The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) Conservation Foundation is the combined initiative of a number of leading travel companies. TTC is an enterprise owned by the Tollman family. Founded by Stanley Tollman more than fifty years ago, the company is headed today by his son Brett Tollman, who serves as CEO and President. The Travel Corporation’s operations include leading niche travel brands such as Trafalgar Tours, the Red Carnations Hotels boutique collection, Uniworld’s boutique river cruise ships and more.
With a sensitive awareness of environmental issues, TTC’s Conservation Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting sustainable tourism and protecting a few of the areas around the world that are culturally and ecologically threatened. Tollman’s vision is to “continue to fund this important work” through the Travel Corporation’s Conservation Foundation. Companies such as Trafalgar, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, AAT Kings and others. Currently, the Conservation Foundation is entirely funded by its supporting travel companies. It has recently been involved in a number of projects in South America, Europe, Africa and Australia. The Foundation’s Board of Directors carefully vets each and every project to ensure that funds are wisely and correctly used. The Board is supported with advice from an Advisory Panel of experts in the fields of conservation and development.
In South America, the Foundation contributed $350,000 towards the protection of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, which has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve and contains many endangered species. Over the years the Forest has been widely cleared for sugar cane farming and urban settlement, and the remaining forest is estimated at less than 10% of the original area. The foundation grant helped protect some three million hectares of forest in high priority areas.
In Europe, Through the Foundation, Trafalgar is working with the UK’s National Trust to protect a number of their areas, beginning with the Giant Causeway in Ireland this year (and the White Cliffs of Dover next year). Insight vacations is working to help protect and preserve some of the battlefields of Europe from the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Uniworld is working to clean up the River Nile and Contiki is working on an ocean initiative.
In Northern Botswana, Africa, the Foundation previously supported the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which works towards supporting the African environment and wildlife. Specifically the funds have been earmarked for the construction and equipment of three research camps dedicated to the research of elephant, antelopes and zebra, to ensure the protection of both the species and their habitat.
In Australia, the beautiful Kimberly region has benefitted from Foundation funding over the past three years, which has gone towards helping local communities to develop and maintain sustainable tourism there. This will contribute both to protecting the environment and promoting an indigenous tourism industry, which in turn will support the local communities.
The World Travel and Tourism Council has held the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for the last six years, and for the last three of these TTC’s Conservation Foundation has been one of the two main co-sponsors, with Travelport. This award recognizes the leading organizations in the industry in promoting responsible tourism, an issue of major importance in a world of dwindling natural resources and ever-increasing concern for the environment.
TTC also believes that one of the most important impacts its collective efforts can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of its travelers is to better educate the clients of its brands, to build their awareness and involvement in reducing their respective footprints during their journeys. This can be done by each of them always turning off their lights and air conditioning in the hotel rooms they stay in while away, and participating in the hotels’ recycling and linen reuse programs when offered. Respecting local cultures and not polluting when visiting are also important. TTC works to engage and educate their clients before they travel on such matters to ensure the maximum awareness and take-up while they are travelling.