90% of our shore-based accommodation is based in small locally owned hotels, or small hotels managed by us, in preference to the larger chains. In both our locally owned and our own-managed properties local people are employed and training and promotion opportunities are provided where appropriate.
By avoiding fully-inclusive board arrangements and by recommendations in our literature and in briefings, we encourage our guests to eat out where possible to enhance their holiday experience and boost the local economies. Where we manage accommodation units all food and drink is sourced locally where possible.
On our shore-based activities programmes we have been employing and training local people as assistant instructors with the long term goal of their achieving professional Royal Yachting Association Instructor Qualifications.
The majority of our activities programmes are based on wind, pedal or muscle power, providing enough energy to satisfy most thrill-seeking speed-freaks in the most environmentally benign way we know how. We can also cater for our more sedate guests, however! We no longer use anti-fouling on our day boats and where possible we use 4-stroke outboard engines on our powerboats to reduce noise, fuel consumption and emissions.
We have tasked our overseas staff to identify 3 long-term initiatives that will bring positive benefits to the economies, communities and environments in which they live and work.
We are working with The Travel Foundation to seek ways to develop practical, sustainable tourism solutions to help protect and enhance holiday destinations. And we are also working with the Federation of Tour Operators to develop responsible travel codes of practice.
Kids can make a difference too! We encourage children to take an interest in the destination they are holidaying in and they’re loving it. We have been working with the Travel Foundation to produce a play and puzzle book aimed at 7-10 year olds, called "Hatch the Turtle". "Hatch" is a friendly little fellow who has lots of stories to tell about all the people and animals living in the amazing places our guests go on holiday. He encourages children to try local dishes, buy locally made crafts and speak a few words of the local languages. There are even a few words of Turkish! This activity book will be piloted in the childrens’ clubs this summer.
In addition to this exciting new initiative, we have a range of activities running in our childrens’ clubs overseas. Here's a selection of the kinds of things they get up to:
- Nature trail - In the form of a treasure trail to make it exciting, looking at local flora and fauna, with clues and an incentive at the end.
- Plate design - Using recycled materials, decorating plates and involving a competition such as who can throw it the highest.
- Show cooking - Watching the resident chef make a local dish and encouraging the children to participate
- Yukky or yummy - Local dishes are tried and tested by the children who give thumbs up or thumbs down and a sticker for trying!
- Themed music and movement days - Getting active with music and incorporate this with puppet shows with a cultural story.
- Local day - All day the theme would be of that country, so traditional costume, food etc.
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