Creating positive change through climate action, food waste reduction, supporting developing destinations, animal welfare and additional projects
Trattoria Terra Madre, featured on select Insight Vacations’ Italian itineraries, is a farm-to-table experience in Alberobello, Italy, advancing sustainable food production. Insight Vacations offers a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience on 94% of itineraries.
The Travel Corporation (TTC), one of the world’s largest travel operators, founded by the late Stanley Tollman, a global tourism industry icon and a devoted philanthropist of South African descent, has released its first official Impact Report, detailing progress against its 11 sustainability goals launched in September 2020.
How We Tread Right (HWTR), TTC’s current 5-year sustainability strategy, was built to ensure all 41 award-winning brands (including: Trafalgar, Contiki, Uniworld, Red Carnation – which includes the Oyster Box Hotel, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, and Bushmans Kloof in South Africa – and more) within TTC’s family of brands are advancing their shared ethos to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®. The sustainability strategy addresses 6 major issues impacting our planet, its people, and wildlife: climate action, sustainable food production, responsible consumption, travel experiences, diversity, equity and inclusion, and animal welfare.
The 11 sustainability goals as set out by TTC are:
- Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner
- Source 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025
- Reduce food waste by 50% across all TTC hotels and ships by 2025
- Increase use of local and organic food products by their supply chain by 2025
- Reduce printed brochures by 50% by 2025
- Eliminate all unnecessary single-use plastics
- Include at least 1 make travel matter experience on 50% of TTC itineraries by 2025
- Achieve a 20% increase of itineraries visiting developing regions for select specialist brands by 2025
- Increase employee and market sentiment regarding diversity and inclusion across its brands
- Complete 30,000 volunteer hours by 2025
- Ensure all wildlife experiences across TTC brands adhere to its animal welfare policy by 2021.
In the 15 months since the launch of its sustainability strategy, the global travel provider has been working tirelessly towards its 11 goals, which are anchored to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The Impact Report highlights the cumulative progress made thus far (from September 2020 through December 2021) as the company seeks to shape a brighter future for the travel industry, the local people and communities it visits, the planet and wildlife.
A few key takeaways from the Impact Report include:
- Contiki, Radical Travel Group’s HAGGiS Adventures and Highland Explorer Tours announced their carbon neutral trips as of January 1st, 2022.
- Red Carnation’s Xigera Safari Lodge (in Africa) operated on 99% solar energy, powered by its state-of-the-art Solar Energy Centre. This comprises a Tesla solar photovoltaic diesel hybrid system with lithium ion battery storage.
- Sourced 28 per cent of their global electricity needs from renewable sources.
- Switched nine additional properties to 100 per cent renewable electricity.
- Reduced food waste by 39 per cent at 12 Red Carnation Hotels.
- Introduced food waste management systems at 30 per cent of our hotels and Uniworld ships.
- Red Carnation’s Xigera Safari Lodge, in partnership with Wild Entrust, began deliveries of food waste to a community garden in the neighboring village of Habu.
- Reduced printed brochures by 88 per cent from 2019.
- Developed net zero targets aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), currently under review and will be shared later in 2022.
- Introduced 554 MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences across TTC itineraries, educational experiences designed to advance the UNSDGs, which positively impact and support the people and communities they visit (including many across the African continent).
- In 2021, 51 per cent of all TTC itineraries had at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, surpassing the goal set to reach 50 per cent by 2025.
- Offered 65 TTC itineraries visiting 110 developing regions.
- To address the growing threat of overtourism and create a more even distribution of tourism dollars across local economies, TTC and its brands have been working to increase their itineraries visiting developing regions. Of course, since the start of the pandemic, overtourism has been a threat rendered temporarily irrelevant, with all destinations experiencing a drastic decline in visitors. However, this does not change the fact that there are many developing regions that stand to benefit greatly from the visitor economy, as we begin to travel again.
- In 2019, TTC launched their employee resource group TTC IDEA which has five chapters across its global offices. IDEA stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action, and each chapter has multiple identity circles, giving their teams a dedicated time and space to engage in and learn from their colleagues to broaden their understanding of the lived experience of historically underrepresented communities.
- In November 2021, TTC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy was launched, to guide our action. This strategy is where our commitment to action is clear, as it features specific and actionable goals across three core business functions, People and Culture, Travel Experiences and Marketing and Communications. In 2021, TTC’s TreadRight Foundation partnered with Tourism Cares, TRIP School and the Media Arts Institute of Alabama to develop the Pathways Project, which aims to increase representation of Black, Indigenous and other historically underrepresented individuals in travel and tourism, with a focus on the guided tour space.
- In 2022, TTC’s TreadRight Foundation partnered with Rainbow Railroad, whose life-saving work helps members of the LGBTQI+ community escape violence and persecution and find safety in a new country where they can live freely.
- Assessed 400+ wildlife experiences to ensure 100 per cent compliance with its Animal Welfare Policy.
“This first, and future Impact Reports, enable us to evaluate the progress we’re making as a company as well as individual brands, so we can track our increasing achievements and acknowledge the areas that need more work,” says Shannon Guihan, The Travel Corporation’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Our sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right, was carefully designed to enable meaningful measurements with a clear focus on action. We are singularly focused on the success of these actions on the issues we aim to address and recognize that our impact can only be understood through measurement and transparency.”
TTC recognises the growing expectation from travellers to and travel more sustainably, including supporting local communities and reducing environmental impacts. Travellers are seeking a meaningful holiday experience and saving them the hassle of searching for sustainable options.
“With the upcoming Stockholm+50 international environmental conference convened by the United Nations General Assembly, issues including climate change, sustainable food production and animal welfare are global issues requiring urgent action,” adds Brett Tollman, Chairman of The Travel Corporation. “In sharing our blueprint to do better, we’re ensuring travellers’ peace of mind that travelling with TTC’s brands furthers the fight against these critical planetary challenges so we can safeguard our planet for future generations,” he concludes.
To read The Travel Corporation’s full Impact Report and learn more about the progress TTC and its brands have made against its How We Tread Right sustainability strategy, please visit impact.treadright.org/progress.
About The Travel Corporation:
The Travel Corporation (TTC) is a highly successful stable, and solvent family-owned and passionately run international group of 41 award-winning brands, celebrating our first 100th Anniversary in 2020. Our exceptional portfolio of brands spans across 70 countries and offers an extensive selection of international travel and tourism companies, encompassing a variety of guided travel experiences, independent holiday packages, boutique river cruising, luxury hotels and safaris. We are committed to consistently delivering outstanding service, experiences and value to each and every one of our guests and we do so through continuous innovation. Beyond our commitment to provide the world’s leading holiday experiences, TTC reassures travellers in these uncertain times that their future travels are safe with us. The financial strength and future longevity of the business is backed by the transparent exposure of the companies Red Carnation Hotels unencumbered fixed assets in excess of US$300,000,000 as of December 31, 2019. For more information, please visit TTC.com or follow us on Twitter and Instagram (insert regional link) while using our hashtags #TravelWithTTC and #MakeTravelMatter.
About The TreadRight Foundation:
TreadRight is a joint not-for-profit initiative established by The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. The foundation’s singular mission is to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® by providing support to community-based projects worldwide that safeguard the planet, people and wildlife. To date, the foundation has supported 60+ sustainable tourism projects in 280+ communities worldwide, based on priorities set by the TreadRight Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid and The National Trust in the UK, while current initiatives include Rainbow Railroad, Project Vesta, GreenWave and The Tourism Pathways Project. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, please visit TreadRight.org and follow TreadRight on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using our hashtag #MakeTravelMatter. We will make travel matter – for our planet, for people and for wildlife. We have taken the pledge, now we invite you to join us.