Vacation With Heart

John McMahon with Amy Carter-James


The past few months have not been easy times. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan ravaged the country (estimates have the death toll at more than 18,000 people and the World Bank says it may cost Japan upward of $235 billion to repair the damage), while unrest in the Middle East has caused gas prices to spike and led to the U.S. and its allies to bomb Libya leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.  

Though travel takes a backseat to humanitarian issues, there’s no denying that one of the biggest challenges a travel advisor faces during turbulent times is convincing clients that, yes, it is still okay to travel!

But, with some many horrible things going on in the world around us, is it socially correct to be relaxing on a beach? Some would say, “Of course it is.” Others, however, might look for a vacation with a little bit more heart. Look no further: I’ve found the perfect person and place for you.

I recently met Amy Carter-James (I’m pictured with her here), who, with her husband Neal, runs Guludo Beach Lodge in Mozambique.

Yes, she runs a great resort, but what most caught my eye was Guludo’s charity work: The resort founded and supports the Nema Foundation, which works with 12 communities around Guludo, and does such good works as feeding 800 children one nutritious school meal every day and providing mosquito nets to mothers of young children.

It’s acts like these that made Carter-James the well-deserved receipient of the 2011 Young Leader award at the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, in March, an event co-organized by Questex Media. The award is given each year to a young and emerging leader in the hospitality industry. We can’t think of a recipient who epitomizes the spirit of the award any more than Carter-James.

Make sure to check into her resort; now, that’s a vacation with a lot of heart!

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