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As my role is predominantly around working with our overseas teams and suppliers, it's great to see some examples of them working together in resort to raise awareness with customers and to play their part.
There are two great achievements to talk of recently in Italy and Zante. In Italy, our management team has been behind an awareness raising campaign at Terminal 2 in Naples airport. Previous seasons have seen considerable issues with waste in Italy and this has had a negative impact on the image of the destination. To ensure that tourism does not further contribute to this problem, our team wanted to ask customers for their support at the very beginning of their holiday with a 'Keep Italy Beautiful' campaign. In conjunction with the British Consulate, GESAC (the airport authority) and Hilton Hotels we designed a poster to ask visitors to the destination to consider the environment during their holiday. These tips include recycling where possible, minimising water use, turning off lights and air conditioning when not required. There was also a positive focus on supporting the local economy by encouraging visitors to spend money on local produce and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sights.
Four posters in total are displayed above the conveyer belts in Terminal 2 and in the arrivals hall which sees some 50,000 visitors pass through its doors every year. GESAC were delighted to give the advertising space free to Thomas Cook as they were so impressed by our committment to looking after the destination. Hilton Hotels sponsored the printing of the posters and our team were fully supported by the British Consulate. It's been a great way to get some positive messages across to all visitors, not just Thomas Cook customers.
Elsewhere in Zante, another great project has been underway to involve customers, the resort team and the hotel management in raising awareness of environmental issues with guests. As part of the internal promotion process, employees wishing to progress their career overseas must undertake a task linked to sustainable tourism. One of the head reps in Zante is working towards a position as a resort supervisor next year. He chose to work closely with the hotel manager of the Caretta Beach Hotel and with the resort KidWORLD team and the hotel rep. Together they created a themed 'Green Corner' in the hotel, the theme varied over the period of month from the sun cream swap to reduce unecessary wastage, newspaper and magazine recycling, plastic bottle recycling and re-using lilos. The rep involved a local recycling company who donated special bins for the project and who collected the waste at the end of each week. The project went down a storm with the guests and it was a great new focus for the overseas team. It has helped customers to understand the fragility of destination environments and encouraged them to think about their actions when on holiday. It was done in an innovative and fun way that got everybody involved and proved to be a real success.
Sustainable Destinations Manager
Thomas Cook UK & Ireland
Jo is a current student