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Published on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Former Funway MD launches not-for-profit travel agency



Former Funway Holidays MD Melissa Tilling has launched a not-for-profit travel agency, which enables customers to donate 5% of their holiday cost to a UK-registered charity of their choice.

Charitable Travel, which is a member of Worldchoice, will make the donations through a platform partnership with JustGiving. The cost will come out of Charitable Travel's commission.

In addition to enabling customers to donate, Charitable Travel will also work directly with individual charities to help them raise awareness of their work and assist with fundraising.

Worldchoice chief executive Gary Lewis said: "We are very excited by the opportunity this new style of charitable travel company offers to raise significant funds for good causes".

Marshall Simmonds, JustGiving's director, sales and partnerships, said: "The combination of the travel industry, an underlying social and charitable purpose and an effective mechanism for fundraising through JustGiving makes Charitable Travel a powerful opportunity for travel consumers wanting to make a real difference in personal giving at no extra cost when they book holidays, flights cruises and hotels."

Charitable Travel will offer travel from September 2020, although Tilling said focus is on travel for 2021. 

"I have always been a fervent believer in the good that travel and tourism can bring to local communities in the destinations served and although the industry is facing an incomparable crisis right now, we are resilient. UK travellers are passionate about their holidays and determined they will travel again once it is safe to do so," said Tilling, who has 33 years' experience in the industry.

"During the current COVID crisis we have seen an inspiring show of unity from people across the country, a true community spirit has arisen as we realise the importance of appreciating and supporting one another. 

"We have also been reminded in recent months that to travel is a privilege and many of us have spent our time in isolation seeking out travel inspiration, planning for that much needed break to look forward to. 

"Charitable Travel wants to help encourage a continuation of this more thoughtful mindset by helping travellers combine philanthropy with their holiday planning, providing the opportunity to donate part of their holiday cost to a much-needed charitable causes.

"When customers are ready to start booking holidays again, we offer a new way to book that will ensure travel will be a force for good, regardless of the destination and travel type, because every booking creates a positive outcome for a charitable cause."

Charitable Travel has focused on developing partnership with charities outside the top 25 fundraisers including Just A Drop, a grassroots charity which transforms lives by bringing sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities across the world. 

During June, Just A Drop is raising funds to support vulnerable communities during the COVID19 crisis. Founder Fiona Jeffery said: "Charitable Travel's social purpose offers longstanding and new supporters of Just a Drop a unique way to support our critically important cause - simply by booking a holiday. The best part is there is no cost to Just a Drop and no extra cost to our supporter. This is a real win-win partnership between charity and social enterprise."

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