Magdalena Rungaldier empowers hoteliers to be more sustainable
My interviewee today is Magdalena Rungaldier, owner of MAp Boutique Consultancy. She was born in South Tyrol and completed her studies in economics with a specialization in tourism management before living and working in Europe and Asia, New Zealand and Central America. Before founding MAp, Magdalena worked in various operational and management positions – in tourism research institute, design and branding agencies and in luxury and boutique resorts.
She agrees with Jack Kerouac: "Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."
MAp Boutique Consultancy is a B Corp certified and women-owned boutique hotel consulting agency based in Zurich, developing innovative and sustainable hotels around the world.
MAP supports and empowers innovative hoteliers to have a larger positive impact - for their hotels and the world. On the platform The Sustainable Hotel and in the inclusive MAp community, hoteliers get access to handy guides, free resources, webinars, expert talks and of course, news from the world of hospitality and sustainability. All with the goal of making this planet a better and more hospitable place for everyone.
1. What was or is your motivation behind "MAp"?
When we 2014 the MAp Boutique Consultancy founded, our motivation was to bring an innovative and fresh approach to hotel consulting. A hospitality consultancy that puts people first, sustainability and positioning boutique hotels on the global map.
Our vision was and still is to support thought leaders and hoteliers to develop unique and creative hotels. Away from "same-shit-same-wrapping" - which we still see all too often in the market today - towards individual and authentic hotel products that create real added value for people. That is why we have specialized in the creation of sustainable hotel brands and hotel concepts in the area of strategic hotel marketing from the very beginning. It is important to me that we rethink hotel consulting, use innovations and pay special attention to style and design.
With this basic motivation, we have started to deal more with the question in recent years: How can we support independent boutique hotels in becoming more sustainable and thereby generating more value for everyone, including their own hotel? That gave us a real push three years ago, we started to join forces and started with ourselves. Since 2021, MAp Boutique Consultancy has been one of the first hotel consulting agencies in Switzerland B Corp certified company.
Furthermore, we have used the new technologies and innovations and the platform The Sustainable Hotel brought to life. With practical manuals, resources and tools, in addition to our consulting work, we want to support and empower independent hoteliers and entrepreneurs worldwide on their way to sustainability. Since then, we at MAP have been working every day to make this planet a better and more hospitable place for everyone - together with our great customers and strong partners like Good Travel.
2. What is your advice to our readers: What can you do specifically for a better future?
1. Make more conscious and informed decisions
We live in a world where terms like “fake news”, “FOMO – the fear of missing out” and “greenwashing” have become part of our language. That’s why I recommend being more careful when making purchasing and travel decisions. If possible, look behind the scenes, allow other perspectives, get information and ask questions. Not always having to buy everything immediately and with one click, but taking the time to form your own opinion. This also includes taking responsibility for your own decisions. In our fast-moving times, we have probably forgotten many times how to make conscious, informed and "delayed" decisions.
2. When making decisions, not only think about the NOW, but also about the future
One of our customers and Good Travel member at the same time is Renato Botte. Renato leads the with his partner Manuela Locanda Mistral in Valle Maira (Piedmont) in a sustainable way. He recommends in the The Sustainable Hotel Handbooks to also think of future generations when making decisions: "[...] if I think about the future today and include it in decisions, then the decisions will turn out differently than if I say: I want to earn money now."
3. Support those who want to make a difference
This is where we at MAP ourselves had some catching up to do, because during the B Corp certification and review of our supply chains and partnerships, we realized how little we buy from certified companies or even from women- and minority-owned companies. Not only have we optimized this in our hotel agency, I also make sure that I support companies in my private life that, for example, have official certification, are run by minorities or represent my values. And that brings us back to the first piece of advice.
3. How do travel and sustainability go together for you?
I am a child of globalization. I find it infinitely enriching that we are now able to travel the whole world. I can't put into words how much my travels and my jobs on different continents have enriched me. I wish that many more people - especially the younger generation - would travel (or could, I'm writing here with a very privileged European perspective of course) and I am convinced that it would make the world a better place.
And it annoys me that this unifying and peace-building aspect of travel is rarely mentioned in sustainability discussions. How high is the value in the area of social sustainability if we are allowed to get to know people from different cultures and backgrounds? How much does that change our own approach and actions when we “come back”?
When it comes to reconciling travel and sustainability, the main focus is on the ecological dimension of sustainability. I recently read in William MacAskill's book - "Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference“ read the following scientifically proven statement: “If you emit carbon dioxide throughout your life, but at the same time offset it effectively, your life as a whole does not contribute to climate change.”
That doesn't mean that we won't have to travel more carefully in the future and, for example, consider how often we board a plane. But that there are effective ways to offset your own carbon footprint. A clear reading recommendation for everyone who wants to “do good things better” in the future – also in the area of their own travel behavior.
© Photos: Map