When it comes to the environment, small changes can have big consequences, according to Thomson shop manager Tom Thompson.
Tom – who is passionate about helping the environment – has been picked from hundreds of applicants across Tui Travel to take part in a project to audit the sustainable aspects of excursions that will be offered in resort in Thailand.
The project, part of a partnership with The Travel Foundation, comes just ahead of the November launch of Thomson Airways’ Dreamliner flights to Thailand.
“I can’t wait,” admits Tom. “It wasn’t easy to get through the selection process, I can’t believe I’ve been chosen!”
But it’s clear that Tom’s belief in sustainability and helping, not just selling, tourist destinations, as well as his vast experience of running excursions overseas, put him in pole position for the role.
Tom, who worked for Thomson in overseas repping roles for 14 years before becoming a shop manager last year, says: “Everywhere we go as a company we should be putting something back into the local community and making sure that we are not destroying it for other generations to enjoy.”
Even during his time overseas, he often urged his own rep staff to do their bit for the environment. “I’ve always been green,” he says. “I used to ask the reps to turn the taps off when they brushed their teeth.”
A volunteering project in Zakynthos to protect turtles inspired him to enter this year’s project. “I spent some time taking volunteers in a turtle project around the island to meet suppliers and hoteliers and give them more information on turtle protection,” he recalls.
Now he will have a chance to share his own ideas for the project by giving feedback on how sustainable the excursions are and how they could be improved.
The Thailand project will involve looking at everything from how rubbish is disposed of to ensuring the trips promote local culture and help communities.
“We’ll look at how the excursion vehicles can reduce fuel usage as well as how they get rid of litter. It’s no good if recycled rubbish is then put into an ordinary bin,” Tom says.
“Hopefully it will create a better experience and we can come back here and share that knowledge.”
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