MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
FINDING OUT MORE
The Travel Foundation is a UK charity that is helping the travel industry take effective action on sustainable tourism – in mainstream destinations. Helping to care for the people and places our customers love to visit. Important work, as it improves quality and protects the resources on which business depends.
Take the time to find out what key industry bodies and operators are saying: THE TRAVEL FOUNDATION Visit www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk to find out much more – including our work in destinations.
By following the simple advice in this leaflet, travel agents can help ensure that customers get more out of their holiday – and importantly, make a positive difference to the lives of the people and places they visit. Helping to ensure that there are special places for us all to visit – for generations to come!
ABTA Visit www.abta.com/industryissues/sustainabletourism.shtml ABTA coordinate industry strategy in this area and provide information on tools and policies to help members. AITO Visit www.aito.co.uk/cororate_Responsible-Tourism.asp AITO runs a ‘Starclass’ scheme, where companies who have successfully implemented and continually improved a responsible tourism scheme are highlighted. See www.aito.co.uk/corporate _RT_Starclass.asp
To find out much more about The Travel Foundation and to access a range of ‘Insider Guides’ for customers, please visit our website at www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk.
THE UK IS TAKING A LEAD IN CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD TRAVELS
THE FEDERATION OF TOUR OPERATORS (FTO) Visit www.fto.co.uk/responsible-tourism/best-practice FIRST CHOICE The First Choice website has a section on sustainable tourism. Visit www.firstchoice.co.uk/sustainabletourism to find out why they were awarded Most Environmentally Responsible Tour Operator at the British Travel Awards in 2007 and 2008. They have also launched an online brochure which only features Travelife-awarded hotels. Visit www.firstchoice.co.uk/greener-holidays to download the brochure, or look out for Travelife award logos in First Choice brochures.
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THOMAS COOK Thomas Cook use the ‘Travelife’ logos in their brochures to indicate hotels that are operating in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. To view the Thomas Cook Responsible Business Policy and see how Thomas Cook is pioneering a sustainable future, see http://csr.thomascookgroup.co.uk/ and http://www.thomascook.com/sustainable-tourism THOMSON HOLIDAYS The Thomson website has a section on sustainable tourism. Visit www.thomson.co.uk/sustainabletourism to find out more about their World Care Fund and what they are doing to make their holidays more sustainable. Customers can also find Travelife-awarded hotels in Thomson brochures, and on the Thomson website.
MAKE SURE YOU STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME. BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS AND YOU’LL BE THE ONE THAT MAKES THE SALE. SUSTAINABILITY IS NO LONGER AN ‘ADD ON’ – IT’S AN ESSENTIAL.
INSIDER GUIDE MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHILE YOU SELL A GUIDE FOR TRAVEL AGENTS
EVERYONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL MEAN?
RESPONSIBLE, SUSTAINABLE, GREEN, ECO, ETHICAL TOURISM… ALL THESE TERMS MEAN PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THING – HOLIDAYS THAT BENEFIT THE PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT IN DESTINATIONS. WE’RE USING THE TERM ‘SUSTAINABLE’ HERE, BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SUSTAINABILITY OF YOUR BUSINESS, AS WELL AS THE DESTINATIONS YOU SEND CUSTOMERS TO.
It means tourism that meets the needs of visitors, destinations and business today – while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. – delivering a high quality tourism product – respecting the environment – protecting natural & cultural resources – offering fair economic benefit to destination communities
Sustainable travel is not just for people taking specialist ‘eco’ holidays – it’s for every person who takes a holiday, young or old, wherever they go, near or far, however they travel, independent or package – even if they are just travelling to Malaga! As a travel agent, you send many thousands of people to holiday destinations every year and these customers can make a real difference to destinations. Good and bad. With increasing media coverage on climate change and the drive to offset carbon emissions, it’s never been so important for you to be able to tell your customers about sustainable travel and what they can do to help. This is because a sustainable approach gives us a positive message about travel – travel that minimises the impact on the environment and creates real benefits – economic and conservation – for destination communities.
…Protecting essential resources for your business – the destinations you sell every day!
WHAT CAN AGENTS DO? GET THE MESSAGE OUT TO CUSTOMERS Make sure your staff know about sustainable tourism and can talk confidently to customers – and tell them what they can do to make a positive difference when they travel.
GO ‘GREEN’ IN THE OFFICE AND AT HOME – Save energy – turn off lights, computers and other electrical items when not needed – Switch to energy efficient light bulbs – Get electric time switches installed – Implement sustainable transport schemes, for example by encouraging staff to cycle, walk or share lifts to work – Reduce paper consumption – Introduce recycling systems
HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO CUSTOMERS? Sustainable travel simply cares for the places customers love to visit – helps to protect the environment and ensure that local people benefit from their visit… and are happy to give a warm welcome. It keeps holidays special, ensuring that there will always be somewhere great to visit – for generations to come.
WHAT CAN CUSTOMERS DO?
Don’t forget to encourage customers to donate to The Travel Foundation when you are selling holidays with participating tour operators – this is a great way for them to help, as a small amount can make a big difference at destinations.
The Travel Foundation has a range of ‘Insider Guides’ to help customers understand the little things they can do to make a big difference in destinations – and offset carbon. You can find these at www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/our_insider_guides.asp
USE SUSTAINABILITY TO DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BUSINESS Be proactive with your customers! Bring up sustainability and use it as a way to differentiate your business and offer added value to customers. Show them that you care about travel’s contribution to climate change and help us ensure that there will always be special places for you to sell… in to the future.
In the meantime, here’s a taster… – First of all, make sure you switch off heating and all electrical appliances before you leave home. Remove all extra packaging from clothing and toiletries and recycle if possible – along with your holiday brochures.
– Buy the real thing – locally made crafts or souvenirs and treat yourself to food and drink in local cafes and restaurants. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit and benefits local people. – Check that any excursions or guides you book use local suppliers, that way your money goes directly into the local economy. – Use water sparingly. Take short showers instead of baths and inform staff if you are happy to re-use towels and bed linen rather than having them replaced daily. – Turn down / off air conditioning or heating when not required. Switch off lights when leaving a room and turn the TV off rather than leave it on standby. – Minimise waste by reusing plastic bags, bringing your own water filter bottle or purifier and taking your used batteries home with you. – Create your own adventure by getting out and about via public transport, bicycles and walking. These ‘environmentally friendly’ ways of exploring really help get you closer to the country you have come to visit. – Please don’t buy products made from endangered plants or wild animals, including hardwoods, corals, shells, starfish, ivory, fur, feathers, skins, horn, teeth, eggs, reptiles and turtles. If in doubt, please don’t buy. For more information visit www.wwf-uk.org and www.ifaw.org/uk/thinktwice – Please don’t have your photograph taken with any ‘wild’ animals (such as lion and tiger cubs, chimpanzees, bears, snakes and exotic birds). These animals are taken from the wild when they are young, often mistreated and disposed of when they get too large or difficult to handle. – Consider compensating for the environmental impact of your flight. Ask if the tour operator you book with is part of any ‘carbon offset’ scheme or see www.climatecare.org.uk, www.carbonneutral.com, www.foc-uk.com or www.carbon-offsets.com for details.
Published on Nov 11, 2009