Thomas Cook launches scholarship in Turkey

Thomas Cook and the sustainable tourism
charity, The Travel Foundation has announced the launch of ‘The Thomas Cook
Scholarship Fund’.This project aims to raise the profile of a career in
tourism within Turkey with a specific focus on supporting the education of young
women within the industry.

As part of Thomas Cook’s on-going charity initiative, the company has
supported The Travel Foundation for many years raising more than £400K for the
sustainable tourism organisation and continues to be its biggest donor today.
Thomas Cook remains the market leader for operating holidays to Turkey and this
scholarship project clarifies Thomas Cook’s commitment to sustainable and
responsible tourism in the country. 

Within Turkey there is an acknowledged gender gap in the education of girls, with
few girls in rural areas staying on at school beyond the age of 14 and fewer still
having the opportunity to go on to further education. ‘The Thomas Cook
Scholarship Fund’  will provide young women with limited financial means an
opportunity to study for a Tourism Management degree at Mulga University, Turkey.

‘The Thomas Cook Scholarship Fund’  will start in September 2006 and will be
the The Travel Foundation’s first academic sustainable tourism project. The
scholarship programme will sponsor five women each academic year for the duration
of the four to five year degree course.  In addition, Thomas Cook will provide
work placement positions and mentor opportunities in Turkey enabling the students
to gain invaluable, first-hand experience of the industry throughout their
studies.


Ian Ailles, Chairman of Thomas Cook’s Responsible Business Forum said “Thomas Cook is very committed to sustainable tourism and takes seriously its
responsibility to its holiday destinations. The company has had a successful
relationship with the Travel Foundation for several years.  With Turkey being a
major destination for us we wanted to become more involved and get hands on with
an on-going project where we could really make a difference.  This project will
open doors for young Turkish women who want to work within the tourism industry
and we look forward to working with them in the future.” 

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The first scholarship students will start at Mulga University late September 2006.
The selection process starts at the end of this month with the university
entrance exams and also takes into account the girls’  background, encouraging
those who wouldn’t normally have financial support to go into further
education.  The successful candidates will be announced in September.

Sue Hurdle, Chief Executive of The Travel Foundation, said, “We are very excited
to be involved in the Scholarship Programme. For the first time we have brought
together academic and industry partners in a destination to collaborate on
sustainable tourism. Our vision is for this pilot programme in Turkey to develop
into a model that can be replicated in holiday destinations across the world.”
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