‘Doughtnut’ tourism

Hotel chambermaids as mission-oriented innovators

Feminised poverty, hazardous employment and precarious health on the supply side of tourism can potentially be transformed by the travel choices and purchasing decisions of smart green consumers. Charles Leadbeater has argued that a social movement with the right purpose or mission can create new markets. ‘Las Kellys’, Spain’s organised hotel chambermaids are fighting for fair pay and safe employment. They are the overworked backbone of Spain’s Marca España, and evermore visible. On the heels of a regenerative and distributive mission, the chambermaid movement can co-create and strategically ‘prepare demand side innovation’ such that more people aspire to ecologically safe and socially just products and experiences.

TAGORO demonstration of what collective learning from the bottom-up for mission-oriented innovation looks like, with the participation of Las Kellys’ Myriam Barros, Ana Nacher and Marcia Díaz, and an interdisciplinary mix of ULPGC students at the TIDES – Institute of Sustainable Tourism and Economic Development, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Kate Raworth developed a doughnut-shaped compass that points the way to a distributive and regenerative economy, located between the social foundations and the ecological ceiling of the Doughnut. This new way of thinking about the economy underpins the TAGORO systemic action research & learning lab launched in Gran Canaria at TIDES, in collaboration with Las Kellys Association, to collectively learn how to transform (i) key determinants and outcomes of exploitative and hazardous work endured by hotel chambermaids, and (ii) behaviours, values, needs and aspirations of green consumers, into regenerative and distributive conditions of tourism — in the form of new products, policies, systems, services, business models, technologies, markets and organizational processes that synergistically generate value, safety, fairness and well-being for tourists, workers, business, the destination community and the environment.

Equipped with the right design tools and behaviours, alongside other mission-oriented partners in business, government and academia, hotel chambermaids and smart green lifestyle consumers can co-create ‘safe and just’ tourism and employment.

‘Systemic design’ driven transition to the ‘safe and just’ space in the Doughnut.


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