Hello, I am Katharina

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I am a passionate traveller and tourism professional. The joy of discovering new places and cultures has been my leading motivation to become a tourism expert. 

Many memorable trips and extended stays in Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America have helped me to grow as a person and as a professional. 

Born in Hamburg Germany, my curiosity has guided and helped me to immerse in the cultures of all the 6 countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, where I have lived so far. 

Currently, I am based in Valencia, Spain, but you will certainly be able to meet me anywhere in Europe and hopefully soon again in Asia and other beautiful places around the world. 

 

If I am not working you can either find me somewhere outdoors on a bike, in a kayak or just on foot or in a cafe sipping on anything that does not taste too much coffee ;). 

 

Another passion is languages: I speak German, English, French and Spanish fluently. On top of that, I have a basic command of Dutch, Russian and Burmese. 

Sunset at home - Germany

Sunset at home - Germany

It is always great to visit my hometown Hamburg and stroll through it's streets

Inle Lake - Myanmar

Inle Lake - Myanmar

This picture was taken at the amazing Inle Princess Resort, during a team-building activity

Ginger harvest - Myanmar

Ginger harvest - Myanmar

Passing these smiling workers, during a 3 day hike.

Thai breakfast - Thailand

Thai breakfast - Thailand

Trying local food is such an important part for diving into a culture.

Harvesting tea - Myanmar

Harvesting tea - Myanmar

Testing a community-based activity

Making new friends -Indonesia

Making new friends -Indonesia

For 10 days I was volunteering on an educational farm and got many new friends

Hiking - Chile

Hiking - Chile

Getting off the beaten path - enjoying a hike in nature

Street art - Georgia

Street art - Georgia

Street art is an important way for young Georgians to express themselves

Bicycle trip - Thailand

Bicycle trip - Thailand

Discovering the lesser known parts of southern Thailand by bike and train

Weaving house - Myanmar

Weaving house - Myanmar

Visiting a local weaving family during a product development inspection

My professional journey: 

My professional journey started as a 'hotel management apprentice’ in Wiesbaden - Germany in 2002 and has led me through a variety of positions in hotels up to the role of ‘rooms operation manager’ in Paris - France. From there I decided to take a turn and discover tour operations in the position of ‘Regional manager Thailand and Myanmar’ for a cycling tour operator in 2018.  

These years have formed my vision and understanding of sustainable tourism and have taught me many valuable lessons on what works well and what does not, therefore I have at last decided to use my experience and expertise to help tourism businesses as a 'co-creator' and ‘mentor’.

For my complete bio on LinkedIn, click here : 

  • LinkedIn

A selection of valuable experiences and projects:

Sustainable practices:

  • Recycling program (hotels - Germany):  Developing an internal recycling system for housekeeping cleaners to recycle a maximum of in-room garbage - Identifying: WHAT can be recycled and HOW can this be included in our daily operations

  • Community collaboration (tour operations Myanmar & Thailand): Engaging and collaborating with various community stakeholders to create mutual benefits and strengthen the community and the destination as a whole by working with local suppliers only, actively participating in community initiatives, supporting local handicraft and art through our products

Strategic staff management

  • Evolving a recruitment strategy with HR (hotels - France):  Preventing continuous hiring challenges by improving our employer brand, creating internal, cross-departmental development opportunities and opening interesting  internships and apprentice positions to attract the future workforce right from the start

 

  • Leadership mentoring and coaching (tour operations - Vietnam): Accompanying the new, local leadership team of the Vietnamese branch in their first 6 months, through mentorship, coaching, empowerment and technical training such as business plan preperation and presentation

Process and change management

  • Guiding employees through brand and structural changes (hotels - Germany & France | tour operations Myanmar & Thailand): Defining a change management roadmap, that included communication, training and guidance in the starting phase, involving key employees in the process to increase motivation and inclusion 

 

  • Increasing cleaning supply-usage efficiency (hotels Germany): Developing a housekeeping supply monitoring and ordering system to increase cost efficiency and reduce negative environmental impacts occurring through overuse of cleaning products. Identifying reasons for overuse and eliminating them through adapted processes and training

Product analysis and customer experience:

  • Customer satisfaction analysis (hotels - Belgium, France & Germany): Using different tools (internal feedback collecting programs and external feedback sharing platforms)  to  measure and analyse customer satisfaction:  identifying key challenges - adapting service and products accordingly  - setting goals to measure success

 

  • Product and customer experience study (tour operations - Myanmar and Thailand): Reviewing existing products  and correlating customer feedback, cost-effectiveness, pricing, service delivery and product value - ensuring that products were consistent with the brand message and customer expectations - continuously monitoring them and adapting them as needed