‘Gender parity must in industry’

Being a part of the adventure industry is thrilling, says Akanksha Garg, Founder Director & CEO (Resorts), Waxpol Hotels and Resorts. She describes her journey from promoting her flagship resort in Sundarbans to the recognition extended by travel industry leaders.

Janice Alyosius

Giving women a voice in the tourism industry is a crucial step in the direction of achieving gender parity in the industry. “Many people did not take me seriously when I started our flagship resort in the Sundarbans — Sunderban Tiger Camp — because I was young and inexperienced, and Sunderbans was thought to be an isolated place with negligible infrastructure,” says Akanksha Garg, Founder Director & CEO (Resorts), Waxpol Hotels
and Resorts.

Sunderban Tiger Camp is India’s first eco-friendly wilderness resort.Waxpol Hotels and Resorts, which specialises in soft adventure, includes activities such as animal safaris, nature walks, culinary experiences, bird watching, and cultural immersion.

She said the foundations of her company’s success are integrity, responsibility, sympathy, modesty, resilience, adaptability, and foresight. Stating that due to her perseverance and the integrity, the travel industry leaders began to take note of her accomplishments, Garg said being a part of the adventure industry is indeed thrilling.

While travelling with a group of women, we frequently tend to carry ourselves with unwavering self-assurance and enjoy ourselves to the hilt after the initial ice breaking. When you are on the road with other women who relate to your situation, you feel at ease, she said.

Speaking of supporting women travellers, Garg shared, “We see many women travelling alone and staying at our resorts in the Sunderbans, Dooars, and Pench. Most of our Sunderban’s customers want to travel with one of our scheduled group departures. There are many long-term single travellers who frequent Dooars. This is possible because they feel comfortable here. To cite an example, if there is an emergency late at night, a security guard will accompany the employees and deliver the material outside the customer’s room. Our drivers have been instructed to treat women with dignity and perform their duties with professional conduct, and our staff has been instructed to maintain a professional distance while serving customers travelling alone.”

Garg, apart from running her business, is also a member of ATOAI Women’s Collective, which has been founded with the goal of creating a community of women who share a passion for adventure.

“There are no fast cuts to success, and so building a successful business requires effort. Having a solid network behind you is essential if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. As a member of the ATOAI, the national body of adventure tourism, we must provide a supportive environment to other women in the industry to discuss the challenges they face and the resources they need to succeed,” Garg said.

Sharing some of her beliefs that have shaped her journey, she said, “Any entrepreneur must learn to deal with criticism and setbacks. With the right frame of mind, you can accomplish anything. Have faith in yourself and your efforts. To those who are considering giving up, one should not be scared to try and fail. There will be setbacks along the way, but with each one comes the opportunity to learn and grow.”


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