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Our achievements

The following are just some of the many examples of our work to enable positive change for people and the environment in tourism destinations.

Local Product Development

Enabling local people to make a living from tourism.

Rural communities

We enabled Maya communities in Mexico to benefit from tourism, whilst remaining in their rural villages.
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With our support, a group of Maya women now sell ‘Pithahi­ Jungle Jams’ made from locally-produced fruits to hotels. Similarly, a co-operative of beekeepers, ‘Much Kaab’, is successfully creating honey-based soaps and creams for sale to hotels.

Click here to read the case study.

  • 4 new contracts with hotels and 7 new concessions have been negotiated by the jam group since our direct support ended.
  • 11 large hotels and one gift shop chain have changed their purchasing policies so that they can buy from Much Kaab, and other local enterprises.
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Better livelihoods

We improved the opportunities for beach-sellers in Mombasa to make a living from tourism.
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Working with the Kenya Coast and Tourism Association (KCTA), we enabled beach sellers to improve their sales opportunities, including through training on sales techniques and business skills.  The project also improved the holiday experience for tourists by reducing hassle and improving beach security, with beach sellers now working with hotels.

I think people see us differently now. Now we are recognised by the government, but before nobody thought it was really a job, they just thought we were street boys selling on the beach. They thought it was like a hobby.’ Patrick Katawa, Safari Seller,  Bamburi Beach Hotel. 

Click here to read the case study.

  • After the project 67% of visitors said their overall impressions of the beach-sellers were positive or very positive, compared to 14% before the project
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Hotel supply chains

We enabled farmers in Turkey to access the supply chain for mainstream hotels.
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Our Taste of Fethiye project, involving farmers, wholsalers and mainstream hotels, proved that large hotels could source fresh fruit and vegetables locally in a commercially viable way.

Click here to read the case study.

  • Farmers’ revenue increased by 24%.
  • At the end of the project, 16 hotels were sourcing 70-85% of their fresh fruit and vegetables from Taste of Fethiye.
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Sustainable tours

We have improved tourist excursions to ensure the fairer distribution of profits.
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Ten years ago, we introduced entrance fees for village-based tours in The Gambia and, in partnership with Tribal Voice Communications, we introduced a new payment system for tours to Maasai villages in Kenya. Today, we continue to improve excursions around the world.

  • These changes increased local incomes by 800%, as well as reducing tourist hassle and customer complaints.
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Environmental Protection

Resource efficiency

We have reduced water and energy use and waste from tourism in 14 countries.
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We have worked in 14 countries to help tourism businesses reduce their use of water and energy and minimise waste. This includes training over 3500 people employed in tourism.

Click here to read the case study

  • In Morocco, the ratio of litres of water used per client decreased by an average of 20% (across 90 properties)
  • In Cyprus, with Thomas Cook, we enabled hotels to save 27.5 tonnes of plastic, equivalent to just over the weight of 26 Toyota Yaris
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Wildlife protection

We created new guides and standards for whale shark protection in Mexico.
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We created training for whale shark watching guides in Mexico, which was adopted by the local government as a mandatory requirement leading to better, long-lasting protection for these rare animals.

Read the full case study.

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Embedding Sustainable Practice

Improving how sustainable tourism is managed.

Minimum standards

We enabled the Cyprus Tourism Organisation to introduce minimum sustainability standards for hotels – a world first.
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The 15 sustainability standards have been incorporated into quality criteria for hotels and cover everything from resource efficiency to supporting local businesses.

Click here to read the case study.

  • The standards apply to 76% of the total licensed bed capacity of Cyprus.
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Tour guide training

We enabled over 500 tour guides and managers across 17 countries to access training.
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We created a training course called ‘Leading the Way’ for members of the Dutch Travel Association, ANVR, which has been completed by over 500 tour guides and managers across 17 countries, enabling them to improve the impact and quality of their tours.

Read the full case study.

  • 95% or more of guides who completed the online course said they will change practices to increase their economic contribution to local businesses and minimize impacts on the environment.
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Staff engagement

We enabled TUI’s ‘sustainability champions’ to engage their retail colleagues in sustainable tourism.
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Our bespoke training programme for TUI’s sustainability champions enabled them to spread the word about sustainable tourism to retail staff, improving both staff and customer awareness.

Read the full case study.

  • Following the training, 90% of retail stores showed an overall improvement in sustainability knowledge.

Skilled volunteering

We enabled more than 100 TUI volunteers to contribute to our projects.
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Over 10 years, we enabled more than 100 TUI volunteers to spend over 1000 days on 54 assignments in 19 destinations, as part of our skilled volunteer programme. Volunteers were carefully matched to projects enabling them to contribute their own skills and experience. On their return, they spread the word about sustainable tourism and its benefits to their colleagues.

 

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Research and impact assessment

Measuring impact

We conducted a ground-breaking study into the impacts of tourism on a mainstream destination.
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Working with TUI and PwC, we conducted the first ever study to measure the overall impact of a large tour operator in a mainstream holiday destination. The Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) study demonstrated that it is possible to measure and value the wider impacts of tourism in a holistic way. It has provided unparalleled insights and has highlighted how valuable impact assessment is for the sustainable management of tourism.

Click here to read the case study.

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Customer spend

We revealed what factors can influence how much holidaymakers spend in resort.
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Our research, conducted in Cyprus and Tenerife in 2014, highlighted that whilst board basis is an important factor affecting tourist spend, it is not the only factor and sometimes not the most important. Crucially, the study highlighted the importance of the quality of the offer outside the hotel, and the findings have informed many of our projects since.

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Awards

2016

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Finalist: Innovation award for ‘Measuring Tourism’s Impact’ by PwC, Travel Foundation & TUI Group.

 

2015

TVE Global Sustainability Film Awards, for our ‘Taste of Fethiye’ film, a Judges’ Special Recognition award.

 

UNWTO Ulysses Award, For Innovations in NGOs. First place runner up: Taste of Fethiye.

 

Responsible Tourism Awards, Best Destination.  Silver awarded to Cyprus Tourism Organisation, including for projects designed and delivered by Travel Foundation under our five-year partnership.

 

2014

Travel Foundation Mexico was recognised by the regional government of the State of Quinana Roo and the Regional Ministry of Tourism and Community Development for ‘outstanding participation and support for promotion of tourism and community development’.

 

2013

The British Travel Industry Hall of Fame Ambassador Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Travel.

 

2010

The Charity Awards, Winner – Animals and the Environment.

 

2009

UNWTO Ulysses Special Jury Prize for Innovation in NGOs, for creating destination partnerships in sustainable tourism.

 

WTM, Responsible Tourism Awards

Cultural Engagement – Estrela community tours was highly commended for a project supported by the Travel Foundation.

Poverty Reduction – Tribal Voice Communications was highly commended for a project supported by the Travel Foundation.

 

2008

WTM, Responsible Tourism Awards, Poverty Reduction – ‘Gambia is Good’ a project supported by the Travel Foundation.

 

2006

WTM, Responsible Tourism Awards. Best Destination – Travel Foundation Tobago highly commended.

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