The Cosmos Holidays website features details of the campaign, the reasons the company is supporting it as well as a specially branded ‘make holidays greener’ month landing page. The site will feature five Green Travel Tips of the Week as well as ‘Green’ destinations of the week’.
Co-branded posters (printed on recycled paper) will be displayed in most resorts encouraging customers to buy locally-made souvenirs from sustainable materials to support the local economy. A list of Top 20 Green Travel Tips will be displayed on notice boards in high volume driving properties to demonstrate that just one small thing can make a big difference. Tips include turning down the air conditioning when not required, taking a shower rather than a bath, re-using towels and reduce linen change instead of having them changed daily or recycling magazines and books by leaving them in hotel reception for the next guests.
The tour operator supports and promotes the Sustainable Travel self-audit and monitoring programme Travelife and an increasing number of Cosmos featured properties have been awarded for working towards these standards. Properties which have met the sustainable tourism criteria have a Travelife logo alongside in its brochures, an explanation of these awards are printed in the brochure intro pages and on the website – whether its water or energy conservation, recycling, or reducing the consumption of natural resources a positive impact can be made, in addition to the environmental issues there is a social aspect and staff welfare included. There are different levels – bronze, silver and gold reflecting the level each hotel has achieved in sustainable practices. To highlight these hotels and apartments, mail shots with lead-in prices will be issued throughout this month to the travel trade focusing on Eastern Mediterranean, Long Haul and the Western Mediterranean.
Behind the scenes, Cosmos has put in place a series of initiatives in terms of recycling and energy efficiency. Overseas resort offices have reduced printing by emailing confirmation and payment vouchers to hoteliers. The Eastern Mediterranean offices estimate saving 220 reams of paper this summer season which in turn saves about 36 trees. Back in the UK, the Bromley office has a Green Team in place to brainstorm environmentally friendly initiatives and has recently recycled 16,500 kgs of paper saving approximately 36 trees and has recently started recycling batteries too.
To highlight support of the Make Holidays Greener campaign, Cosmos’ Bromley and Stockport offices will be holding a ‘Green Day’ on Friday, July 27 to promote ways of reducing impact on the environment via a range of events and activities including green quizzes, green dress-code, an office tidy up to recycle paper and stationery products and encourage staff to car share.
Visit the www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk website for tips and advice.
Gemma Carroll, product manager said: “As a tour operator we need to educate and promote responsible travel and lead the way to a sustainable future. The aim is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people, customers and our staff. Sustainability matters to consumers as they buy into fair trade, organics and local produce, and this trend is continuing when they travel too. Environmentally friendly hotels not only save money for the owner/manager but also reduce consumption of natural resources. Interest continues to grow and many guests are attracted to a green hotel because it is taking environmentally friendly steps whether it is water or energy conservation or recycling.
She added: “As the ‘make holidays greener’ campaign grows in strength we are keen to get involved and increase awareness to show our colleagues, customers and agents what steps we can all take towards reducing environmental damage. Sometimes, a small change in habits either here or on holiday can make an impact. We are hoping that customers will take note of the tips on holiday and agents will have more awareness of those hotels with green credentials.”
A seven night stay at the four diamond rated with Holiday Palace on the Costa Del Sol (Travelife Gold Award) costs from £199 per person on a self catering basis. A seven-night stay at the four diamond rated Oasis de Lanzarote (Travelife Silver Award) costs from £489 per person on an all-inclusive basis.