The Travel Foundation


Why partner with us?

Over the years, we have been gathering evidence for a strong business case for sustainable tourism, which is enabling us to drive a change in culture and thinking – helping us to gain senior management buy-in and encourage active involvement.

Here's why you should consider a partnership with the Travel Foundation...

We improve business practice

Whether you’re seeking to skill-up staff or shake up supply chains, we understand how tourism businesses work and have more than a decade of experience in helping them to turn responsible theory into daily practice. 

The support we’ve received from the Travel Foundation has been hugely beneficial to us, helping to break things down into more easily manageable steps.
Paul Cleary MD,Caribtours and The Private Travel Company

We have generated 12 interactive industry guides, 33 communications resources, a range of training courses (both generic and bespoke) and an online research library. Click here for our online tools.

Read the case study below for an indepth example.

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Case study: Resource-efficient hotels

We have delivered projects focusing on resource efficiency in hotels across 13 countries, with over 830 hotels. We took the learning from our early projects to develop our Greener Accommodations tool, a step-by-step guide for accommodation providers to help them implement changes. This has been our most popular tool to date, with over 6,000 people accessing it online in 2012 and numerous partners distributing it to suppliers. A version of the tool has been adopted by ABTA for use with their sustainable accommodations certification scheme, TraveLife. 

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We change Lives

We work with communities in overseas destinations to develop skills, improve products and create opportunities for local people to generate income from tourism.

One of the biggest success stories is that since the Travel Foundation came on board, persons who would otherwise have been involved in illegal activities are now gainfully occupied. 

Kelvin, Head of Good Hope Beekeepers Group, Jamaica

Our projects (25 projects in 14 countries) have generated over £1 million in local incomes and around 6,000 people have benefitted directly through improved market access, knowledge and skills acquisition. For example

  • Providing product development support has helped local micro-enterprises achieve a 658% increase in production/yields.
  • Helping small producers access tourism markets has increased business interest by 161%.
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Case study:Jungle Jams

A group of Mayan women in Mexico are running a successful jam-making business, thanks to support and training from the Travel Foundation and TUI.  In 2009, the group sold their first batch of ‘jungle jams’ to TUI’s Sensatori hotel and since then have expanded to sell to 28 local businesses, generating over £43,000 in income and increasing the value of sales by over 300% in three years.  This successful enterprise has made a huge difference to the women, enabling them to make a living within their own community without having to seek work in the resorts along the coast. 

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We improve Tourism Products

We support businesses and the communities in which they operate to develop quality, authentic experiences for tourists, helping local enterprises increase their income from tourism and generate funds to help protect the environment.

The recent Greener Excursions tool is a great example of a practical tool that brings sustainability best practice to all types of activities that customers enjoy whilst on holiday.
Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA

50,000 tourists have been on excursions that we have developed, generating £230,000 in revenue for local people. For example, the introduction of entrance fees for village based tours in the Masai Mara and The Gambia have enabled an 800% increase in local incomes, plus a reduction in tourist hassle and customer complaints.

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Case Study: Local Label excursions

A new Local Label for excursions that promote local culture, enterprise and produce has led to an explosion in excursion popularity for Thomas Cook. Using the Travel Foundation’s Greener Excursions Checklist, Thomas Cook resorts assessed their excursions against the sustainability criteria and created 40 new or revised excursion products under their Local Label in 23 destinations. Sales of Local Label excursions have increased by 27% (compared to 2012), with over 37,500 tourists taking part. This is great news for the local economy, with the potential local spend totalling over £765,000. 

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We create Partnerships for change

We develop strategic partnerships to support tourism planning within holiday destinations and facilitate longer-term change at a policy level. Our project partnerships bring together the different businesses, communities and government bodies to work together to transform tourism.

The Travel Foundation is an organisation dedicated to its vision, with an in-depth knowledge of sustainability issues in the tourism industry, a professional approach to project management and a sincere care for the destinations they are working with. 

Koullitsa Demetriou,  Senior Tourism Officer, Cyprus Tourism Organisation

In 2010, we established a five year destination partnership with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) to support Cyprus to become a leader in sustainable tourism. Two thirds of the funding for the partnership is provided by the CTO. Partnership projects include solid waste management, a greener beaches scheme, plus work to introduce mandatory minimum standards for sustainability, which have been integrated into hotel quality standards. More recently, we established a multi-stakeholder destination council in Sal, Cape Verde which will establish a programme of tourism-related projects.

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Case study: Collaboration over competition

Taste of Fethiye links local farmers with tourist hotels in Turkey, supporting small-scale farms and providing hotels with fresh, locally-sourced produce. Uniquely, the project attracted support from three of the UK's largest, competing tour operators: Thomas Cook, TUI UK & Ireland and The Co-operative Travel. This alliance, facilitated and arranged by the Travel Foundation, has been a major contributor to the scale and success of the initiative. We have also enabled collaboration between local stakeholders. In its first two years of production, Taste of Fethiye has produced over 600 tonnes of produce annually, supplying nine hotels. 

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We build capacity

As well as  training travel companies to change the way they do business, we also help local people and small businesses in holiday destinations to build the entrepreneurial and customer-focused skills they need to become tourism industry success stories.

The team at the Travel Foundation has been a font of wisdom, support and knowledge. Plus, the entire [Avios] travel team of 50 are taking the Foundation's online training quiz to ensure that the basics of sustainable tourism are embedded in our organisation.  

Rebecca Bidwell, Head of Hotel Product and Purchasing, Avios

In total, 31,726 people have received training from the Travel Foundation. The effectiveness of this training is assessed based on individual results relevant to the activity. For example, product development and business training for the ‘jungle jam’ producers in Mexico enabled them to increase revenue from jam sales by 76%.

Read the full report for more

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Case study: Sustainability champions

Retail staff members at Thomson are becoming sustainability champions thanks to a new training programme created and supported by the Travel Foundation. 29 sustainability champions joined their Regional Sales Managers for a one-day training course on sustainable tourism, delivered by the Travel Foundation, with the aim of improving sustainability messaging within customer communications. The training was then cascaded down, reaching 3,500 staff across 29 regions. Results from mystery shopping before and after the training showed its effectiveness. Sustainable tourism knowledge amongst retail staff improved from 41% to 86% and green product knowledge improved from 54% to 82%.

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We create Lasting change

To create significant, lasting change, we develop programmes that have long-term commercial viability, local ownership and, and the potential for expansion or replication. We work with our partners to innovate, sharing what we learn, and look for opportunities to scale-up our work.

Five years on, after training programmes, successful tours in action and international recognition, four beneficiary communities now develop their own tourism-related activities independently, supported by the tourism sector.

Estrella, community tours, Salvador Brazil 

Examples include:

  • For the Back to the Sea project, Turkey, we have involved ground agents and tour operators to ensure new marine excursions meet tour operator quality standards. As a result the excursions will be for sale though UK tour operators in summer 2014.
  • Our Roots excursion project continues to deliver benefits to the villages involved, thanks to our work with local ground agents and the Gambian Tourism Authority.
  • Our successful LINC project in Sri Lanka enabled us to create a manual to support hotels to reduce hassle from beach operators. Plus we have used the project model for a new initiative in Mobassa, Kenya.
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