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travel edition ALL ABOUT YOU — READERS’ LIVES


THIS WEEK


Jill Carter head of retail sales, Tui UK


‘Sustainability is at the centre of everything we do’


Jill Carter has been passionate about sustainable holidays for several years, but a trip last week to Jamaica reignited her desire to get more agents selling responsible trips. Jill, who has been with Tui for 23 years, visited Montego Bay as part of Tui UK and


Ireland’s Project Discovery overseas volunteering scheme, run in partnership with the Travel Foundation. As well as spearheading Tui sales, Jill’s role is also to develop knowledge of sustainability among the company’s retail teams across the UK. “The key thing for me is ensuring that sustainability and responsible holidays are


integrated in everything we do in retail,” she said. “It should be, and is, at the centre of what we do. I’m ensuring it isn’t an afterthought.” To help retail staff learn more about sustainability, Jill last year rolled out a


Sustainability Champions scheme which saw 29 Tui employees throughout the country appointed ‘champions’. They lead and develop understanding of sustainable travel among Tui staff in their region. “Sustainability is definitely front of mind for us, but I do think we are quite ahead of the curve on this,” Jill says. “Our retail staff are really good at getting customers thinking about sustainability, whether it’s through using a hotel that’s responsible through Travelife, encouraging them to contribute to the World Care Fund, or speaking about responsible tours and excursions. We mystery-shop our retail staff and it’s definitely being brought into the conversation more and more, which is great.” To date, 80 Tui staff members have participated in 31 projects in 16 destinations, clocking up almost 10,000 hours helping schemes worldwide. Tui also hosts UK discovery days where staff get involved in activities such as painting schools and gardening. During her volunteering trip to Jamaica, Jill spent time at the Rastafari Indigenous Village to help develop a tour and, off the back of her trip, Thomson is looking to


Jill’s CV


●2012 to date: head of sales, retail distribution, Tui UK


●2007-12: divisional sales manager, south, Tui UK


●2003-07: regional sales manager, Midlands, Thomson


●1991-2003: various roles, starting as a travel adviser at Lunn Poly in Lancaster


develop an excursion to help the community generate an income. Jill also interviewed locals to get tips on where tourists should go and what they should do in Jamaica. “Since the trip, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to incorporate everything I learnt into a training plan,” says Jill. “I was passionate before the trip, but it was a really overwhelming experience. “I already knew how important


it was to know how my holiday affects a local community, but seeing and feeling it has definitely reinforced this even more.”


Would you like to be profiled on Readers’ Lives? Tell us why it should be you! Email: juliet.dennis@travelweekly.co.uk


32 • travelweekly.co.uk — 14 August 2014


Jill says her trip to Jamaica underlined what tourism can do for communities


JILL’S TIPS FOR SELLING RESPONSIBLE HOLIDAYS


✪ Research and learn: You really have to understand the impact responsible tourism has on people’s lives. Having belief in it and knowledge speaks volumes to customers. It’s vital to stay knowledgeable, so keep training and learning!


✪ Choose right hotels: When you’re making a booking, guide customers to hotels with sustainability certifications. Last year, 50% of all of our Thomson and First Choice customers stayed in Travelife-rated hotels.


✪ Be confident! Confidence is so important when you’re trying to spread the word on responsible holidays.


✪ Encourage: If your customer is booking with Thomson or First Choice, tell them the difference they can make by donating to the World Care Fund.


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