AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Tucan Travel Sustainability

Tucan Travel

Our sustainable Tourism Vision

We believe that it is only by seeing and engaging with different people, cultures and habitats that we can begin to have an understanding of the world around us. It is only through this understanding that we can hope to learn how to protect and conserve the world for the future generations of all species.

We recognise that ‘adventure’ may mean different things to different people. Here at Tucan Travel we believe there is adventure in the everyday as much as in the exotic. We also recognise that we are fortunate in that our everyday offers the opportunity, and the freedom to choose our adventure. Others are less fortunate and for many adventures may be the dream of living free from fear, hunger, poverty and exploitation.

Tucan Travel’s long term commitment to responsible travel is informed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals; the world's best plan to end poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change. Our Purpose sets out how we support our travellers to make informed decisions so that they are able to travel without causing harm and be in a position to offer benefit to the people, cultures, animals and habitats they visit. In this way we can all contribute to the realisation of the development goals.

Sustainable Tourism Projects from Tucan Travel

2019 Testimonial

In 2019 Tucan Travel pledged to begin to develop robust internal systems and information. Known as our Purpose, this has been a driving force to develop United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) specific links and understanding in our policies and internal communication. This process has enabled us to draw attention to and promote the passion that existed across the company for responsible travel. This has always underpinned our work but has never previously been brought to the fore.

We chose Animal and Child Welfare and Anti-Slavery as the openers to this work. Online and in-house training has been well received and generated further discussion. As expected with such emotive topics, some found the topics challenging. Consequently, we have introduced an employee assistance programme offering online and telephone counselling.

That 100 % of staff completed the staff profile questionnaire and over 90% have responded to our values questionnaire is significant. This signals a shared commitment to openness and holds us all to account. Just asking questions has highlighted the value of talking and importantly listening. All future developments will align with the shared values of our team.

It has been genuinely humbling reading the responses to the questionnaires. We have amazing people working for us. It has been great seeing the whole team’s commitment, knowing that everyone cares about the environment. Feeling the passion when talking to staff about what matters and what is important for them has been brilliant.

Although we are at the beginning of this process, we are already beginning to see an impact on sales. For example, we have seen 108% increase in passenger numbers through one dedicated sustainable travel site; a significant increase in comparison with previous year on year growth. Though difficult to determine if this is all due to our Purpose, we believe it contributes.

In 2020 we will continue this work by strengthening our relationships with the family and community run services we connect with across the globe. We will continue to support local initiatives, local people and communities; working together towards the UN SDG.

Travelling with Purpose

In 2019 Tucan Travel will complete a critical review 75% of our existing policies and systems.

This review will include refreshing our Animal Welfare Policy as an extension to our existing commitment to uphold animal rights. Since 2014 we have refused to offer elephant rides on any of our tours. We want to go further to ensure that all species are treated with respect. We will also revise our Anti Slavery and Child Welfare Policies. We will critically evaluate our products against these revised policies and advise all services within our supply chain of our zero tolerance towards human and animal exploitation. Any product that does not meet our revised standards by March 2020 will be changed or removed from our itineraries.

Tucan Travel also pledges to support the wellbeing of all of our staff and crew by launching an employee assistance programme by January 2020 and enabling access to a wide range of self-help and counselling, guidance and support for all staff and crew.

This pledge is important to us because we want to make a difference. As a small independent company there is a limit to what we can achieve so we will act with purpose to do what we can and trust Tucan Travellers to do the same. We will update the information available to our travellers to help them make informed decisions and provide guidance on how they can help us to support animals, humans and the habitats in our destinations. This pledge sets us on a path for change, and one that we believe will give security of mind to everyone booking and with us that we can make travel purposeful.

For more information contact tanya @tucantravel.com