An international luxury and sustainable travel thought-leader, Tom Fels is the Founder of Animarem, a business transformation advisory focused on positioning purpose-driven companies, brands and destinations for growth. Reinventing the way leaders think about the role of business in society, he is the Southern Africa representative of the global B Corp movement, the Middle East & Africa regional lead for B Tourism and an Ambassador of the Transformational Travel Council. Tom was previously CEO at African conservation-tourism icon Singita, and Group Managing Director at Publicis Communications.
What do you love most about Africa?
No matter where you are from, you will find a soulful home in Africa. It is a place of deep inter-connectedness and has a way of returning us to our most reflective, inspired selves. It also fuels the imagination and has a youthful energy that makes one believe anything is possible.
Where are you heading in 2021? What adventures await you?
I’m mostly focused on exploring our own beautiful country and all it has to offer, as we so often overlook our local treasures. No more! We just returned from a multi-generational family stay on the KZN South Coast which was very special.
What was your favourite thing about being a speaker at Africa Travel Week: Virtual?
I am passionate about sharing the vision of a more sustainable, transformative travel economy for all. Provoking new thinking about the role of travel in our lives gets me fired up, and I hope to make connections with travel owners who share this belief. It is becoming clear that Purpose is the heartland of new luxury in travel, and it manifests in the realm of wellness and personal transformation – just what we all need after the toils of 2020.
Based on your 5 senses, what are you looking forward to most about Africa Travel Week 2022?
- Like to see: Familiar faces – it has been too long and the travel community really is one big family. Time for a family reunion!
- Like to taste: The best of African cuisine, reimagined for a global audience. The Cape is a force as a global food destination and we do an amazing job of representing our incredible natural produce. Eating has become an integral part of the travel experience and this is another area where Africa as a continent can shine.
- Like to feel: Connected with like-minded people and enlivened by the regeneration of travel as borders open up once again.
- Like to hear: The hum of energetic conversations everywhere – of people making lasting contacts, doing good business and finding creative solutions to today’s challenges.
- Like to smell: The fresh Cape spring air