Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Responsible travel is something we really care about at Travel Counsellors, which is why we work with independent global charity The Travel Foundation to make that happen, and to help us leave a better world for future generations to enjoy and explore.
The Travel Foundation is an international charity, who work to ensure tourism brings greater benefits for local people and the environment in destinations. The charity designs and delivers sustainable tourism initiatives in mainstream tourism destinations, as well as providing guidance, training and expertise to travel companies globally. The Travel Foundation believes that if tourism is done right, destinations won’t just survive, they’ll thrive. And that’s certainly a belief we have in common.
The Travel Counsellors sustainable travel initiative enables its corporate and leisure travel business owners to complete bespoke training and boost their green credentials. The online training course, which has been tailor-made for Travel Counsellors with the support of the Travel Foundation, is accessible to the company’s 1,800 homeworking agents and support team colleagues in seven countries across the globe.
CEO Steve Byrne said that this was a significant first step and part of the company’s commitment to take sustainable tourism seriously. “Sustainable tourism is something the company is investing in both emotionally and financially, and we are glad to have the experts at the Travel Foundation to guide us. We want our Travel Counsellors to feel empowered, with tools, training and knowledge, to build their own sustainable tourism businesses. We are serious about having a positive impact on the communities we interact with, and we are committed to the long term.”
Travel Counsellors announced its partnership with the Travel Foundation at the company’s annual conference last year, where delegates were told of the commitment to sustainable tourism, as well as seeking to work closely with suppliers in crafting and selling sustainable travel and responsible holidays.
Byrne continues; “It’s something we know our global network of Travel Counsellors franchisees and their customers really care about. A recent survey of Travel Counsellors revealed that over 60% felt ‘giving back’ was extremely important to them and the same interests have been reflected in our customer groups too, across both corporate and leisure markets.”
Julie Middleton, the Travel Foundation’s head of Sustainable Practice said, “Every business has its own unique identity and culture. If sustainability training can reflect this then it makes it more relevant, practical and engaging. Working closely with Travel Counsellors’ product team this year really helped us to understand the company culture and their focus on sustainability. Together we developed this course with the aim of helping franchisees to improve their product knowledge, communicate and promote sustainability to their customers and to get started on reducing their own environmental footprints.”
The ‘Go greener’ online training course even features guidelines on reducing water, waste and energy for the company’s homeworking Travel Counsellors and office-based support teams, as well as hints and tips on how to make the most sustainable purchases – from food to clothing and souvenirs.
Travel Counsellors is working on a long-term project that will aim to have sustainable excursions in each of the company’s top 50 destinations sold via its DMC and connected partners. The project is beginning with the company’s key DMC partners in Thailand, whilst also working with the Travel Foundation to assess hotel sustainability criteria.
The company also provides informative content for its Travel Counsellors, such as marketing and social media materials, to enable them to advise their customers on sustainable travel practices and issue top tips for a more responsible holiday.
Travel Counsellors work with the Travel Foundation forms part of a wider CSR strategy that sees the company champion the cause for more accessible travel, enabling customers of all abilities to explore the world, discover different cultures and enjoy new experiences.
If you want to start your travel business with a company that puts people at the heart of everything they do, take a look at our Opportunities page to find the right start for you.