with Suzanne Christie

The Travel Corporation CEO & TreadRight Foundation co-Founder Brett Tollman

The TravCorp Canadian leaders l-r: President, Jeff Element; Lion World’s Lucille Sive; Trafalgar’s Wolf Paunic; CEO Brett Tollman; Uniworld’s Michelle Palma; Contiki’s Brad Ford & Insight’s Cris David

For Brett Tollman, the LetsTreadRight hashtag are words to live by. The CEO of The Travel Corporation who was in YTO last week to encourage more of us to do the same and to bring us up to speed on some of the foundation’s more than 35 projects it has selected to support.

As co-founder of the TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative among the 25+ TravCorp brands, Tollman is not only passionate about the travel experience but emphasizes that we all have a role to play to ensure travel not only opens our minds, hearts, ears and palates... we must also ensure future generations will have the same opportunities.

TreadRight focuses on wildlife preservation as well as supporting people and cultures that are at risk. Last year they launched the TreadRight Wildlife Initiative to support project-driven conservation and leadership efforts in Africa and elsewhere.

“Bringing multiple project partners across multiple brands together under one banner, The TreadRight Wildlife Initiative looks to further the foundation’s commitment to the future now, by highlighting an urgent and desperate cause,” said Tollman. “The staggering and disturbing statistics associated with the illegal wildlife trade, combined with the horrific stories and images from the frontline of this fight in the south of Africa, a place close to the hearts of my family and The Travel Corporation, cannot and will not go ignored.”

As one example, at the current rate of decline, Africa’s rhino population may be extinct by 2025. Retired NBA star Yao Ming is also a partner in utilizing his voice in China to reinforce the message that rhino horn has no medicinal qualities. And, as part of the Wildlife Initiative, Botswana has dedicated its military to conserving Rhodesian and South African rhinos by assisting with their relocation to Botswana.

One of TreadRight’s cultural preservation projects is the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) which employs more than 500 people in the region to encourage and continue the 10,000 year old Andean textile tradition and to provide support to those working in this heritage industry in the face of changing times.

TreadRight doesn’t ask their clients or partners to contribute to their foundation. They choose their own projects and solely contribute to them. They also provide TravCorp employees paid time off to help with their chosen projects.

The foundation’s efforts will be recognized at the 2015 World Travel Market in London in early November. They have been announced as the recipient of a World Tourism Award recognizing their initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry and for developing programs that give back to local communities. 

“It’s truly an honour to have been chosen as a recipient of the 2015 World Tourism Award,” says Tollman.  “We’ve come a long way since the introduction of our sustainability and conservation program in 2008. We have worked diligently with some absolutely inspiring partners that have helped power us forward us as we continue on our sustainability mission. We share this honour with each of them.”

Brett Tollman and TreadRight Ambassador Céline Cousteau will accept the Award during a special ceremony on November 2 nd during the opening day of World Travel Market at the ExCel Centre in London. 

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