Meet Kristin Westermann, sustainable tourism certificate student

My name is Kristin Westermann, and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am starting a new business called Peak and Sea Africa.

I first visited the East African country of Tanzania in 2003 with my father, a Lutheran pastor. He founded a small nonprofit that provides scholarships for young Tanzanians to attend secondary school, vocational training and college. I have been working with this scholarship program and a Tanzanian school for children with physical disabilities since 2004.

Unemployment is a huge challenge in Tanzania, and often even well-educated young people struggle to find a job. Tourism is Tanzania’s second largest industry, and it is expected to grow rapidly. I decided that I wanted to create employment by helping tourists visit Tanzania.

My Tanzanian business partner is a former scholarship student who started his own successful tour company in 2013. Together, we plan to offer wildlife safaris, Mount Kilimanjaro climbs and Indian Ocean beach vacations. Sustainability will play a key role in our operation; we want to support local tourism businesses that share our concern for the environment and local communities.

¬†ECU’s graduate certificate in Sustainable Tourism, focusing on case studies and practical projects, has been incredibly helpful as I develop this new business. I look forward to launching Peak and Sea Africa in early 2021.

I hope my company will help the Tanzanian tourism sector recover from COVID-19 and continue to grow in a healthy, sustainable way.

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