Inge’s green hospitality school on the Indonesian island of Sumba puts local people at the heart of sustainable tourism.
Her visionary school gives young people all the skills and experience they need for a rewarding career, while preserving their culture and environment. Inge De Lathauwer is the founder of Sumba Hospitality Foundation. Her Foundation combines Inge’s belief in sustainable tourism with her academic disciplines and her conviction that education is key to improve life chances. She holds a masters both in Asian Studies and Hotel Management and has more than 15 years’ of experience serving on school boards and charitable organizations in her home country, Belgium. Inge and her husband have four sons, all of whom support the Foundation and are proud of its achievements.
Inge chose the Indonesian Island of Sumba to set up her foundation because it is on the cusp of tourist development and desperately in need of investments and jobs. Her Foundation has built a unique eco resort and permaculture farm which shows that tourism can be a force for good. Her mission is to provide students with a rigorous education in hospitality, as well as nurture their responsibilities to the beautiful natural environment. Graduates get secure jobs and the broader community is invited to attend free English classes and learn permaculture techniques. By working closely with local people at every stage of development, the Sumba project provides a blueprint for sustainable tourism that puts local communities at its heart. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at x