Flights and transfers are extra.  

Verbier: www.verbier.ch   

Anjalee: A Culinary Journey Through Kandy 


Meet Anjalee, a woman of remarkable talent, whose journey as a tour guide in Kandy embodies the essence of Sri Lankan cuisine, culture, and community. As a mother of two, Anjalee’s passion for food and storytelling knows no bounds. 

Anjalee’s culinary expertise isn’t just a skill—it’s an art form. With a deep-rooted love for experimenting with new dishes, she has mastered the art of blending flavours and spices to create mouthwatering Sri Lankan delicacies. Her journey began with a desire to introduce her children to the rich tapestry of Sri Lankan cuisine. Waking up before dawn each day, Anjalee meticulously prepares curries and dahls from scratch, ensuring that her family’s meals are not just nourishing but also bursting with flavour. 

But Anjalee’s culinary talent extends far beyond her kitchen walls. As a tour guide with Tropical Sky, she invites travellers to join her on a culinary adventure through the vibrant streets of Kandy. With every step, she unveils the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine, weaving together stories of tradition, history, and heritage. 

What sets Anjalee apart is not just her culinary expertise but also her dedication to her craft. In a male-dominated industry, she stands as a beacon of inspiration, challenging stereotypes and breaking barriers with every tour she leads. In a world where female tour guides are a rarity, Anjalee’s presence shines brightly, paving the way for other women to follow in her footsteps. 

A six-night Sri Lanka Food Tour is priced from £1,799 pp on a half-board basis. This includes international flights, accommodation, transfers, foodie tours in Kandy and Colombo, attractions including Dambulla Cave Temple and the Temple of Tooth Relic, a safari in Kaudulla National Park, a trip to a tea factory and a tour guide throughout. 

Tropical Sky (01342 331795 www.tropicalsky.co.uk 

Patrizia Iantorno: Sailing Towards Success 

PatriziaIn the male-dominated world of cruising, Patrizia Iantorno stands tall as a beacon of leadership and empowerment. As the Chief Commercial Officer of Swan Hellenic, she navigates the seas of change with grace and determination. From overcoming challenges to embracing opportunities, her journey exemplifies the spirit of resilience and innovation. 

Patrizia confronts various challenges inherent in the cruise industry’s historical male focus. Breaking through this mindset requires steadfast determination and a commitment to fostering gender diversity. Additionally, the demands of global leadership often necessitate extensive travel and balancing time zones, presenting personal challenges for Patrizia and other women in similar positions. Nevertheless, she finds immense reward in witnessing the industry’s evolution towards greater gender diversity and inclusivity, with more opportunities for female leaders to rise within Swan Hellenic. 

Patrizia reflects on the emergence of a new wave of female cruising leaders with enthusiasm. She believes that women bring invaluable soft skills to the industry, injecting empathy and fostering balance within cruise companies. As the industry shifts towards a more consumer-centric focus, understanding guest insights becomes paramount. Patrizia observes that many top female leaders in the industry possess marketing backgrounds, driving a shift towards a more customer-oriented approach rather than purely technical aspects.  

A 10-night cruise, departing 30 April 2024, beginning in Dakar and ending in Casablanca, costs £1,980 pp (two sharing) and includes group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port, one-night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast at a four / five-star hotel or onboard and all meals onboard.

Swan Hellenic (0207 846 0271, www.swanhellenic.com) 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us honour the trailblazing women who are reshaping the future of travel. Their stories of resilience, innovation, and empowerment serve as a powerful reminder of the limitless potential that lies within each of us. Together, let’s continue championing gender equality and diversity in the travel industry and beyond. Here’s to the women who inspire us to dream, explore, and soar to new heights. Happy International Women’s Day!