Annual Review 2018

The Travel Foundation was founded fifteen years ago with the belief that, when managed well, tourism can bring significant socio-economic benefits for people living in destinations and funds for conservation.

Today, the growing concerns around ‘overtourism’ highlight the increasing urgency for change in the way that tourism is planned and managed.  In response, we work with governments and travel companies who largely control the impact that tourism has on people and the environment. We ensure they have the skills, knowledge and capacity required to bring about that change.

Our projects harness the potential of tourism to improve livelihoods and support the protection of important habitats, wildlife and historical sites.  The results below are just a snapshot of what we have achieved in 2018.

With your support, we will continue to build a future where tourism destinations can thrive.  Thank you.

Highlights from our programmes

Out and About in Montego Bay, Jamaica

We have increased the number of tourists spending money outside their hotel, working with TUI Care Foundation.

  • 90,000 tourists now have access to better information about Montego Bay.

  • 14,000 more tourists visited an attraction that they wouldn’t otherwise have visited.

  • 400% more tourists visited the Harbour Street craft market and customer spend was up by 50%.

  • TPDCo are replicating our ‘Warm Welcome’ initiative in Ocho Rios.

Why is this important?

Tourism is one of the main engines of growth for the Jamaican economy, but as many tourists stay within the comfort of their hotels, local people do not get the opportunity to benefit directly. By spending money with small local businesses, for example on gifts, activities and food, tourists can help spread the economic benefits of tourism.

Crucial to the success of the project was building the capacity of the government’s tourism development agency, TPDCo, to support small local businesses. As a result TPDCo are now expanding the ‘warm welcome’ campaign to other resorts, starting with Ocho Rios, enabling many more local businesses to benefit.

This initiative funded by TUI Care Foundation focused on encouraging tourists outside of hotels, and improving the knowledge and skills of people in Jamaica to ...

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    1. “We have benefitted greatly from the partnership with the Travel Foundation. The training provided has exceeded my expectations.


  1. Dianne Keating Campbell, Director of Product Quality at TPDCo
    1. “The Travel Foundation have been of tremendous help.  Not many people take the time to train, certify & work with us.  The training has improved my customer service with the guests a great deal.  We make the guests feel that warm welcome and they like to ask us about Jamaica and things they can see or do around town, talking to them like that encourages them to buy and they leave feeling happy.”


  1. Audrey Purchass, market trader from the Harbour Street Craft Market

Lionfish on the menu, Saint Lucia

We’ve supported an increase in the amount of lionfish caught and sold by local fishermen, contributing to the reduction of this damaging, invasive species.

  • The number of fishers who are now selling lionfish commercially is up by over 40% from last year.

  • The volume of lionfish caught has almost trebled in 2019.

  • All fishers who caught lionfish said that sales of these fish had increased the amount that they earn.

  • 100% said that they can now safely remove the venomous spines of lionfish.

Why is this important?

The rapid and devastating invasion of lionfish in the Caribbean Sea is threatening the survival of coral reef systems and native fish.  Our project, funded by the Waterloo Foundation and delivered in partnership with Clear Caribbean, supports the local fishing community to catch and sell these fish to tourism businesses, contributing to the eradication of the species, whilst also supporting local livelihoods.

The misconception that lionfish flesh is poisonous meant that consumption was low. We have trained fishers to prepare lionfish by safely removing the venomous spines, and worked with hotels to improve perception of the fish as a tasty and sustainable alternative.

This project, delivered in partnership with CLEAR Caribbean and the Saint Lucia Department of Fisheries, focused on increasing the supply of, and demand for, lionfish. ...

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    1. The training was very helpful and very good because if it wasn’t for this training the majority of the fishers out there who sell to the public and sell to the hotels would not know how to prepare a lionfish or to cut a lionfish.”


  1. Vincent Nathoniel, Saint Lucian fisherman
    1. “We’ve seen an increase in the consumption of lionfish by the public. We’ve had hoteliers asking the fishers to supply lionfish. From a department standpoint we’re very grateful for Clear Caribbean and the Travel Foundation because they’ve helped in the eradication of the lionfish, because we see the damage caused by such a species.”


  1. Margaret Rita Staughn, Fisheries Assistant, Saint Lucia Dept. of Fisheries

Improving the impacts of tourism, Cabo Verde

We’ve identified and improved the most urgent impacts of tourism now and for the future, through this project funded by TUI Care Foundation.

  • Businesses and government are now working together in a Destination Council

  • Hotels reduced their water and energy use by 12%

  • Saving enough energy to power nearly 100 houses in Cabo Verde for a year

  • And enough water savings to meet the needs of over 3,000 residents (or one-fifth of the population of Boa Vista)

  • 70% of tour guides trained are meeting all responsible practice requirements

  • Key modules from the training course we delivered were adopted by the national hospitality school for all future students

Why is this important?

The speed of tourism’s growth in Cabo Verde meant that many tourism businesses and planners were working independently with no shared understanding of their combined impact on the country’s people and environment. We enabled collaboration between these organisations by setting up a new Destination Council, empowering them to create a shared vision and actions for sustainable tourism.

Through this Council, we then set up two projects to tackle the most urgent challenges.  Our research found that the most pressing impacts of tourism were increasing energy and water use from growth in the hotel sector, and the pressure on natural habitats associated with tourist excursions. Cabo Verde has limited rainfall and no freshwater, intensifying the need for efficient use of water. Meanwhile it has outstanding natural environments and wildlife that require protection, including one of the world’s most important nesting sites for endangered loggerhead turtles. Our Greener Hotels and Better Excursions projects aimed to build the capacity of local businesses and tourism planners to improve these impacts.

Our focus has been on encouraging collaboration between those working in or managing tourism, and supporting local organisations to introduce more sustainable practices that improve ...

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    1. “The Destination council is very useful because it has shown me the importance of working together among all the actors related to the tourism sector and that with the engagement of all we can have a more sustainable tourist destination”.


  1. Margarida do Rosário, Regional Directorate of Tourism for Sal and part of the Destination Council.
    1. “The Greener Hotels project has been very important because, before the project, we would only collect data on how much energy we used and how much food waste we produced and compare it to the previous year. We didn’t have a specialised team to guide us and to enable us to implement effective measures. Now with Greener Hotels, I do have this specialised support.


  1. Marta Vaz, General Manager, Dunal de Sal, Cabo Verde.
    1. This process of good practices will certainly be replicated on the other islands, since there is a need to train the guides to better serve the tourists, while preserving the environment – which will lead to the sustainability of the environment and the businesses around species at national level”


  1. Sonia Araújo, National Directorate of Environment, Santiago.

Postcards from our projects

Letter from Salli Felton, CEO

Looking back on the highlights from 2018, I’m so proud of what we have managed to achieve. Our aim at the Travel Foundation is to ensure that our projects create the foundation for lasting, positive change that will provide ongoing benefits long after our input has ended. This has certainly been the case for our Taste of Fethiye project which ended in 2016, but three years on is still working independently with hotels continuing to buy increasing volumes of produce from local farmers.

This reminder of what we can achieve is particularly poignant during my last year as Chief Executive. Leading the Travel Foundation has been a life changing and exhilarating opportunity made possible by a truly inspiring team, supportive Trustees and ever accommodating partners. It is an experience I will never forget – thank you!

Looking forward, a new year always brings a wealth of exciting new initiatives and 2019 has been no exception. We are sharing the findings of our research into the ‘invisible burden’ that tourism places on destinations and stimulating debate within the industry. We are also launching two new destination projects to improve the impacts of tourism, a plastic reduction project in Cyprus and an initiative to support small businesses in Jamaica.  I have every confidence that the Travel Foundation will make the most of these and other exciting opportunities and will continue to create positive change in destinations around the world. Thank you again to all our funders and partners for making this possible.


Our Income and Expenditure 2018


Total Income
  • 73%
    Private sector
  • 23%
    Grants and Destination sources
  • 3%
    In kind support
  • 1%

Whilst year on year our income decreased by 29%, this reduction was anticipated and we were able to utilise our reserves, as part of a planned phased draw down. Our main fundraising focus in 2018 was to diversify our income sources, and as a result, grant income increased from 16% to 23% of total income year on year, growing from less than 1% in 2016. The majority of our funding, however, continues to come from our partner travel companies and their customers; support that remains invaluable to us. 


Total expenditure
  • 72%
    Core charitable activities
    inc. communication of programme activities
  • 21%
    Overheads and support costs
    running costs & management of operations
  • 6.5%
    Fundraising costs
    retention and generation of income sources
  • 0.5%
    Governance costs
    trustee and audit costs

Whilst our annual income was lower this year, we kept our expenditure at a level similar to previous years. This enabled us to draw on our reserves as planned to meet existing programme commitments whilst also investing in the development of new programmes for the future. We continue to strive to keep our governance and support costs low to ensure that the majority of the funds raised are spent directly on our core activities.  

Core charitable activities

Split of expenditure
  • 22%
    Research and development
  • 43%
    Programme implementation
  • 35%
    Sustainable practice

Research and development, scoping and pilot projects: A vital part of our work, revealing tourism’s specific impacts and informing the creation of initiatives to address them. This section also includes scoping and pilot projects in destinations.
Programme implementation: Applying the findings of both our research and past projects to demonstrate and foster more sustainable practices in destination.
Sustainable practice and knowledge sharing: Activities focused on building the capacity of organisations and individuals to embed more sustainable practice into their day to day operations.

Thank you to our partners and supporters.
As a registered charity, we depend on your financial contribution.

Our fundraising partners – companies and organisations that have provided funds to support our charitable aims:

TUI Care Foundation
Classic Collection Holidays
Co-operative Energy
Holiday Extras
incognito® Anti-Mosquito
I love Eco Hotels
Midcounties Cooperative Travel
Milsted Langdon
Travel Counsellors
Travel Matters
Sunvil International
UN Environment
Villa Centre Holidays
Waterloo Foundation
We Are Travel

In-kind support – organisations that have donated gifts in-kind, including transportation, accommodation, event space, and professional skills:

Chamber of Shipping
Chris Willan Photography
City Nation Place
Cornell, SC Johnson College of Business
D Marin
Emek Marin Boat Building
Found Doux P & R
Four Communications
Harvard, Megan Epler Wood
Holiday Extras
I Love Eco Hotels
incognito® Anti-Mosquito
Irem Oznur Kilic
LUX Resorts
Melia Hotel Group
Mercan Restaurant
Morabeza Hotel
Midcounties Cooperative
Odjo d’Agua
Royal Horizons
The Hummingbird Hotel, Soufriere, St Lucia
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
Yacht Classic Hotel
Yeni Vira

Project partners – organisations that have worked with us to support our destination projects. This may include contributing their time and resources, as well as adapting working practices to support the programme aims:

ACVAI, Cabo Verde
AHRIM, Association des Hôteliers et Restaurateurs de l’île Maurice
APP- Aguas de Ponta Preta Aprotur, Cabo Verde
Barracuda Tours, Cabo Verde
BIOS.CV, Cabo Verde
Boa Vista Town Hall, Cabo Verde
Caribbean Tourism Organisation
Câmara de Turismo de Cabo Verde
Camara Municipal do Sal
Centinelas del Agua
Chamber of Shipping, Fethiye
CLEAR Caribbean
Deja Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Destination Council, Sal
D Marin Gocek, Turkey
Department of Fisheries, Saint Lucia
Dunas de Sal
Grand Baris Boat, Turkey
Hotel Melia – Tortuga
Kryol Operator, Cabo Verde
Melia Hotels International
Ministry of Economy, Cabo Verde
Ministry of Environment, Cabo Verde
Ministry of Tourism, Cabo Verde
Ministry of Tourism, Saint Lucia
Ministry of Tourism, Mauritius
Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Morabeza Hotel, Cabo Verde
Morabitur, Cabo Verde
Municipality of Fethiye, Turkey
Murdeira Village Resort, Cabo Verde
New Vira Marine School, Turkey
Oasis Group – Belorizonte Hotel
Odjo d’Agua Hotel, Cabo Verde
On Travel Solutions
Preverisk, Cabo Verde
Project Biodiversity, Cabo Verde
Razonatura, Mexico
Responsible Tourism Matters
RIU Garopa e Funana Hotel, Cabo Verde
Royal Horizons, Cabo Verde
Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa
Sandals Royal Caribbean, Jamaica
SDTIBM, Cabo Verde
SLHTA (Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association)
St. James Municipal Corporation, Jamaica
Tenerife Tourism Council
Thinking Tourism
Tourism Product Development Co. Jamaica
TUI Group
Turkish Chamber of Shipping, Fethiye branch
TURMEPA, Fethiye branch
UN Environment
UNEP DTU Partnership
Vila Verde, Cabo Verde
Vista Verde, Cabo Verde

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