Empowering Women in Tourism: Anni Vahter’s Journey with Off the Beaten Track Project

In the dynamic world of tourism, the Off the Beaten Track project has emerged as a beacon of empowerment for women. Anni Vahter, a vital participant in this initiative, recently shared her enriching experience during the programme. As an new employee of Rapla County Development and Entrepreneurship Center, Anni’s journey unfolds through various meetings, workshops, and events aimed at fostering collaboration and innovation in the field of tourism.

Anni takes us back to the inception of her involvement with the project, vividly recalling the first event held in Pärnu. At that time, she wasn’t associated with the Development Center but had already made significant contributions to her community, running a local farmers market and a food-sharing cupboard. Additionally, her active involvement in an ice swimmers group and the organization of the Women’s Nights Film Festival in Rapla showcased her commitment to community engagement.

Onboarding with Off the Beaten Track:

Joining the programme in April, Anni found the Off the Beaten Track project to be an invaluable resource during her onboarding process to tourism Industry. Being new to the tourism sector, the project provided her with essential knowledge, experiences, and a network of contacts. A key highlight for Anni was the camaraderie developed within the project.

Workshops and Development:

The project unfolded through a series of face-to-face meetings, including one in Anni’s hometown, Rapla. These sessions involved networking, idea development, and self-assessment exercises. Anni reflects on the significance of personal connections forged during these meetings, emphasizing the impact of in-person interactions over online engagements. 

Online Academy and Webinars:

Transitioning to the online academy from July to October, Anni cherished the learning experience. The webinars not only provided valuable insights into various aspects of tourism but also sparked intriguing discussions. The interaction with accomplished women in the field left a lasting impression on Anni, enriching her understanding of the industry.

The Matera Experience:

Anni fondly recalls the Matera meeting, where participants had the opportunity to present their projects. For Anni, the feedback received from women with extensive experience was invaluable. Although her project focused on reducing food waste and remained theoretical, the insights gained from the Matera event added depth and perspective to her vision.

The Online Hackathon:

The project’s final phase involved an online hackathon, offering participants the chance to further develop their ideas. Anni acknowledges the challenges of virtual collaboration but underscores the fascinating learning experience it provided. She suggests a preference for face-to-face hackathons, finding them more conducive to idea generation and collaboration.

For Anni Vahter, the Off the Beaten Track project has been a transformative journey. Beyond the acquisition of knowledge and skills, the true treasure lies in the connections forged and the friendships made. As Anni continues her endeavors to contribute to tourism, she carries with her the invaluable experiences and support gained through the Off the Beaten Track project.


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