In 2020, Collette’s newly relaunched small-group travel style, Explorations, is going to feature impact moments for travellers to make a difference as they discover and explore the world. These moments include supporting social enterprises and non-profits, such as the Sheroes’ Hangout, a cafe in India staffed by women who were victims of acid attacks.
“We’ll go there and guests are still getting a Collette experience, they’re still getting something immersive, they’re still getting a delicious meal, but then on the other side of it, just by utilizing a vendor like that, we’re [supporting] a great community endeavour in a sustainable way,” John Sutherland, manager of corporate social responsibility at Collette tells Travel Courier. “We can keep going back and the more we go, the more benefit there is to the local community.”
The initiative is part of a wider focus on social responsibility and the impact Collette’s tours have on the destinations the tour operator visits.
“I don’t think our goal is necessarily sustainability, so much as it is responsibility and making sure that we’re responsible to the communities, the environment and the people that we come across when we’re going to our destinations,” he says.
Overall, Sutherland says travellers are increasingly more concerned about social responsibility and the values behind the product they’re buying.
“Our guests share the value of wanting to see the travel product benefit the communities that they’re going to,” he says. “And then the other thing is, we take seriously that our guests trust us to make good decisions for them in the types of products that we’re putting together and selling. When they’re buying from us, we’re picking the hotels, we’re picking the guides, restaurants, and we want to do that in a way that shows that we have our values in place and we’re supporting the communities that we go to. We think our guests are trusting us to help make good decisions for them.”
For the full story, check out the cover story in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.