Icefields Parkway

Celebrating the Future of Travel on International Women's Day

Molly L
by Molly Lisiewicz

March 07, 2019

5 minute read

How are women shifting the future of guided travel?

Thanks to the rise of social media and digital marketing, women are not only changing the way we see the world, but forming powerful connections with those who share our goals and interests. With vibrant communities expanding across platforms like Facebook and Instagram, women are more empowered than ever before to lead our peers to new destinationsand challenge traditional ideas about solo travel.

Over the past week, we've been chatting with members of the Collette team to gather their most impactful moments, valuable career advice and everything in between. (Find us at @gocollette on Instagram!) Read on to learn how the unique experiences of these women have shaped the course of their lives and the future of travel.

Discovering What Truly Matters

Courtney Iannuccilli

Courtney Iannuccilli, Vice President of Marketing at Collette, found hope in a truly unexpected place. "My favorite travel experience was volunteering at one of our foundation sites in Fiji a few years back. I will never forget how happy all of the children were, especially this one little girl. It's a perfect example of how material things aren't what makes people happy."

Courtney knows that experiences matter, and she's looking forward to embarking on new adventures with her family. "I'm also very excited to visit Morocco this fall with my husband. We want to do an African Safari, to see the amazing wildlife. We'd love to stay in an igloo and go dog sledding in Finland, when my kids get a little bigger!"

Colorful Colombia

Kelsie Marchetti

"I had the chance to visit Colombia, and it quickly became my favorite destination," exclaims Custom Tour Supervisor Kelsie Marchetti. "The food was delicious, the scenery was phenomenal and the locals were so inviting. While there, I had the chance to visit Communa 13, the place where Pablo Escobar was killed, with a local guide. The city has gone through such a positive transformation since its infamous history with the Cartel, that it tells its own story."

What does Kelsie admire most about this colorful destination? "On almost every wall and surface is artwork in the form of graffiti. The city exudes pride and love of art. It has such a welcoming feel and its creativity is infectious."

Women Who Inspire Women

amelia sugerman

Amelia Sugerman, Public Relations Manager, believes that staying ahead of the travel game requires team effort. "Each day is met with excitement and unique challenges that require quick thinking and a positive attitude. It's really important for my team to stay on top of the trends in travel so that we can react to breaking news and position Collette within the story."

When asked about the ways that women are redefining the travel space, Amelia shared that passion for adventure and solidarity are key to our success. "Women are really taking the industry by storm, here at Collette and in the travel community. Now more than ever, women are passionate and engrossed in bringing travel to life for others. One of the best pieces of advice I received when I began my career was to say 'yes' to everything. If someone asks you to jump on a plane tomorrow, seize the opportunity. You will never regret the opportunities you're given to travel."

Making Travel your Vocation

Michelle Gammon Purvis

"My advice for anyone who aspires to begin a career in travel? First, build up your knowledge about what you're trying to accomplish. Then find a community of people who can encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and be there to support you," advises Tour Manager Michelle Gammon Purvis. "When I decided to try to switch careers from museum management to tour management, I read a lot about the travel industry and attended a tour management training course. Now, my Collette colleagues provide an invaluable network that I reach out to for encouragement."

Powerful Tour Moments

kristen rafdal iceland rainbow

"The most powerful moments as Tour Manager center around how my guests react to each new experience and vista," beams Tour Manager Kristen Rafdal. "As a young woman, they welcome me into their hearts like family, and together we exclaim as the Aurora Borealis dances across the sky and shout happily over the roar of a plunging waterfall. It's the joy on their faces as we pose for a fun photograph, or as they excitedly pepper me with questions on their first day in a new country."

Kristen's devotion to her guests proves that life's greatest moments aren't just about the places you visit, but the people you meet along the way. "I exist momentarily in their lives as an ambassador to new destinations, but time and again they truly open my eyes to new perspectives."

Writing the Future of Collette

jaclyn Leibl Cote

"One thing is for sure, people will always travel, so our opportunities are endless," shares President Jaclyn Leibl-Cote. "We have to keep rewriting what the guided travel experience is through innovative ideas and listening to our travelers. At Collette, we change people's lives through travel, and that is what we will continue to do!"


Are you a travel professional, writer or influencer who's shaking up the industry? We want to hear about your favorite destinations, what inspires you to explore, and where you'd love to go next.

Follow us on Twitter at @ColletteTravel and Instagram at @gocollette for the latest in industry trends, up-and-coming destinations and exciting announcements for our newest tours!

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