The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) is joining forces with new member Charitable Travel to make it easy for travel consumers to donate to registered charities doing good work around the world.
With the motto, “for charity, not for profit”, Charitable Travel has been launched as a new social enterprise and financially protected travel agency.
Charitable Travel offers a wide range of global travel experiences around the world: beach holidays, cruises, adventure and outdoors, responsible travel and more.
“We are a true not-for-private-profit social enterprise with the aim of giving back to the world,” said Melissa Tilling, CEO and founder of Charitable Travel. “We also pride ourselves in offering travel expertise, a wide choice of holiday options, quality, great value and a unique way of creating travel-for-good for our customers.”
When consumers anywhere in the world book a holiday or cruise with Charitable Travel, it sacrifices its travel agency commission. This allows bookers to make a 5% donation to a choice of 167,000 UK-registered charities, many of which have projects around the world. The consumer makes the fiscal donation through the JustGiving website which makes the process safe and easy.
The consumer then returns to the Charitable Travel website to apply the 5% discount to the price of the travel booking. So, for example, a US$1,000 holiday only costs the consumer US$950, with US$50 going to the charity of the traveller’s choice.
As a social enterprise, any net profit that Charitable Travel makes at the end of the year has to be donated to charity.
“We have effectively replaced private shareholders with public beneficiaries,” said Ms Tilling.
Acknowledging that there aren’t many travel bookings anywhere at the moment, she said: “Covid-19 is the crisis now. But Charitable Travel is here for the future.”
As a social enterprise, philanthropy is enshrined in the governing documents of Charitable Travel. The Charitable Travel Foundation is the registered charity beneficiary of the surplus profit created from selling travel and holidays.
The charity, of which Tilling is also a trustee, seeks hotels, tour operators, airlines and ancillary travel support companies to pledge transactional support, for example £1 (US$1.35) per booking by travel companies. This allows organisations of any size to donate to the Fund. Money raised is already helping unemployed hotel staff in Siem Reap, Cambodia and a women’s group in Guinea, West Africa.
WTACH CEO Chris Flynn said that WTACH’s ethos is fully aligned with Charitable Travel and the Foundation’s agenda: prevention or relief of poverty or financial hardship, the relief of sickness, injury, disease, and other suffering and the advancement of vocational education and training to aid recovery or diversification.
Three videos here give further information on exactly how Charitable Travel does good.