Chimu has set an important challenge for travel agents.
That challenge is to ask suppliers a powerful question which could have game-changing impacts on the travel industry and the world as a whole.
That question is: “What’s your sustainability policy?” and it really is as simple as that.
Meg Hall, Chimu’s marketing manager, is one of the masterminds behind this campaign, known as the Travel Revolution, and said the idea behind it is to make sustainability a main talking point for the entire industry.
“We’re working in one of the worlds largest industries, and here we can make a massive massive difference,” Hall told Travel Weekly.
“We affect so many people in so many areas and not just the people we visit but also the people who travel with us.”
The Travel Revolution is designed to encourage everyone in the industry to change the conversation.
“We’ve been asking questions for years and we’ve decided it has taken far too long for this to become the standard,” she said.
“We don’t want this to be a unique selling point for us anymore, we want everyone to be doing this.”
The ideas is that if travel agents begin to regularly ask sales reps what their product offers in terms of sustainability, that question will travel down the supply chain and encourage the company to do better.
“I think if we all band together as a united front we could make some massive changes to the planet just by making some tweaks and changes to the way we travel,” Hall said.
“If someone comes in and says they want a flop and drop, an agent can then say ‘You can go to this amazing hotel with everything you want, or this one which also has what you want only this one uses grey water, solar energy, and recycle 90 per cent of their waste. The other one doesn’t have the same sustainability policy, for that reason, I would recommend this one.’
“You can use it as a selling point.”
Perhaps the most important role travel plays in terms of sustainability, according to Hall, is the profound influence it has on travellers.
“We believe in creating ambassadors,” Hall said.
“Travel is one of the most important industries in the world as well as being one of the largest and that’s the reason we’re taking people to delicate locations.
“We want to educate them on the fragile environments around the world so we can bring them back as ambassadors who encourage more sustainable living and teach their friends the importance of sustainable living.
“Those are the kinds of people we need on the planet,” she concluded.