We're well into February already, and with the SPAA's 90th Annual Dinner just a couple of weeks away, there seems to be no let-up in world events and challenges. The Coronavirus outbreak wasn't even on the horizon when I wrote my last column, yet now - along with last week's terrible Streatham street attack, and the COP26 Glasgow climate conference row - the constant stream of world and local news seems to grab more time and energy every day, at work and during precious time off. Travel agents and operators, as we always do, are rising to the challenges - helping and reassuring business and leisure travel customers through the Coronavirus disruption, while still working hard through a busy Peaks and early-booking period. Time seems to pass faster every year, but it's also ever more precious - so taking the opportunity to slow down, pause and relax occasionally is productive, not time wasted.
Steady progress with Planeterra
Meanwhile, we're making steady progress with our plans to partner with the Planetarra Foundation - hopefully, you were able to take a look at the introductory information and links I sent out recently. When you think about it, it makes real sense for travel providing businesses - such as travel agencies, tour operators, cruise lines and airlines - to work together to offset the unavoidable effects on the environment of what we do, by maximising the added-value we create - satisfied leisure travellers who are motivated to explore more.
When we choose to support and sustain new small enterprises around the world - promoting employment for local people, in destinations that may or may not be struggling with overtourism, and bringing them leisure travellers who are just as keen to understand, experience and contribute to looking after our planet - it creates a strong ripple effect, a really self-sustaining virtuous circle.
A perfect example of the 'ripple effect' ~ DESA
The DESA project, based in Dubrovnik, Croatia - a place well acquainted with a troubled recent history, and the highs + lows of rapidly growing tourism - is a perfect example of GAdventures' Planeterra Foundation at its best work, and again - it's best introduced by the folks themselves, so please just follow the link below to read on.
SPAA people power - how each of us can make a difference
Our first aim, with your support, is to raise funds to support the DESA project between now and the middle of this year. We're determined to drive our partnership forward - at a sensible, sustainable pace - and hopefully move on to another substantial project in the second half of 2020 and into 2021. Our own SPAA people power is going to be key - in fact, we can't do it without you, but we know from experience how generous our Members and Associate colleagues can be. We're confident we can achieve something really substantial to 'give back'!
SPAA | Planeterra Foundation + Project 100 Campaign 2020/21
Within the next couple of weeks, the details of our fund-raising campaign for DESA - including taking part in the upcoming Kiltwalk Glasgow on 26 April - will come out to you, so please do take a few minutes to take a look at this marvellous project and reflect on what you and your colleagues in your business could do to generate a few of those 'ripples' with your own activities. And feel free to be in touch with Irene, Janice or myself if you have a specific fund-raising idea or any questions. You can reach us at :
Meanwhile it's been a really positive start to our 2020 business - onwards and upwards!