Adria lacorte, aniyami
How do you feel that your history best prepares you for service on the ATCF Board?
I graduated in Tourism Management in Spain and later in Sustainable Tourism in the UK back in the 90s. After that, I worked as a financial and strategic consultant for tourism projects for 5 years in the UK and Spain, and finally as a project manager for a tourism development company in Spain for another 5 years. In 2003, I founded Aniyami Brazil, a ground operator in Brazil specialized in Adventure Travel. We have been members of ATTA, WATA, RCVB, ABETA for some years now. Along these 15 years in adventure travel, we embraced the principles of social entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism all along. As a CEO of the company, I gained experience on the right and wrong decisions, and always learned how to make steps ahead towards our mission: “to promote environmental conservation and sustainable community development through adventure travel in Brazil”.
Outline the specific skills you bring or contributions you hope to make to the ATCF Board.
I can bring the South American and Mediterranean (I am originally Spanish) perspective, including networking, cultural aspects and emotional understanding. I can also bring my strategic and financial management background as a consultant first and entrepreneur after. Also, I have been fully engaged in the certification of B Corporation and Travelife, so I can also bring knowledge in that regard. Finally, I can bring the experience as a social entrepreneur in a destination management company. And above all, dedication and determination to the ATCF cause and a lot of optimism which we really need to face the challenges ahead :).
Why do you seek a position on the ATCF Board of Directors?
A friend of mine use to say that when you become part of a non-profit association, you have to be ready to be the president at some point in time. This is obviously not my desire at all now, but I agree to the fact, that we became members of the ATCF to make a difference, and we need to be part actively in the process. I understand that the ATCF is aligned completely with our mission and principles, so I am ready to contribute as much as I can for this cause. Also, I have good friends in the ATCF which I respect, admire and trust.
Describe any experience with sustainable tourism.
Although we always had the philosophy of a responsible travel company and proposed trips aligned with the sustainable tourism principles, our initial years were focused on gaining financial sustainability. It was in 2015, when we decided to make a step forward and certificated as a B Corporation changing our mission and adapting our values to fully adopt the principles of purpose beyond profit. In 2017, we also started the certification process of Travelife and this year became Travelife Partner. We now have a sustainability strategy and an action plan and as a primary part of it, it was to become members of ATCF. One of our dreams is also to promote a Brazilian Conservation Fund using adventure travel, and we are already making steps towards it.
Describe any experience working in fundraising and development.
I have not much experience in fundraising for NGO’s except from my engagement with the educational social project in Bahia. There, we worked with fundraising campaigns for monthly child sponsors, investment donations, crowdfunding for specific issues and institutional projects. It was around 250.000 usd per year. Also, I have been involved intensively in the financial and strategic part of how to develop the project taking into account fundraising options and costs associated to it. My previous experience as a strategic business consultant has been helpful in that regard. One example was accessing the grant of Adventure Life, an ATTA company, to develop a library for the educational social project in 2017.
Describe any experience working with indigenous/community groups.
With Aniyami Brazil, we have been involved with indigenous and community groups to develop projects together for indigenous and community tourism experiences. The aim has always been that these partnerships are sustainable for both parties, travelers and communities. We have examples in the Amazon, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro or Iguaçu Falls. In the Amazon, we have worked with Ticuna indigenous communities and other riverside communities; in Bahia, we have worked with Pataxos and Quilombola indigenous communities and other community groups in Serra Grande, Itubera or Salvador; in Rio de Janeiro, we have worked with community groups in several parts of the lower income regions of the city. In Iguaçu Falls, we have worked with Guaranis indigenous communities and a community group linked to our recycling pilot project there.
Describe any experience working with nonprofits and/or conservation groups.
We have been involved in many social and environmental projects in Brazil since our foundation in 2003. In recent years, I have accepted to be a Board Member and Member of the Audit Committee of the Associação Pedagógica Dendê da Serra (an Educational Social project in Bahia); and also a Board Member of IESA - Instituto de Estudos e Empreendedorismo SocioAmbiental (an Environmental Project in Bahia). I am familiar with the legal and financial responsibilities in Brazil, and am an active member of both organizations.