AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Discover the World Sustainability

Sustainable Tourism Projects from Discover the World

WAKE (c)up and reduce single-use plastic

Discover the World is committed to responsible tourism and marine conservation. Having operated the first whale watching trip in Iceland in 1993, we believe there are many ways we can take responsibility for the way we travel including avoiding single-use plastic.

It was important for us to partner with the right company when recommending our clients purchase reuseable items. After some online research I found Global WAKEcup, a small British company, local to Banstead. WAKEcup offer range of smart, sustainable products and have a similar company ethos, thus the partnership was formed. WAKEcup created a dedicated landing page for us on their website.

We held a free-flow brainstorming session to showcase the products to our staff and communicate to our sales team. We promoted details of our partnership on our ‘Responsible Travel’ web-page, and throughout our documentation, which was really exciting. The plan was to then promote this message to clients due to travel, via automated pre-travel emails. Unfortunately our marketing team encountered issues with our new CRM system so this part of the plan was never carried out.

Seeing our members of staff supporting the project by making their own purchases and using our DTW branded bottles as consumer shows was wonderful. Unfortunately client take up has been limited and as such we have only sold approximately 20% of our target (20 bottles). We think this may be down to many clients already having their own reuseable items. In addition, the cost and weight of the bottles wasn’t really the right fit for children travelling as part of our school groups.

In future we aim to quantify how many clients understand our message of avoiding single-use plastic items when travelling by adding a question to our post-travel feedback form. We still plan to continue our partnership with Global WAKEcup and hope that purchases increase now that our CRM system is more stable and pre-travel emails can be planned again.

Despite the challenges above, we are proud to have enthused our staff and after forming a DTW Responsible Travel committee we have started other RT projects, such as carbon offsetting.

For more information contact Lauren Garner: