We are an independent, special interest Tour Operator and we pride ourselves in providing group tours offering customers the opportunity to pursue their passion whilst on holiday. We have been established for over 40 years and our diverse products currently include Bridge Holidays, Knitting, Crochet and Quilting Tours, the annual official Queen Fan Club Convention, Elvis Holidays and as the official partner of the Royal British Legion, we operate Journeys of Remembrance. We have an experienced team of travel experts who tailor-make each itinerary, and we offer excellent customer service which appeals to our high percentage of repeat customers who book our holidays time and again.
Member since: 24 Jun 2015
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- In our quilting and knitting & stitching holidays, we always seek to meet with local groups who share our customers' interests. The tours are selected because they visit places which are renowned for their connection to yarn or textiles; thus our customers are keen to visit these places in order to purchase locally produced materials and to better understand and learn the traditional techniques.
- We impress upon our suppliers that it is important to us that they seek to hire local guides to lead our tours. For example, our Peru holiday has been created working with a locally based Peruvian ground agent who has created her own ethically based business called ‘Face to Face Journeys’ which seeks to promote genuine cultural engagement in a sustainable way.
- As part of this itinerary we will be providing opportunities for cultural exchange between our travellers and local craftspeople. We are joined by a local guide throughout this tour. We are seeking further opportunities with partners to include visits to local co-operatives such as yarn producers to encourage our customers to support these local producers when they return home.
- We have introduced a number of initiatives in our office to try to reduce our impact on the environment. We have moved away from large printed brochures to a web-based approach. If customers require a brochure we can print on demand the relevant flyer(s) thus reducing waste.
- Any waste paper is recycled and we also separate our general waste from recycling and have a recycling bin collection. We have also introduced a cycle to work scheme.
- Our Travellers' Code includes advice on how to minimise water consumption when on holiday and we give advice on which types of shampoo, soap and so on will have the lowest impact on the environment of the country being visited. We also encourage customers to avoid throwing things away wherever possible when on holiday, taking re-useable bags rather than disposable ones and where the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed, to consider treating water rather than buying bottled water.
- We provide pre-trip background information that includes amongst general information, a briefing about the social and political situation in each country. This includes advice about any particular customs which should be observed, such as dressing modestly and greeting local people appropriately.
- Any of our tours which include a visit to a local community are accompanied by a local guide who will brief our customers on cultural norms and expectations before the visit.
- As described above, our Stitchtopia holidays always include visits to local communities and where possible we seek to ensure that these are projects which make a positive contribution to the social wellbeing of the community in which they are based.