Africa Travel Week
Lanese Carstens

I love the joy that travel brings to people!

With a deeply seated passion for travel and tourism, Lanese has lived in four countries and travelled to more than twenty. Yet, ever since setting foot on the Seychelles for the first time, she has maintained that it is the most beautiful and magical place in the world; without equal in terms of natural beauty. 

Now that she’s been bitten by the Seychelles bug, Lanese loves to assist people in planning their special trips to this secluded piece of paradise and to help them make the most of it.  

Where did your love for travel start? 

As a child, I have always been fascinated by other countries and cultures and food and how other people’s experiences compared with my own – my dad always encouraged this curiosity. When I finished my studies, I had the opportunity to live and work in London for four years, and with the easy access to a myriad of flights, multi-entry visas and pounds in my pocket, I spent every opportunity I had to travel to new and different places. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry? 

I love the joy that travel brings to people! Also,  

“I firmly believe that if more people travelled with the purpose of immersing themselves in and seeking to understand cultures different to their own, this world would be a much more tolerant and inclusive place.” 

What is your favourite destination/place to visit and why? 

Ooooh… this is hard!  

Do I have to choose just one? There are so many!  

I guess I love different places for different reasons. I would pick Seychelles for its natural and pristine beauty and marine life, Prague for its old-world charm, Namibia for its contradicting landscapes, Las Vegas for the partying, Turkey for the hospitality, New York for the shopping, Budapest for the hot springs, Rome for the history and Paris for the food! There is a myriad of places I’d love to include as each place I’ve visited has offered a different and unique experience. 

Tell us about one of your most memorable travel experiences and why it stands out. 

Each trip that I’ve taken has been memorable and unique in its own way; however, if I had to pick one, I guess it would be my first solo trip which happened to be to Prague; one of my favourite cities in the world. It was a trip that forced me out of my comfort zone (travelling with others or in a group)  

“when we move out of our comfort zone and actively seek out and push through our discomfort, that is when and how we grow as a person.”  

I met the most amazing people on this trip, and instead of spending a few days in Prague as originally planned, I ended up staying 2 weeks and going on many more adventures throughout the rest of that year with some of the people I met on this particular trip. 

Give us a travel tip you don’t think anyone else gives.. or that isn’t given enough.. 

Immerse yourself in local culture, as much as you can! Do things that scare you or that you wouldn’t normally do at home, and treat locals with the respect and deference that all people deserve. Please note that I don’t mean people should be irresponsible or unsafe, but rather that we should all get out of our comfort zone and seek to understand those around us and their cultures and customs better. 

Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you… 

  • Like to see: I love historical places. I love imagining the people that have stood in the exact spot I’m standing, and what their lives might have been like so many years and centuries and eons ago.                    
  • Like to taste:  Anything traditional or local to the place I’m visiting, especially if I haven’t had it before! 
  • Like to feel:  Something that puts the wind in my hair!   
  • Like to hear:  The sound of waves lapping gently on the beach. It’s my happy place!   
  • Like to smell:  Hmmm, I think I have to go with the briny, tangy smell of the Atlantic ocean. No other ocean smells exactly like it, but maybe it’s just because it smells like home to me 😉 

Do you have any suggestions on resources for other travel and tourism stakeholders. Any websites, publications, podcasts, thought leaders you can recommend or newsletters we should sign up to? 

This might be a little unorthodox, but I love a YouTube channel called “Yes Theory”. It’s not solely about travel, but these guys’ philosophy encompasses a lot of the things I love about travel, and they’re always going on new, sometimes silly, adventures. I think this channel encourages everyone to live their best life and follow their dreams, and that all of it is possible whilst still having the utmost fun.  

And fun and travel should always be synonymous! 

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows 

I love learning new languages, and always make an effort to try and at least pick up the basics of the main language of whatever place I’m travelling to. Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done, but one could at least learn to say please and thank you! 

Lastly, what do you love about Africa Travel Week (WTM Africa) and what are your sentiments on the evolution of trade shows being part virtual? 

The opportunity to meet with new clients and suppliers alike, raise one’s brand awareness and to develop and maintain relationships with others in the industry is second to none! Being partially virtual certainly opens up the possibility for more people to attend, and I think technology and the part it currently plays in conferences and trade shows will not go away post-pandemic and is certainly here to stay. 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.