Bouteco is a storyteller when it comes to sustainable travel and sharing tips on inspirational boutique eco hotels. We’re also consultants when it comes to creating compelling CSR strategies and charismatic communications and helping enhance the company culture of boutique hotels. We know how to shape inspiring eco-initiatives with integrity and substance which enhance guest experience. Better for the planet and its people, and pushing purpose higher up the agenda along with profit.
More than ever before, hotels need a little heart — or even better, a whole lot of heart — to inspire guests to book, and to deliver a meaningful guest experience, while doing their bit for the world. Tomorrow’s hotel bookers will look for brands that make a positive difference and contribution — today’s purchasing decisions are proven to be influenced by how sustainable a brand is.Send Bouteco an email.
In 2002, when Juliet helped create the Mr & Mrs Smith guidebooks, we helped signpost hotels for style-savvy weekend-awayers in a way that no one else had using a more playful, feel-good tone of voice; as founding editor, they then created an online travel boutique hotel business unlike any other. With Bouteco the aim is to do the same with what is, in fact, a very small pool of extra-special stays. As consultants, Bouteco helps hospitality set more meaningful CSR strategies, and as journalists, we share the most uplifting life-affirming stories in a way that’s beneficial for business as well as the greater good of the planet and its people. Sounds a bit grand — but it’s the truth.
To learn more about Bouteco, visit: www.bouteco.coHuge thanks to Winnie Stubbs, Lydia-Rose Cox, Harriet Whiting, all of our expert interviewees and FreshMinds for their support and contributions and everyone at Insignia — Gaurav Sinha, Issy Phillips, Michelle Lindqvist, Vasantha Kumar, Georgina Deeb, Hanin Hassan, Umer Khan, Smita Subramaniam — for supporting us and helping us conduct and share this survey with the aim of educating, enlightening and inspiring all. BOUTECO FOUNDERS AND REPORT AUTHORS Juliet Kinsman, founder As a journalist and broadcaster Juliet has spent the last two decades celebrating the world’s most special places to stay in The Telegraph to Condé Nast Traveller, on the BBC and as a keynote speaker. Founding editor of Mr & Mrs Smith, Juliet is instinctive about what makes hotel experiences extraordinary; as author of Louis Vuitton City Guides for London and New York, and having spent a decade working with the world’s leading luxury brands as a consultant Juliet is privileged to spend time with creative visionaries and philanthropic hoteliers all over the world. Bouteco was born in December 2016 with the aim of establishing the first truly trustworthy, independent, world authority on boutique eco hotels and to be a changemaker when it comes to inspiring the travel industry to be a force for good and educating consumers about how to be more considerate. Working with award-winning travel brands on their printed and digital content has earned her a rare track record in how best to share the stories from the world’s most remarkable inns, lodges and resorts. She has a BA in Social Anthropology, has been a guest lecturer at Goldsmiths University, and has plans to study for an MSc in Sustainable Development. julietkinsman.com Holly Tuppen, co-founder A passion for travelling the world responsibly started in 2008 when Holly set off on an around-the-world-without-flying adventure. Sailing, cycling, walking and hitchhiking the world’s most epic oceans, deserts and mountain ranges, saw Holly meeting many marvellous people along the way and documenting her travels in one of the first ecotourism blogs. Holly returned to spread the word about green travel through marketing for Greentraveller, freelance writing for The Ecologist, Responsible Travel and The Guardian and as editor of Green Hotelier, during which time she worked as Communications Manager for the International Tourism Partnership helping the drive the world’s leading hotel chains’ CSR strategies. Alongside Bouteco, Holly continues to write, speak and consult on a freelance basis for the likes of Suitcase, Tatler, LUX, TTG, Soho House, Beyond Luxury Media and The Long Run. She has an MA from Oxford in Modern History and a background in consumer research. hollytuppen.com
Insignia is the world's first brand enrichment company. Our higher purpose is to make the whole world worthy of travel, by making people fall in love with places. We believe travel, tourism, hospitality and real estate brands are the front line of cultural diplomacy for a nation. How welcoming, warm and hospitable you are as a brand will determine your position on the world stage and also drive investment and growth within a country. We decode aspirations and fuse insights to create brands that are original, relevant and creatively compelling. We define and defend the enduring essence of any destination to build equitable engagement and affinity between all stakeholders.
We are passionate about creating enriching brand experiences and use design, media and technology to perfect our craft. We are an integrated strategic design consultancy that offers branding, design and communication services to some of the world’s most revered brands. We are anthropologists, authors and activists, united by the belief that great human values make profound brand values. We are catalysts of change, making new places familiar and familiar places new.
We believe in making the world a better place to live, and worthy of travel, by creating destination brands that are humanist, altruistic and compassionate about both the planet and people. We are cultural custodians, curating journeys and experiences that allow people to engage with brands that elevate their self-esteem and aspirations through enlightened empathy and emotive messages. We believe brands are alive and pulsating social organisms, similar to human beings.
This interdependency between cause and community is a reality that shapes sustainable stories and lasting relationships. We are agnostic about demographics and media channels but we do think about psychographics, intent mapping and aspirations. From anthropology to authorship and activation, we provide integrated business support solutions for the likes of real estate developers, owners and operators of hotels, restaurants, spas, shopping malls, theme parks, entertainment shows, leisure and lifestyle destinations, tourism boards, airlines and travel companies.
A progressive and passionate thought leader in the luxury, travel and lifestyle marketing sector, Gaurav Sinha has been working in the Middle East for the past 24 years and is known as an innovator in creative strategy. An agile brand strategist and creative protagonist, Gaurav has created a formidable portfolio of achievements, consolidating his position as an internationally recognised leader in his field. He displays rare and insightful creative flair, complemented by an energetic entrepreneurial zest that has propelled him into the spotlight time and again.
Following a decade in the advertising industry, which included time in the account management department at global advertising giant Lowe, Gaurav moved on to the next chapter of his life with a five-year stint as the Head of Marketing at Hilton Worldwide in the Middle East. It was during this time that he faced a unique set of challenges – finding creative agencies who understood how to sell luxury experiences as opposed to products.
Determined to be the solution rather than just part of the problem, and recognising the need for specialised branding and communications services catering specifically to the burgeoning hospitality industry in the UAE, in 2003 he set up Insignia, the region’s first brand enrichment company specialising in travel and destination brands. In just under two decades, he has steered the agency to becoming the preferred partner for luxury, travel and lifestyle.
In 2014, the evolution of the tourism and hospitality industry in the region inspired Gaurav to launch The Travel Marketing Council, the region’s first members-only forum for travel and hospitality professionals. Staying true to his motto of championing enriching experiences, Gaurav established Quillon in 2016. A development advisory and white-label hotel management company, Quillon currently represents approximately USD 2.4 billion worth of real estate projects in Asia & Africa.
Gaurav is also an active philanthropist and the co-founder of Harmony House, a day-shelter for 500 destitute children in India. The shelter looks after children from six months old to 16. With no corporate sponsors, Harmony House relies solely on personal donations, which come mostly from the UAE and the UK. Furthermore, he is the Brand Ambassador the for Whole World Water Foundation in Middle East & Africa.
Lucy Bruce - Partner & Director
Residing in the United Arab Emirates since 1999, Lucy Bruce holds a BA (Honours) in Education. In 2003, she co-founded Insignia along with her husband Gaurav Sinha. In 2011, Lucy partnered with Beverly Jatwani to launch Home Grown Children’s Eco Nursery, the UAE’s first and only ecological and socially responsible children’s nursery. This nursery aims to instil values that will continue to be with children throughout their lives. Using the British Early Years Foundation Stages as a framework, the nursery has developed a unique, holistic approach called ‘The Green Engagement’, which focuses on generating a respect and awareness for themselves, others and our planet.
In recent years, Lucy has become increasingly devoted to charity work and in 2009 she established Harmony House, a day-shelter for destitute children in India. The charity is registered in the UK as well as in India and provides food, shelter, education and medical care for over 500 underprivileged children, as well as giving social support and vocational training to underprivileged mothers and young women. Home Grown aims to develop a strong social conscience in all its children by pairing children at the nursery with those at Harmony House. The children share photographs, experiences and ideas as they grow older, building strong bonds, and a portion of the school fees go towards paying for the paired child’s placement in Harmony House.