Interview with Ali Nicholls, Head of Partnerships, Charitable Travel
Tell us about Charitable Travel: what sets you apart from other operators?
Every penny of profit earned by Charitable Travel supports charity fundraising as a financially protected travel agency. Our purpose is to book holidays and support the great work that UK-based charities deliver around the world.
We sacrifice commission to allow a free 5% donation to a registered charity through our dedicated JustGiving website.
We pride ourselves in offering travel expertise and a unique way of creating travel-for-good as a true not-for-private-profit social enterprise.
Finalist – TTG Travel Industry Awards 2021
Charitable Travel were proud to attend the TTG Industry Awards as finalists in the Responsible Travel Award category. We have always aspired to conduct as much of our activity in the most considered way possible considering environmental, social and economic factors. We are also Finalists for the 2022 Awards which will be announced in September.
Finalist – The Travel Media Awards 2021
Charitable Traveller Magazine was honoured to be recognised as a finalist at the prestigious Travel Media Awards in the Consumer Content category. We are overjoyed that the magazine has already reached prominence and industry recognition.
Lauren Jarvis for National Geographic Traveller, ‘26 ways to live lighter on the planet, starting now.’ “Taking fewer but longer trips, travelling by train, ferry or bicycle, and booking through an agent like Charitable Travel, which donates 5% of the cost of your trip to charity… are other ways to lighten the footprint of your journey.”
Helen Coffey for The Independent, ‘The best travel companies for booking a sustainable holiday’ “This unique not-for-private-profit travel retailer says its aim is to ensure travel is a force for good providing customers with the opportunity to book a holiday to anywhere in the world and donate a portion of the holiday price to a UK registered charity of their choice.”
You joined ETOA in 2021. Why did you join and what have you gained so far from your membership?
Since we joined ETOA we have been able to build new relationships with so many partners by attending the fantastic virtual and live events. These truly have been invaluable in building our database of resources and allowed us to share different updates from Destinations and Hotels with our Marketing and Reservations teams.
We will continue to build on these invaluable partnerships to expand our website content, and collate up to date information on Responsible and Sustainable Travel initiatives.
We have launched a new Voluntourism Hub on our website – The Big Holiday Help is our hub of voluntourism projects around the world that regular visitors can get involved with, to give back when they travel to your destination with Charitable Travel. The customer trusts us to support their vacation experience but we allow them to choose and contact a project directly that they are interested to help.
We would love to have ETOA members’ local non-profit voluntourism projects listed on the hub. Please share this registration link as widely as possible with the right kind of projects.
Your clients are mainly from the United Kingdom. Which travel trends do you see in 2022 and 2023 for European destinations?
We have been focusing our efforts on promoting off season travel and ways to travel responsibly with features in our online magazine, which has a readership of around 2.5 million, around opportunities to travel by rail, suggesting smaller secondary cities and lesser-known routes.
We have been also looking for charities that have projects in Europe that are registered as charities in the UK or USA where we can align the charity donation made with the destination that the client is travelling to as a suggested alternative to the charity they normally support. We would welcome members’ support in suggesting charities we can contact to onboard them into our registered good causes.
We work with numerous Tour Operators who offer varied travel styles within Europe and we are seeing a range of enquiries from beach holidays to cultural city-breaks, walking and cycling holidays, escorted touring and extended family villa breaks.
Europe is featured in our weekly offer email to our database of 25,000 and in our search field on the website and across social media with posts also being amplified by our 180 charity partners to their supporters.