We asked Steve Byrne, Travel Counsellors CEO, to share his thoughts on becoming our newest partner and his outlook on sustainable tourism…
- Who are the Travel Counsellors?
Travel Counsellors is a leading independent travel company delivering a personal, bespoke travel service. We have over 1,800 travel franchisees, supported by more than 360 staff across our UK headquarters in Manchester, and six overseas offices (Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, and Dubai). We have a world leading Customer Satisfaction score of 96% and have been named among the Telegraph’s Britain’s 1000 Brightest Businesses and London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Businesses to Inspire Britain, as well as most recently receiving the Lloyd’s National Business Award for customer focus.
- Why have you chosen to partner with us?
We are a business based on caring for our people, customers and communities and this comes with a responsibility to protect the places we send tourists. The Travel Foundation shares this passion and we like that you both spearhead projects in destinations and also educate the industry and its customers around the importance of sustainable tourism practices.
- Is there market demand for sustainable tourism?
Tourism can be really positive for growth in local economies, providing jobs and funds for conservation. For us as a business, sustainable travel is also related with a more authentic travel experiences, visiting unspoilt places, which is truly reflective of our focus on providing this type of experiential travel to our customers. It’s something we know our global network of Travel Counsellors franchisees and their customers really care about too. A recent survey of our people 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.
- What will you be doing with us in 2018?
The Travel Foundation will help us to develop our own internal training programme and help us introduce more sustainable practices across the business. We will also be working together to identify and signpost sustainable products and ancillaries to customers.
Our donations will support the Travel Foundation’s worldwide research and destination projects, which aim to measure and manage the impacts of tourism, and test and demonstrate new ways of thinking.
We will also be communicating and sharing our work with our people and customers, raising awareness and showcasing our values of care through the work we do.
- Do you have a long-term vision for sustainability for your organisation?
As a business, we are able to give back and help others because we are commercially successful and we want others to benefit from this success. It’s not a box ticking exercise. We genuinely want to make a difference. Our CSR mission is that the world should be enjoyed by everyone and that we should work together to make this possible, and this partnership is part of a wider programme of activity that will be grown and developed over time. Our partnership with The Travel Foundation will put sustainable tourism firmly on the map for our Travel Counsellors and customers, across the seven countries in which we operate, and help us leave a better world for future generations to enjoy and explore.
If your business would like to support the Travel Foundation, contact: Graeme Jackson, Head of Partnerships. Email: Partnerships@thetravelfoundation.org.uk Tel: +44 (0)117 9273049