Bucket record journey, eco-tourism and group conservation

Within the newest episode of the brand new season of Accor’s business main podcast, Coronary heart of Hospitality, Duncan is joined by Adrian and Paul Gardiner, father and son CEOs of Mantis Assortment, a number one conservation-focused lodge group that provides true bucket record experiences. They share their journey from Adrian’s first farm in South Africa to turning into worldwide ambassadors for the preservation of wildlife, establishing the Group Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) and dealing with Bear Grylls. They talk about their perception that as eco-tourism turns into extra necessary than ever you will need to combine communities and spearhead training and consciousness packages so as to increase consciousness and appreciation of our valuable planet and precarious ecologies.

Mantis is a number one conservation-focused lodge group with curated resorts, eco-lodges and waterways experiences positioned everywhere in the world. Rooted in conservation, Mantis has been providing eco-tourism, safaris and journey journey for greater than 20 years. Its founder, Adrian Gardiner, has created a world journey and tourism enterprise which all grew from his first farm close to Port Elizabeth in 1992. “Earlier than I knew it, I had one thing like 25,000 acres, 11,000 hectares,” he recollects. ”I spotted is that I may put again what was historically there, and that was the massive 5 – lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, African bush elephant, and the African buffalo. We have been rewilding and bringing again what had existed there, and this rewilding was deeply necessary to us. On the time the realm was malaria free, so we turned one of many first sport experiences in Southern Africa with out having to take Malaria drugs. So when South Africa opened up for 1995 Rugby World Cup the world got here to us and the remaining is historical past.”

The spirit of conservation, wildlife and group grew and have become the founding rules of the Mantis group when it shaped in 2000.

“In 2018 we arrange the Group Conservation Fund of Africa (CCFA), as a result of with out the group being sorted and engaged, the animals do not profit, defined Paul Gardiner. “You have to take care of the one to have the ability to take care of the opposite. It’s an important a part of the DNA of our group at this time.”

As Mantis has grown, so has its spirit of journey and discovery, which has led to a collaboration with the world-renowned Bear Grylls. “We work with Bear on what we name location based mostly leisure, taking what he does on TV and bringing it to life for vacationers, households and company visitors. I really like the work we do with Bear getting children again open air, getting them muddy, constructing tree homes, climbing bushes and lighting fires, all these things that lots of us grew up with, definitely in South Africa, we did. A lot of that’s taken away from children at this time, particularly when they’re caught in entrance of their units. So we are attempting to alter that. And what higher place to start out than within the hospitality business,” stated Paul.

Duncan talks concerning the significance of objective, motion sustainability and galvanizing experiences for each visitors and workers.

Paul agreed, including; “Everyone knows hospitality goes to undergo the roof within the coming years. Extra particularly, eco-tourism publish COVID. I feel the world has woken as much as the truth that we have got to regulate. So I feel there’s going to be some superb alternatives for children coming into the hospitality and tourism business to start out embracing this valuable planet of ours.”

Adrian added: “It’s an business the place you’re regularly migrating and seeing individuals, assembly individuals, making a distinction to their lives – it’s invigorating.”

The Coronary heart of Hospitality podcast is a part of a pan-European business platform of the identical identify, constructed to inform tales of the sector and its individuals. Accor is inviting tales from throughout the business to be shared through #HeartOfHospitality

For extra data and extra tales from hospitality, go to https://heart-of-hospitality.com/.


Born in Zambia in 1943, Adrian Gardiner’s ardour for nature coupled together with his robust entrepreneurial talent was cast from an early age. His love of wildlife got here from his father who labored for a cattle ranching enterprise and who took his son tenting within the bush and searching from an early age. His entrepreneurial expertise have been shaped when he attended Falcon School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. As one of many first 60 boys who have been the preliminary consumption of the brand new faculty, he was instrumental in serving to to construct the college from the bottom up, from actually constructing their faculty school rooms to planting the sports activities fields. He quickly understood that success was solely potential with a superb workforce, a transparent imaginative and prescient and a targeted ardour.

From Zimbabwe he travelled to Cape City to additional his research however, like many profitable enterprise individuals, he struggled at school taking 7 years to do a 3-year course. Academia was not for him. While studying the ropes working for numerous Cape City corporations, it was evident that Adrian was not content material working for different individuals and by the age of 29 he had moved from Cape City to Nelson Mandela Bay.

And so started a love affair with town of Port Elizabeth (additionally known as PE, now formally known as Nelson Mandla Bay). As a quickly creating location, town provided thrilling new enterprise alternatives which Adrian relished. For the following 20 years, he launched into a rollercoaster trip of constructing corporations in a mess of industries from swimming pool growth to storage swing doorways, pagers to crane rent.

Having loved industrial success, Adrian was capable of ‘return to the land’ so to talk by creating a brand new enterprise into tourism within the early 1990’s. He started with 2,000 hectares of eroded, degraded and abused land. A small insignificant piece of valley bushveld, and from this, he grew the primary personal sport reserve within the area, which is now 25 000 hectares in measurement and has seen the re-introduction of all the big sport that after thrived within the Japanese Cape. He was the primary individual to place the Japanese Cape on the vacationer map and at this time the realm is a booming vacationer vacation spot and residential to numerous different personal sport reserves. It was with this sport reserve which has since turn into a blueprint internationally for profitable sustainable conservation tourism, and its growth was instrumental in forming the following section in Adrian’s life.

On seeing the success of rewilding a degraded piece of land, Adrian was capable of replicate the mannequin a number of years later, by creating additional personal sport reserves. With two wildlife reserves flourishing, Adrian then based the guardian firm Mantis in 2000. The identify Mantis pertains to the San individuals who revere the Praying Mantis and shield it as a very powerful animal of their ecosystem as ‘for those who take care of the little issues, the massive issues care for themselves’. Slightly than solely securing the inbound enterprise inside his sport reserves, Adrian recognised the chance in offering a persistently high-quality tourism expertise from begin to end the place properties may be part of forces beneath one group, thus offering a one-stop store for worldwide guests wishing to journey from West to East alongside the Backyard Route.

Mantis, whereas sustaining its origins in South Africa, then developed their mannequin worldwide with every property being dedicated to conserving the setting; the Mantis Eco-lodges and Waterways are gateways to accountable exploration of their pure environment.

As the corporate has grown, Adrian’s ambitions for Mantis have additionally grown in two distinct instructions; creating Mantis’ world footprint of properties worldwide and utilizing the teachings learnt when creating his first sport reserve to coach, assist and develop main conservation tourism initiatives worldwide. On this vein, he’s additionally consulting on wildlife regeneration in quite a few African nations. Adrian sees this as a tangible means of giving one thing again to nature and making a optimistic legacy the place communities can see the monetary advantages in conserving their setting and wildlife. Thus fulfilling the philosophy that’s entrenched in our identify: Man And Nature Collectively Is Sustainable (MANTIS).

Schooling is one among Adrian’s nice passions and the primary groundbreaking transfer on this sphere was via the institution of Stenden College in Port Alfred. Adrian along with colleagues and Stenden College in Holland opened the campus in 2001, and Adrian at the moment serves as chairman of the Board. Stenden is the one college in Southern Africa the place you’ll be able to qualify with a Bachelor’s diploma in Resort Administration and Hospitality and a Bachelor’s diploma in Catastrophe Administration.

Adrian has been married to his spouse Shirleyanne for 50 years; they’ve Three youngsters, Paul, Murray and Angela all of whom have adopted their father’s entrepreneurial methods and run their very own companies. Paul is the CEO of the Mantis within the UK, and Murray is a companion of their journey enterprise, Giltedge.


Paul Gardiner was born in South Africa in 1973. His profession started as a sport ranger in South Africa in 1996 on his father’s wildlife reserve, Shamwari, which is a mannequin utilized by the Gardiner Household to create many reserves in Africa. On seeing the necessity to give their visitors extra experiences across the globe, the Gardner household based Mantis. Mantis is an environmentally aware acquire ion of resorts, eco-escapes and waterways which relies in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Paul joined the Mantis advertising workforce in 1998, after 4 years within the enterprise he headed up the Group’s Gross sales & Advertising and marketing division.

In 2002, he emigrated to the UK the place he turned the MD of Southern Africa Journey, a UK based mostly Tour Operator and likewise arrange Worldwide Expertise. Worldwide Experiences (WWE) takes college students from throughout the globe into Africa and locations them in distinctive conservation-based initiatives the place they work behind the scenes with Mantis’ wildlife veterinarians, ecologists and wildlife administration groups. His mission with the WWE workforce is to now open the experiences as much as Chinese language college students in a partnership that was lately cast with a powerful conservation basis on this nation. In 2006, Paul additionally co-founded Legacy Ventures – an organization that specialises in taking govt MBA college students on examine excursions into rising nations comparable to China, India, and South Africa. In 2012 Paul met tv persona and adventurer, Bear Grylls. At present they’ve a number of companies collectively together with Bear Grylls Survival Academy, Bear Grylls Survival Problem, and Bear Grylls Journey. Mantis Media is the artistic arm of Mantis Assortment they usually’re liable for taking what Bear does so properly on tv and bringing it to life for youths, adults, and company groups. Primarily, Mantis Media is liable for all Bear’s location-based leisure. By Mantis Media, Bear lately partnered with Merlin Entertainments to develop a $22m Bear Grylls Journey Park within the UK.

Paul leads a workforce within the UK which manages Mantis’ growth past the borders of Africa. Paul is now the CEO of Mantis and works very intently together with his father, Adrian Gardiner, as they attempt to develop Mantis’ portfolio all through Africa and past.

Though Paul relies within the UK, he continues to spend some high quality time in South Africa – he and the Mantis workforce are the driving power behind a brand new pioneering initiative at Mantis Founder’s Lodge which is able to see the creation of the primary ever Eco Lodge Innovation Hub. Paul has additionally lately launched his very personal media platform known as ‘The Ecoventurer’ to assist unfold the phrase about eco-tourism and the superb work of conservationists from all walks of life.

About Accor, a world-leading hospitality group

Accor is a world main hospitality group consisting of 5,300 properties and 10,000 meals and beverage venues all through 110 nations. The group has one of many business’s most various and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing greater than 40 luxurious, premium, midscale and economic system lodge manufacturers, leisure and nightlife venues, eating places and bars, branded personal residences, shared lodging properties, concierge companies, co-working areas and extra. Accor’s unmatched place in way of life hospitality – one of many quickest rising classes within the business – is led by Ennismore, a three way partnership, which Accor holds a majority shareholding. Ennismore is a artistic hospitality firm with a world collective of entrepreneurial and founder-built manufacturers with objective at their coronary heart. Accor boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive manufacturers and greater than 230,000 workforce members worldwide. Members profit from the corporate’s complete loyalty program – ALL – Accor Dwell Limitless – a day by day way of life companion that gives entry to all kinds of rewards, companies and experiences. By its world sustainability commitments (comparable to reaching Web Zero Carbon emissions by 2050, world elimination of single use plastics in its resorts’ visitor expertise, and so forth.), Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the Group is concentrated on driving optimistic motion via enterprise ethics, accountable tourism, environmental sustainability, group engagement, variety and inclusivity. Based in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Inventory Trade (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticket: ACCYY) in america. For extra data go to group.accor.com or comply with Accor on Twitter, Fb, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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