Annual Review 2022

As I write this, in the middle of 2023, the Travel Foundation is celebrating 20 years of improving tourism’s impact on destination communities and the environment. This anniversary of the organisation’s inception has prompted us to reflect on the impact we’ve had so far while looking forward to the next two decades. Whilst it is heartening to see that during the past two decades, there has been a shift in attitudes towards sustainability and destination stewardship, there is still a long way to go and there are many challenges ahead. Most importantly the Travel Foundation team and our partners are leading the call for a thriving, just future for destination communities in the face of an urgent climate crisis and an equally urgent crisis of inequity in the global economy. It seems the importance of the work we do has never been more clear.

Following the disruption wrought by the pandemic, the Travel Foundation is going from strength to strength and our thanks go to all our funders, partners and friends who have supported us through this challenging time. We have set a strong direction in our new strategic framework, which focuses on putting destination needs, the wellbeing of resident communities and the health of the environment, at the heart of tourism. Our role is to work with various stakeholders in destinations to support a change in mindset and mandate; facilitate collaboration; provide practical knowledge, increase skills and foster creative ideas; all of this is built on a foundation of advocacy and thought leadership that wins hearts and minds– all vital requirements for the adaptation and transformation which lies ahead.

Below you can see highlights from our two key focus areas of climate and equity, as well as our continued commitment to supporting collaborative initiatives, such as the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and the Future of Tourism Coalition (both of which we helped to create), demonstrating our focus on finding collective solutions for a better, stronger tourism sector that is fit for the future. 2022 also saw us complete three long-running projects with the TUI Care Foundation: plastic reduction in Cyprus; support for small tourism businesses in Jamaica and connecting local producers to hotels in Türkiye. Each of these projects ended with impressive results and our thanks go to the TUI Care Foundation for their support.

So now we shift our focus to the next 20 years for the Travel Foundation. We intend to continue growing our visibility, our influence, and most importantly, our impact – unlocking systems change that leads to increased collaboration and innovation for a smarter and healthier approach to tourism enabling destinations to thrive in a changing global paradigm. I sincerely hope you’ll align with our efforts so we can work closely together on this journey.


Jeremy Sampson, Travel Foundation CEO


Climate Change

The changing shape of tourism in a decarbonising world

  • This ground breaking report set the direction for tourism to achieve its current growth forecasts whilst also achieving ‘Net Zero’. 

  • The initial findings of the report were launched with a webinar attended by over 130 tourism leaders, during the COP 27 Climate Conference.

  • The final report, released in 2023, gained media attention all around the world, resulting in 112 media mentions with a potential reach of nearly 400 million 

  • Even though it raised difficult questions, the report has drawn support from tourism organisations around the world.

This major research project sought to understand what a growing, thriving Net-Zero visitor economy would look like and how tourism could get there. Working with CELTH, Breda University of Applied Sciences, the European Tourism Futures Institute, and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, alongside other partners, we modelled different decarbonisation scenarios across transport and accommodation with the aim of providing a positive vision of a growing visitor economy where emissions are reduced to Net Zero.

The initial findings highlighted that there is only one scenario compatible with this aim.  With global tourism set to double in size by 2050 from 2019 levels, current strategies will fail to meet goals to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.  Instead, global policy makers and tourism organisations are urged to make significant investments and create incentives for the greenest forms of transport, and limits on the most polluting.

  • “Reports and research like this from the Travel Foundation and its collaborators are critical calls to action for governments, investors, consumers and donors. We all need to be on the same page. Collective actions and coalitions of the willing are fundamental building blocks for tourism futures.”

Shaun Mann, Senior Tourism Specialist, World Bank Group

Supporting Climate action

(click the tabs below for more information)  

We stepped up our work to support destinations to better understand the challenges relating to climate change and to co-create solutions that can help them advance on climate action.  This includes supporting destinations to reduce carbon emissions relating to tourism, as well as how to adapt plans and products to address the risks associated with our changing climate.

For example, we worked with leading destination Visit Scotland across different parts of the Scottish tourism industry on three simultaneous projects:
1. We supported Glasgow, Inverness and Loch Ness and the Outer Hebrides to build their knowledge and literacy about tourism and climate action, through mentoring, peer-to-peer exchange, and facilitated workshops.  As a result of this work, the three destinations were able to develop their own climate action plans and tourism representatives across Scotland received tools and training to support them in accelerating climate action.

2. We worked with international tour operator The Travel Corporation, Visit Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to explore how businesses and destinations can work together to measure and reduce emissions across tourism.  The aims of the project is to lay the groundwork for further, cross-destination collective action.

3. We supported Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland, the Scottish Government and other enterprise agencies to develop a Destination Net Zero Climate Action Plan looking at how these national level supporting organisations can enable stakeholders across the industry in Scotland to deliver climate action.

We began work on a first-of-its-kind training program for destination management organisations (DMOs) in partnership with Expedia Group.  The online training program is due to launch in the second half of 2023 and will equip DMOs with the knowledge and skills to become a hub for climate action and tourism in their communities, create their own climate action plans and support industry partners do the same while applying a sustainability lens to planning and decision-making.  The aim is to create ‘climate champions’ who can lead the way and facilitate action within their destination.  The program will also offer peer-to-peer learning opportunities for destinations to share knowledge and insights with one another. DMOs are well-placed to bring together public and private efforts to find solutions, as well as to support the many small and medium enterprises in their sector with broader mitigation and adaptation efforts. With this programme, our aim is to support these organisations to take action and share solutions.

We began a long-term research project in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University to explore what practical support is needed for tourism destinations to create climate action plans, and to investigate the challenges and enablers for climate action.  We interviewed representatives from 24 tourism destinations across Europe, Africa and the Americas.  The resulting report called ‘Tourism Destination Climate Action, the Enabling Environment’ was released in 2023 and highlighted a lack of climate skills and literacy, technical knowledge, climate competency and understanding of the priorities.  Added to this skills gap are the complexities around the number of stakeholders involved, confusion over a destination’s mandate and sphere of influence, as well as challenges communicating the issue. The enablers that emerged included strong partnerships, effective communication, integrated governance, as well as having a clear mandate and the availability of resources, case studies and templates. Our aim now is to use the outputs from the research to input into a broader funding application to help support Climate Action Plan development across destinations.

Having helped to create and launch the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, at COP26 in November 2021, we continued our support for this global-leading movement, working with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on specific actions that support tourism organisations to deliver and accelerate their commitments to climate action, including:

– Supporting the launch of a Capacity Building Working Group that brings together over 50 experts from across the industry to understand and solve the challenges facing tourism.

– Collaborating with UNWTO on a series of webinars for signatories exploring different aspects of the declaration and climate action, including measurement and shaping your role in climate action and action planning.

– Supported UNWTO in the delivery of regular newsletters to update signatories on progress of the Glasgow Declaration, featuring inspiring examples of organisations and individuals who are making a difference.

The long-running ‘Transforming Value Chains’ project, led by the UN Environment came to an end in 2022. The aim of the project was to find ways to reduce carbon emissions, as well as water-use and waste from the hospitality sector, across four island states. Across the four-year project, the Travel Foundation led the implementation of the initiative in Mauritius and Saint Lucia, where we:
– Identified ‘hot spots’ or key areas to reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency.
– Trained public officials and private sector staff in sustainable procurement.
– Developed and launched national action plans in each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource efficiency.
– Developed implementation plans and accompanying capacity building materials.

In 2022, we also ran a workshop and webinar series, hosting 15 online events for accommodation providers. 226 participants, from over 150 organisations, across 54 countries took part in the workshops and webinars. From our post training survey, 100% of respondents felt the workshops/webinars added to their knowledge, and 98% of respondents felt more able to take action as a result. The series was organised within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme and in collaboration with UNWTO for accommodation providers around the world.


Destination Stewardship

    • Our work in 2022 with six US destinations marked the first time the Travel Foundation has developed a significant programme of activity in this country.
    • Our two-year project with easyJet holidays supported four European destinations to take a stewardship approach to tourism management, including research, engaging stakeholders and agreeing practical steps.
    • We launched a new online sustainable tourism course with Cornell University, providing essential skills and tools across governance, impact management, climate action and more. Scholarships are available for 1,000 course participants for whom affordability is an issue.
    • With the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, we identified key barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion in tourism and developed a toolkit for action.

Designing effective stewardship strategies and programmes is not always straightforward and many destination management organisations are struggling to understand how to make the shift towards this approach.

In 2022, we partnered with eight leading destinations across the USA, Canada and UK to create stronger, better strategies that put resident communities at their heart. The destinations we worked with are all united by their desire to engage fully with their communities, protect and enhance places, and optimise tourism’s benefits for visitors and residents alike. Our aim is to ensure that these organisations are able to lead the way for others to follow, showcasing approaches that improve the impacts of tourism on the destination.

We also undertook research, created new tools and resources for organisations and supported stakeholder engagement for fairer, more equitable tourism.

“Our work with the Travel Foundation provided a solid base of research and planning for us to evolve our island home and destination. Their research helped us develop a new stewardship position and laid the groundwork work for goals and a vision to work toward.” Brett Stawar, President & CEO, Port Aransas Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce

“We see the Travel Foundation as the ideal partner for facilitating this within destinations, and we share the same aim to lead the charge here and demonstrate a new kind of relationship between businesses and destination communities.” Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays

Supporting small tourism businesses in Jamaica

    • We supported nearly 400 individuals representing over 300 small tourism businesses to access the international tourism market.
    • 90% of those trained said they had increased their knowledge of tourist market needs, and improved skills.
    • Businesses involved benefitted from better access to financing and increased profile and visibility with tourists.
    • We delivered two in-person training workshops, four ‘Are you Ready for Recovery’ webinars, guidebooks and more.
    • We ran online networking events where participants met tour operators, ground handlers, social media influencers and more.
    • Seven ‘booster businesses’, received bespoke support including action plan development, photography and online workshops.

Small and medium-sized businesses have long been the engine of the Jamaican economy, comprising a huge share of employment in Jamaica and they are playing a vital role in the country’s economic recovery following the pandemic. Integrating small local businesses into the tourism offer helps to build strong local economies, enhance livelihoods and reduce inequality. However, accessing the international tourism market is not always easy.  This project with the TUI Care Foundation supported small tourism businesses to ensure that their products and services are appropriate for international markets, improve their business and livelihoods, increase employment opportunities and further contribute to a healthy, thriving economy.


“We have received invaluable coaching, mentorship, and advice from experts tailored to our specific needs and goals.” Animal Farm and Nature Reserve.

“The support received from Big UpSmall Business has been great. The training sessions and guidance have helped us to consider all aspects ofthe business through a new lens.”
Far Out Fish Hut

“Being part of Big Up Small Business helped our focus. We found the pricing tools and technical advice particularly helpful, and we are using them to guide our approach.”
JCDT for Holywell/ Portland Gap/BlueMountain Peak

Postcards from our projects


  • 40

    • We hosted, or co-hosted 40 webinars and workshops, both in-person and online, reaching thousands of individuals.
  • 57

    We spoke at a record-breaking 57 leading summits and conferences, including COP27 climate summit, ITB, IMPACT Canada, the UN Ocean Conference and Mexico’s Sustainable and Social Tourism Summit.

  • 1K

    We were mentioned in 1116 articles in travel media around the world, with a potential reach of over 1,018 million.

  • 10k

    We grew our number of Twitter followers to 10,000 up 5.6%,

  • 13k

    This year, we had 13,500 Linked In followers, up 50% from 2021.

Our income and expenditure


Total income
  • 16%
    General Supporter Programme
  • 30%
    Climate Change Programme
  • 28%
    Equity Programme
  • 17%
    Transformative Change Programme
  • 7%
    Sponsorship Programme & Speaking Engagements
  • 3%

Total income of £756,128 in 2022 (2021 – £659,014) was up 14.7% year on year. It also represented a more than 40% improvement against the organisation’s original 2022 operating budget. This increase included £220k of new income achieved in the year, resulting in increased restricted income funding. We also achieved growth in income from the travel sector, as international travel continued to reignite.


Total expenditure
  • 83%
    Charitable activities - core costs
  • 13%
    Charitable activities - support costs
  • 3%
    Fundraising costs
  • 1%
    Charitable activities - governance costs

Representing a year on year increase of 62%, total expenditure was £937,065 (2021 – £577,506), also representing an 8% increase against the organisation’s 2022 budget. We closed the year with an increase in unrestricted reserves of £101,366 (2021 – £64,338 deficit), leaving the organisation with closing unrestricted capital and reserves of £273,665 (2021 – £172,299) and restricted capital and reserves of £44,432 (2021 – £326,734). This was a significant improvement against the organisation’s original 2022 budget, demonstrating the organisation’s strive to retain and re-grow its reserves.

A huge thank you to all our partners and funders, who enabled us to continue our important charitable work.

Our funders and partners in 2022

4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island)
10 or More
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc
Blue Bay Travel
Colorado Tourism Office
DestiMED/ WWF Mediterranean
Destination Orkney Limited
Destination Vancover
Dorset Council
easyJet Holidays
Expedia Group
First Rate Exchange
Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership
Holiday Extras
Lake Tahoe/CREST
Leeds Beckett University
NBTC (Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme & Congressen)
Oceanside/MMGY Nextfactor
Peak District & Derbyshire (MPDD)
Port Aransas Tourism Bureau and Chamber of Commerce
Scottish Enterprise
Sidmouth Town Council
State of Washington Tourism
Surrey University
The Energy and Water Agency
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
The European Travel Commission (ETC)
The Travel Corporation
Tourism Association of Vancouver Island
Travel Oregon
TUI Care Foundation
United Nations Environment
University of Edinburgh
Vail/MMGY Nextfactor
Visit California
Visit Finland
Visit Kent
Visit Scotland
Visit Temecula Valley








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