Homeworker plants trees to fulfil TTC Tour Brands sustainability pledge

Homeworker Andrea Smith has planted five trees for TTC Tour Brands on her smallholding after making a sustainability pledge at the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) conference.

Alice Boden, UK & Europe marketing executive at TTC Tour Brands – the parent of brands such as Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Contiki and Costsaver – was invited by Smith to see the trees being planted recently.

Smith said her pledge was prompted by a TTC Tour Brands competition at the Atas conference in Liverpool in October.

“They were asking people to give a pledge about what they would do to make themselves more sustainable,” she said.

“For many years, my family have been interested in nature and conservation as we are wildlife mad and go on safari whenever we can.

“Since taking on our smallholding four years ago, in the Peak District National Park, we have become much more aware of the impact we are having on the environment.

“We try to live more sustainably, using only environmentally friendly cleaning products sourced from our local village community shop.

“We make our own compost here – with a little help from the pigs – to put on our home-grown fruit and veg which we share with our holiday-let guests.”

Smith pledged to plant a tree for each brand – and won trip to India with Luxury Gold.

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Boden said the competition was launched as part of the company’s sustainability initiative, which aims to “say no to ‘more stuff’ and yes to net-zero”.

The TTC Tour Brands stand at the Atas conference featured a ‘Sustainability Pledge’ tree, on which agents could place their own pledges, written on recycled paper.

“We wanted agents to really think how they could make a difference to their offices, homes and general lifestyle,” said Boden.

“The winner would win a voucher towards an itinerary of their choice with Contiki, Costsaver, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations or Luxury Gold.

“Everyone got involved with some fantastic entries, such as banning single-use water bottles from their shops and some were ensuring they would be turning lights off in unused rooms, but we felt that Andrea’s submission was the worthy winner because it was something that would be tangible and we could follow up.”

She was able to visit Smith recently as the smallholding – which has 15 rescued sheep, two rescued goats, two pigs, five hens and two horses – is near Boden’s family home.

“The day with Andrea was an incredible experience and one I will cherish forever,” said Boden.

“What she is doing – not just on her own homestead and with her family but within her wider community – is admirable.

“Her passion for her job shines through, but also the passion she has for her animals, her home and creating a sustainable future the very best way she can is outstanding.

“We can’t wait to keep in contact with Andrea and find out how the trees are doing.”

Claire Brighton, Atas director, added: “I was delighted to see the TTC Tour Brands competition for sustainability pledges at last year’s conference – and it’s great to now see the results, with those trees being planted at Andrea’s smallholding.

“It all ties in very well with the operator’s responsible tourism initiatives and our own sustainability hub too.”

Main picture, from left: Andrea Smith and Alice Boden.

Alice Boden (left) meets the livestock on the smallholding of Andrea Smith (right)
Alice Boden (left) meets the livestock on the smallholding of Andrea Smith (right)

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