Gamechangers: Leaders & Influencers - Full-Time Travel

Gamechangers: Leaders & Influencers

Gamechangers: Leaders & Influencers

Whether they’re striving for inclusivity and sustainability or shaking things up with new innovations and fresh perspectives, these Leaders and Influencers are making waves in the travel industry. We can’t wait to see what our winners do next.  

Breanne Acio, Co-founder and CEO of Sēkr 

Breanne Acio

Breanne Acio was doing “vanlife” long before the pandemic’s outdoor recreation boom and nationwide RV shortage. After living and working on the road full-time, Breanne knew firsthand just how hard it could be to find good camping spots with well maintained facilities and internet connectivity. In 2018 she co-founded Sēkr, a platform that brings campsites, resources, and amenities together in one place for its dedicated user base. Cultivating a sense of community – one that’s welcoming and accessible to all, and respectful towards public lands – has been a pillar of the Sēkr ethos from the start, and the company proudly supports and spearheads various initiatives related to inclusivity and sustainability.

Evita Robinson, Founder of NOMADNESS, speaker, and consultant

Evita Robinson

When Evita Robinson launched the NOMADNESS Travel Tribe back in 2011, it was one of the first online communities created for travelers of color. Since then, NOMADNESS has grown exponentially to include group trips, a festival, and a web series called The NOMADNESS Project, which Evita co-executive produced with Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure. The NOMADNESS Travel Tribe now boasts more than 29,000 international members whose trips generate tens of millions of dollars for the travel industry annually, galvanizing tourism boards and tour companies to be more inclusive. In short, Evita is a powerhouse who is making strides to improve representation and diversity in an industry that still has a lot of room for progress.

Khalid Meniri, Founder and CEO of Selfbook

Khalid Meniri

After creating data-driven e-commerce experiences for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, Khalid Meniri was ready to start his own intuitive payment platform. Selfbook, which he launched in 2020, aims to overhaul the hotel booking experience by enabling modern payment methods like Apple Pay that integrate seamlessly with each hotel’s existing reservation system. From the traveler’s perspective, Selfbook is a simple, convenient, and secure way to pay for a hotel reservation, so they can focus on fun stuff – planning their adventure-filled itinerary.

Naomi Heaton, Founder and CEO of The Other House

Naomi Heaten

Naomi Heaton put her experience in advertising and real estate to good use when she founded The Other House, a new hospitality concept that’s part fancy hotel and part private rental. Established in 2019, The Other House allows travelers to book a Club Flat – a beautifully decorated, housekeeping-serviced apartment equipped with all the homey amenities – for stays of anything from one day to more than a year. Residents also get access to the on-site Private Club’s exclusive wellness, dining, and socializing facilities. The Other House currently has two locations in London (one in South Kensington and a second in Covent Garden, slated to open in 2024), but the company has grand plans for global expansion. Naomi’s vision effortlessly fulfills our shifting hospitality needs and preferences at a time when remote work and slow travel are increasingly mainstream.

Titouan Bernicot, Founder and CEO of Coral Gardeners

Titouan Bernicot | By Ryan Borne

National Geographic Explorer Titouan Bernicot grew up on the French Polynesian island of Mo'orea, where he spent his formative years surrounded by coral reefs and a thriving marine ecosystem. After witnessing the sudden demise of his home reef firsthand, he launched Coral Gardeners, an initiative that’s revolutionizing ocean conservation through restoration efforts, awareness activities, and innovative solutions. To date, Coral Gardeners has planted 16,000 corals around Mo'orea and Titouan hopes that by 2025 that number will increase to more than one million corals worldwide. Scientists predict that 90 percent of coral reefs could perish by 2050 if global warming continues at its current pace. If Titouan and the Coral Gardeners have anything to do with it, a global movement to save the world’s reefs will ensure it never comes to that.

*Featured image is courtesy of Evita Robinson

"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen