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Charitable Travel to launch a fund to support communities facing hardship

The Charitable Travel Foundation will launch The Charitable Travel Fund on November 1 to support tourism communities around the world which are in need of financial resources.

The charity intends to raise funds through close engagement with the travel industry and donations from the travelling public.

The founding trustees include Chris Lee, Melissa Tilling, Sue Papworth, Debbie Haw, Sarah Loftus, and Steve Thompson, with Chris as the chairing the team.

The Charitable Travel Fund’s main objectives, in their role as supporters of tourism communities worldwide, include: the prevention of poverty or financial hardship; the relief of sickness, injury, disease, or other sufferings and the advancement of vocational education and training to aid recovery or diversification.

The Charitable Travel Fund will be providing financial grant aid to communities through local and international non-profit groups and charities that can deliver vital support when the need arises. The Charitable Travel Fund seeks, as a part of its programme, to make an immediate difference by supporting two projects through leading partner non-profits Tourism Cares and United Purpose.

Three hotels in Siem Reap have joined forces, as ‘Hotels Joining Hands’ along with Tourism Cares and others, to provide 400 meals to communities most affected in Cambodia, which is facing an immediate economic crisis, due to a 99% downturn in international tourism arrivals because of COVID-19. So far they have delivered over 50,000 hot meals to communities who depend on tourism for sustenance. The donation of £1 per day can feed someone in need from the tourism community.

The Fund will also support the United Purpose AFFA Women and Girls For the Future group and twenty-two other women’s groups of market gardeners in Guinea, West Africa and rebuild their livelihoods in the aftermath of COVID-19. The initiative aims to diversify their customer base, which includes tourism hotels and resorts heavily impacted by the pandemic. The project requires £25,000 from The Charitable Travel Fund to make a difference to the lives of people beyond aid in Africa. 

The Charitable Travel Fund will be build in several ways, including raising funds through engagement with the travel industry, asking travel industry supporters to pledge a minimum of £1 per booked passenger, and allowing organisations of any size to donate to the fund. 

Home workers, travel agencies, tour operators, cruise lines, hotels, airlines and car rental providers have been asked to pledge support to The Charitable Travel Fund, in an affordable yet impactful way over time. 

Organisations willing to get involved also have the option of becoming members. The charity has created a “Proudly Supporting” logo for those helping to build The Charitable Travel Fund, and will be planning a series of fun fundraising activities throughout the year, for the industry to get involved with sponsorship and participation. There is a one-off donation option available on The Charitable Travel Fund’s website. Profits from the social enterprise travel agency Charitable Travel will also be donated to the fund.

Chris Lee, chair of the trustee, said, “Like most of us in the travel industry I have had the opportunity and privilege to enjoy the incredible destinations and experiences that tourism enables worldwide. This opportunity is made possible by the people in those destinations. Hotel workers, tour guides, waiters and chefs, transfer drivers and countless others ensure we have the holidays we look forward to each year. We owe these communities so much for enriching our lives and now we seek to help those people in these communities who need our help, when they need our help.” 

Mr Lee added, “In places that substantially depend on tourism income for the well-being and livelihood of the people in the local economy, we want to help when tourism is impacted by events outside of their control. Please help us help tourism communities in need by partnering with our tourism charity, The Charitable Travel Fund.”

For more information, visit

Image credit: Nina Uhlíková/Pexels

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