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The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors – ethical tourism unveiled

The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors – ethical tourism unveiled

 

by Alex Bell

With the sparkle and lights of Christmas now long since gone, January is perhaps one of the most depressing months of the year – with cold, dark winter stretching out for some time still to come, it’s not surprising that many people’s minds turn to holidays. Who wouldn’t want to escape the grey post-Christmas English doom for some tropical sunshine? Photos of pastel-coloured Caribbean beaches and exotic golden sunsets have never looked so wonderful, or so tempting.

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Co-operative Travel – innovation & ethical tourism all wrapped up in one…. phone call

At the Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors, their approach to travel is a little different. Their award-winning travel advisors are all home-based – meaning no more braving the rain to visit high-street travel agencies, no more waiting in line, no more being limited to office hours (the Co-operative travel advisors are regularly just a phone call away from 8am until 10pm). Offering a more bespoke service than the traditional travel agent, each travel advisor will personally research, plan and book all aspects of your travel requirements. Say goodbye to time-consuming search, stress and uncertainty and replace it all with your very own Personal Travel Advisor – there for you before, during and after your holiday.

Responsible Travel with the Co-op

virgin islands beach

As a leader in tackling climate change, the Co-operative’s commitment to responsible travel and ethical tourism is unparalleled. The home based nature of the Co-operative PTA means many hundreds fewer cars on the road every day. Since air travel is the UK’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, Co-operative Travel have teamed up with Climate Care – an organisation dedicated to combating climate change – in order to offer their clients the chance to offset their carbon emissions in a quick, easy, hassle-free manner.

Innovations in carbon offsetting

The way that this works is simple: anyone booking a holiday through Co-operative PTA may choose to offset the carbon dioxide that their flight emits. The amount this costs will depend upon where they are flying to, but, as an example, to offset carbon emissions on a return flight to Spain costs just £3.00 per passenger. Co-operative Travel then pays this money to Climate Care where it is invested in projects that absorb (e.g. through replanting rainforests) or avoid (e.g. by improving energy efficiency and renewable energy in the developing world) equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide to the emissions being offset. To date, since this partnership began in 2000, Co-operative Travel has offset more than 780,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Island in the Ocean. Welcome to Paradise!

The Co-operative reforestation programme

The Co-operative’s longest running project is reforestation within Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda. As well as the environmental benefits, this project also provides some 400 local seasonal workers with employment. Licensing arrangements enable local communities to utilise forest resources at sustainable rates, and a share in tourism revenue has led to the construction of schools and health clinics. Alongside these efforts, Co-operative Travel has been involved in installing treadle pumps in India and transforming the cooking market in Cambodia by helping to replace the Lao stove with a more efficient version that saves around half a tonne of carbon dioxide per stove per year.

As a group, the Co-operative’s vast ethical programme also strives to combat global poverty, protect the bee (and other endangered pollinators), inspire young people and empower local communities. They have set themselves the toughest carbon reduction targets of any major business and even have their own wind farm (with plans to build two more).

For those wishing to escape the English weather this winter and go abroad, it seems they could not ask for a better partner in ethical tourism than the Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors. A more tailored service, and a longstanding commitment to greener travel awaits you.

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