We Travel For Women+: Helen Soto, Roam Wild Adventure
Live from: Tanzania, Africa, and New Jersey, U.S.
My business is a global adventure tourism company. We started in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania and that is where our tours are currently focused. I am CEO and I oversee all our business strategy and growth.
I’ve always loved travel and adventure. After working for over two decades in the corporate world, I decided it was time to repurpose my life and set my goal on creating a vision to bring sustainable adventure tourism mainstream.
Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the great achievements of the women+ pioneers who paved the way for subsequent generations. It’s a chance to honor the vision, strength, and perseverance of those women+, and to forge new opportunities to empower the future women leaders in travel and beyond. Every year during Women’s History Month I learn of the incredible accomplishments of women+ who unfortunately didn’t make it into the history books, and I’m always astounded and impressed by the great things those women+ achieved and the contributions they made to society. My fervent hope is to be able to make even the tiniest mark to help empower and advance women, as my forebears did before me.
I’ve been lucky as a female working in the travel industry, as most of the people I have come across in the industry have been very welcoming and open to doing business with a woman-owned company, such as ours.
I think previously the travel industry was male dominated, but it seems that nowadays many women+ are taking the helm of running their own travel businesses and doing so successfully. As a woman, I think we bring a unique perspective to travel, putting greater emphasis on meaningful travel experiences that respect the communities and environment, and I truly believe travelers are seeking this type of travel, especially post-pandemic. I’m proud to be part of the women+ who are blazing trails in sustainable tourism.
Now more than ever, women-owned travel businesses are coming to the forefront and are thriving. We are proving through our vision and passion that women-owned travel companies can be successful. I have met many amazing women+ through various travel and tourism associations, where I’ve had an opportunity to connect and discuss how we can help each other and positively impact the travel industry.
Overall, my experiences have enabled me to become a stronger business woman in the travel industry and I hope to be a source of empowerment for other women+, as well.
I think women+ in the travel industry have had to work hard to elevate themselves as a credible source for travel expertise, but we’re finally being recognized as a force for elevating the advancement of travel, and particularly sustainable travel. For example, at the recent Travel & Adventure Show in New York City, women-led businesses were featured in the travel industry in several sectors. As a woman-owned business, I’ve also found that there are additional opportunities for business support, training, and funding that may not have been available to women+ before. Now is a great time for women+ in travel.
One of the ways in which people can help to empower women+ in travel this year and beyond is by choosing women-owned companies when planning their travel. Another impactful way to empower women+ in travel is for industry organizations to continue to provide opportunities for women-owned and operated travel companies through training, resourcing, networking, and business guidance. Together through awareness and promotion of women+ in travel and industry level support, women+ can be further empowered to create amazing travel experiences.