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OUR PEOPLE, OUR WORLD, OUR FUTURE

June 25th, 2018, by Brett Tollman

I recently attended the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) 18th Global Summit with 800 other delegates from across the globe. This year’s theme is: “Our People, Our World, Our Future”. The summit asked challenging questions facing our travel industry today and how we can work together towards a more sustainable future.

TOURISM AS A PARTNER FOR CLIMATE ACTION WITH THE UNITED NATIONS

At the summit, I participated in discussions about the important role of tourism in supporting global action which was initiated by the WTTC and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change) towards a climate neutral world with the aims of:

  • Communicating the nature and importance of the interlinkages between travel and climate change.
  • Raising awareness of the positive contribution travel & tourism can make to building climate resilience.
  • Reducing the contribution of travel & tourism to climate change and supporting quantitative targets and reductions.
Signing the Climate Change Declaration on behalf of TTC with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat

 

Along with top industry leaders, I personally signed, on behalf of our companies, the WTTC Climate Change Declaration where we agreed with the WTTC and the UN towards a common agenda with many joint activities. We have active, ongoing corporate social responsibility activities and programs to further measure and reduce our carbon footprints in our offices, on our trips and to help further inform our travelers and supply partners on what we all can do more to help reduce, reuse and recycle.

Energy, waste and other climate change related reduction programs are just part of what it means to be sustainable today — doing more to help less fortunate people around the world are equally important activities and we are always encouraging our team to make the most of the annual volunteering programs we offer.

TRAVEL & TOURISM DECLARATION ON ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE

As our not-for-profit foundation, TreadRight, celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year, we continue to work hard to progress our Wildlife Initiatives and keep supporting the important work of our project partners and leading wildlife organizations including the the Cape Leopard Trust, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Wildlife SOS – India, and the Wilderness Foundation Africa, as well as WildAid in the past, to try and ensure wildlife populations can continue to thrive in their environments.

On behalf of The Travel Corporation and TreadRight, I also signed the new travel & tourism declaration to support global action to combat illegal trade in wildlife, which has become a top priority.

On stage together with other Industry Leaders for the signing of the declaration of illegal trade in wildlife.

 

It was great to hear my friend and colleague John E. Scanlon, Special Envoy, African Parks and former Secretary General of the International Convention in Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) speak about creating opportunities for local communities and ensuring they benefit from wildlife-based tourism which will help prevent the flow of illegal trade in these destinations. John discussed how poaching isn’t limited to a few high-profile species. Unfortunately, poaching is at an unprecedented scale and 7,000 species are suffering from it. He also mentioned that, last year, 1,300 rhinos were poached in Africa from a population of just 25,000.

This continued decimation of wildlife is disturbing and worrisome. Our industry coming together to sign this declaration is just the first step in a new commitment for all of us to do more to reduce and eventually eradicate this disgusting and unnecessary killing, transporting and selling of endangered wildlife. Education is so important: when the buying stops, the killing stops. We, at The Travel Corporation, are dedicated to helping do all we can to help achieve these goals, as our wildlife around the world is intricately tied to the health of our planet, as well as the travel industry.

Brett Tollman is the Chief Executive of The Travel Corporation (TTC), a privately held travel and hotel company operating on every continent across the globe. Well diversified and entrepreneurially run, TTC serves almost two million travelers per year across its rich portfolio of 29 brands including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Uniworld, Contiki, Red Carnation Hotels and Lion World Travel. Learn more about Brett Tollman and TTC by visiting bretttollman.com.

Meet the Big Five’s extended family: The “Big Nine”

May 9th, 2018, by Karen Elowitt


The term “Big Five” is undeniably catchy. It was adopted by the safari business to excite visitors about the most iconic and fearsome quintet of mammals found in Africa: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. And it is also undeniably effective; millions come to the continent every year to catch a glimpse of these awe-inspiring animals.

But of course there are dozens of other remarkable creatures to be found in Africa that should not be overlooked. We’d like you to meet four species that comprise the extended family of the Big Five: the cheetah, hippo, zebra and giraffe. All together they constitute the “Big Nine,” a catchphrase that perhaps better captures what you should look out for while on safari.

The cheetah: Though it is also spotted like the leopard, the cheetah should not be confused with its larger, more powerful cousin. These sleek, slim and exceptionally beautiful endangered creatures are the fastest land mammals on Earth, and can run up to 70 miles per hour. They can be found in many parts of southern and Eastern Africa, including the Maasai Mara, but because their numbers are small and their range so wide, sighting one is a rare but very rewarding experience. Though they are typically solitary animals, if you do happen to see a group of them, you’ll impress your friends by calling it a “coalition” of cheetahs.
 

The hippopotamus: Hippos are a far more common sight on safari than cheetahs, but most visitors only see their eyes and nostrils as they lurk just below the surface of the rivers and lakes that they love. Though hippos may look placid, they can be aggressive and territorial when provoked -- bet you didn’t know that they are actually the most dangerous land mammal in the world! So keep your distance, and if you’re patient you’ll see a “pod” of these giants as they emerge from the river in the evening to munch on grass and leaves.
 

The zebra: Zebras are perhaps the most visually striking mammal in Africa. Though they all boast bold black and white stripes, each zebra has its own unique pattern, the same way you and I have unique fingerprints. They can be seen roaming the plains of southern and eastern Africa in social groups called a “harem” or “dazzle,” often nibbling each other’s necks, “horsing” around, or more importantly, protecting each other from predators such as lions and hyenas.
 

The giraffe: The tallest of African mammals is not hard to spot, and considering their height it’s not surprising that a group of giraffes is called a “tower.” They spend their days with their heads high in the treetops, foraging for leaves, which they pull off branches with their 20-inch long prehensile tongues. When they’re not eating, they’re roaming the savanna looking for their next meal, and keeping an eye out for lions. Yes, lions have been known to attack giraffes, even though they are 10 times their size, but giraffes are usually able to defend themselves by running away – they can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour – or by delivering a swift, powerful kick.

Earth Day 2018

April 18th, 2018, by African Travel

The Travel Corporation and TreadRight Foundation Celebrate Wildlife Initiative for Earth Day 2018

The TreadRight Foundation, created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, recognizes Earth Day 2018 by celebrating the TreadRight Wildlife Initiative.

As a travel organization, the TTC family of brands appreciate just how spectacular this planet is every day, taking great pride in creating experiences of a lifetime across the globe. Exploring the world and gaining a deeper understanding of each destination helps forge lasting connections to the history, culture and natural elements that makes each special.

Destinations across the planet are often defined by their iconic wildlife and many local populations are dependent on a robust ecosystem to make a living. However, wildlife crimes like poaching and animal exploitation threaten to harm these innocent creatures and even wipe entire species off the face of the planet. Earth Day 2018 provides TTC and TreadRight the opportunity to celebrate the incredible work of those leading the charge to defend animals in vulnerable situations, such as big cats, elephants, and rhinos.

As TreadRight celebrates Earth Day 2018, those travelling with the TTC family of brands can also rest assured that they are helping to make a positive difference for our planet. Travelling with TTC’s family of brands this Earth Day will help to fund The TreadRight Foundation’s big cat conservation project, delivered in partnership with their Wildlife Initiative partners at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“Through my years spent working across every environment imaginable, whether I’m telling the stories of people or wildlife, there remains one constant in any healthy ecosystem, no matter the habitat, from the oceans to deserts to rainforests; top predators are integral to robust and flourishing ecosystems,” says TreadRight Ambassador Céline Cousteau.

“We need to remember the importance of top predators. We have put these vital animals at risk. It is our responsibility to save them. We have to remember the essentials of a human-nature co-existence. We need to tap back into the idea of balance and recognize that in a multitude of integral ecosystems around the globe, the survival of big cats is central to a healthy ecosystem.”

To learn more about The TreadRight Foundation and the work it does to ensure the environments and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come through the more than 50-plus sustainable tourism projects it helps to support worldwide, please visit treadright.org.

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