New People, Wildlife And Planet Projects
The TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of award-winning brands, including Trafalgar, Uniworld, Insight Vacations, Contiki and Red Carnation Hotels has unveiled a number of dynamic new initiatives across the three pillars of its commitment to make travel matter: people, wildlife and the planet. Indicative of TTC’s dedication to sustainability in travel, and powered by TreadRight, TTC has taken another series of important steps in its pledge to remove all avoidable single-use plastics across all operations by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, TreadRight welcomes two new projects based in Colombia to its growing project portfolio.
TreadRight has further strengthened its Wildlife pillar with the addition of the Cotton-Top Protection project in partnership with Proyecto Tití, a multi-disciplinary on-site conservation program dedicated to conserving the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin in Colombia.
One of the most endangered primates in the world, the cotton-top tamarin was declared endangered in 1973 following the exportation of 20,000-40,000 tamarins to the United States for use in biomedical research. Today, the greatest threat to the survival of the cotton-top tamarin is deforestation for agriculture, fuel, and housing, in addition to collection for the local pet trade in Colombia.
TreadRight is partnering with Proyecto Tití as the organization prepares for its expansion of the its forest reserve for cotton-top tamarins, providing support for reforestation, conservation, water delivery, and the installation of solar panels. In addition, Contiki guests can look forward to experiencing this project in person on select Colombia trips.
Meanwhile, building out TreadRight’s People pillar in Colombia is a crucial archaeological site project at the El Congo-Ciudad Antigua research station, located on the western face of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range in Colombia’s Rio Frio basin.
The important archaeological structures at the site have been partially restored since the property was acquired by TreadRight’s project partners at the Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation in 1990. As part of the Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation’s ongoing community development and conservation projects, TreadRight will help support the foundation in developing a related travel experience at El Congo-Ciudad Antigua. The experience will combine exploration of the rugged mountain landscape with wildlife and bird watching, as well as the possibility of spending a night at an ancient Tairona town, an opportunity otherwise impossible throughout the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta because tourists are not permitted stay overnight at Teyuna-Ciudad Perdida Park. In addition, Trafalgar guests can visit the research station for themselves.
“It’s important that emerging tourism destinations establish sustainable initiatives and conservation actions early, which is what we’re working to help support in Colombia,” says Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, TTC & founder of The TreadRight Foundation. “With TTC exploring Colombia for the first time in 2020, TreadRight is thrilled to make travel matter in the destination with the introduction of these two new projects, that strengthen our Wildlife and People pillars. In combination with the recent announcement of TTC’s newest single-use plastic elimination tactic for our Planet pillar, we are well positioned to help make travel matter in Colombia and beyond.”
One year ago, led by Brett Tollman, TTC’s family of brands pledged to remove all avoidable single-use plastics across all its operations and offices by the end of 2022. The organization has now positioned itself several steps closer to that objective with the announcement in February that single-use plastic water bottles will no longer be made available for purchase on all TTC coaches this year. This action is expected to reduce plastic waste by over a million plastic bottles per year.
In addition to announcing that single-use plastic water bottles will no longer be available for purchase on all coaches, TTC brands Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Costsaver will eliminate several hundred thousand pieces of additional single-use plastics from their operations this year and beyond by shifting away from the use of non-biodegradable name tags for all guests on their trips. Further, the aforementioned brands will also replace single-use plastic luggage tags with reusable, durable tags.
Also, sister-brand Red Carnation Hotels, a long-standing supporter of the removal of single-use plastics across all of their 17 (soon to be 20) luxury hotels, has banned single use plastic water bottles in addition to more than 20 everyday plastic convenience items from all properties for some time now. As has Uniworld onboard its ships for several years now.