Virgin Holidays has created a new collection of holidays designed to provide customers with the opportunity to add a sustainable element to their overseas breaks. Brought together in an e-brochure format, the Human Nature Collection makes it easy for customers to take responsible choices when arranging their travel.
The Human Nature Collection will be available online at www.virginholidays.com/humannaturecollection and www.responsibletravel.com as well as through our retail trade partners, including Co-Operative Travel Centres.
There are five different holiday types within the collection, the first time the featured properties, tours and packages have been gathered together in one place. Each has been selected on the basis that it provides tangible benefits to the people and/or environment in its destination. This can be in the form of helping out in communities through volunteering, directing holiday expenditure to smaller independent businesses, staying at properties which are using solar power and chemical free swimming pools or getting involved in conservation efforts such as turtle monitoring. They are ideal for customers who are seeking an authentic experience and understanding of different environments and cultures, rather than simply passing through a destination.
Virgin Holidays has worked hard to ensure an exciting choice of holidays is offered within the collection, from volunteering in South Africa, Thailand or Kenya, biking through Bangkok or staying in one of the specially selected ‘small and real’ hotels. The Human Nature Collection holiday categories are:
Giving Something Back - Combining award winning volunteer projects and exhilarating adventures that assist local communities in Kenya, Thailand or South Africa, these holidays enable visitors to gain life-changing experiences through cultural integration, challenge and adventure.
Real World Adventures - Allow travellers to get acquainted with local food, culture and traditions in worldwide destinations, all in the company of an expert local guide.
Back to Nature - A range of single centre holidays from the Virgin Holidays’ existing range which allow customers to experience the natural world first hand.
Small and Real - This selection of small and often family-run hotels offer an authentic feel of the local way of life across the Caribbean, US and Africa - perfect for those that want to feel part of the culture that they’re visiting.
Travelife Awarded - A range of hotels from across Virgin Holidays existing programme that have all achieved sustainability awards for their ongoing contribution to local community investment and reducing their environmental impacts.
Commenting at the launch, Andrew Shelton, Virgin Holidays Marketing Director said, “Many of the hotels and excursions in the collection have been chosen because they prioritise employing local people and using locally owned businesses, so more of our customer’s money stays in the destination. This also allows our guests to interact with local people and get a more authentic experience.”
The Human Nature Collection is about showing that it is perfectly possible to have an unforgettable holiday while at the same time leaving a positive imprint on the place you’ve been to, and the people you met.
“As a market leader in long haul travel, we believe we have a duty to commit to finding ways to make travel more sustainable by working with the best partners in the business to deliver tangible benefits on the ground.”
The Human Nature Collection adds to Virgin Holidays’ many existing sustainable travel initiatives. Earlier this year, it announced that it has signed to be lead sponsor for the Responsible Tourism Awards for the fourth consecutive year and in 2009, it raised over £250,000 by costing in a 50p charity donation to every holiday sold. This automatic donation was raised in March 2010 to £1 per adult passenger and 50p per child. The monies raised from this scheme are donated to the Travel Foundation to help care for the people and places our customers visit.
To view the e-brochure visit: www.virginholidays.co.uk/humannaturecollection