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Harsha L’Acqua

Saira Hospitality

I am the founder & CEO of SAIRA Hospitality. SAIRA creates pop-up hospitality schools with hotel owners for less privileged locals in thriving hotel markets, educating them with the knowledge and equipping them with the life skills needed to create a career and build a future in hospitality. Thanks to Bunkhouse Hotels, I am now starting week four of the SAIRA program in Todos Santos, where I interact with 48 passionate and self-motivated students from the ages of 21-53, excited to learn about an industry that can bring them endless opportunities to travel, to support themselves and their families, to experience new concepts, to open their minds, to engage with travelers and to serve others. I first met Liz Lambert (founder of Bunkhouse Hotels) at a panel on a 3-day Summit cruise last year with 3,000 other entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Liz invited me to Todos Santos in Mexico on a site visit to her latest hotel, Hotel San Cristobal with her team earlier this year to assess the potential success of SAIRA in Todos Santos. The town is magical, with fresh, local food, untouched beaches, and energy and excitement in the air felt from the locals who understand the possibilities and opportunities that responsible tourism can bring. SAIRA was sponsored by Bunkhouse Hotels and its developers to do an eight-week pop-up hotel school for just under 50 local students selected through a rigorous interview process. Each of these students was looking to open their minds, to learn about an industry that is growing in the heart of Todos Santos, and knew that knowledge is power and inevitably the key to their futures. Unlike most non-profits, SAIRA relies on hotel owners & operators to cover the cost of the education, which they, in turn, benefit from in various ways. For example, whilst fulfilling their social responsibility to the community, hotel operators also benefit from access to a bespoke curriculum created with hotel managers as well as educators in the field, a potential pool of trained, local talent to hire from, and perhaps most importantly the support of the locals when opening a new hotel. Through SAIRA, the overall level of service quality is also raised in the community.

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