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Thomson and First Choice release new research and support World Water Day 2012

  • Date:
  • 22/03/12

  • Research shows the majority of holiday makers think saving water abroad is important
  • Thousands helped in Africa through ‘Just A Drop’ and ‘Pump Aid’ projects

  • - Research shows the majority of holiday makers think saving water abroad is important
  • - Thousands helped in Africa through ‘Just A Drop’ and ‘Pump Aid’ projects

With demand for water projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 per cent* by 2030, new research** finds 98.5 per cent of holiday makers believe that it is important to save water when on holiday. With this in mind, Thomson and First Choice have funded a number of water related projects overseas and are working with their hotels to help holiday makers make every drop count in support of the 2012 World Water Day – which this year is focussing on water and food security.

As part of Thomson and First Choice’s Holidays Forever commitments to raise £1 million for charity every year, the company works with Just a Drop, a charity that delivers sustainable water and sanitation projects worldwide. To date the company has donated over £50,000 to the charity. The company also supports Pump Aid through the sale of Thirsty Planet water bought by customers on board Thomson Airways flights. Pump Aid is dedicated to providing clean, safe and accessible water and sanitation by building pumps and toilets in sub-Saharan Africa. Over £160,000 has been donated so far.

The installation of water pumps in Malawi, rain water harvesting systems in schools across Kibwezi, South East Kenya and the introduction of drought resistant food crops and Sand dams in four villages in Kahiado County in Kenya, are just some of the projects Thomson and First Choice have helped fund - over 3,000 people have benefited from the work so far.

Thomson and First Choice are also working with hotels to save water, by contractually obliging them all to sign up to minimum sustainability standards, in an industry first. The holiday company is aiming to have more than 90 per cent of the hotels with Travelife awards or similar by 2014 (these awards recognise hotels that care for the environment, their employees and the local community).

To help them achieve their ambition to have Thomson and First Choice hotels stand out for their commitment to sustainability by 2014, they are working closely with their First Choice Holiday Villages, Thomson Sensatori and Thomson Couples hotels to achieve industry-leading environmental standards, to reduce their carbon and water footprints. As part of this commitment, Thomson’s water and energy saving Waterpebble was trialled at Sensatori Tenerife, with the tour operator ultimately giving customers their own Waterpebble to take home. Using a system of traffic lights, the unique device monitors water usage, benchmarking subsequent showers and reducing shower time by a fraction to save water. With 94 per cent of people prepared to make small water saving changes on holiday, such as having a shorter shower, and 82 per cent wanting to visit a hotel with water saving measures in place, the Waterpebble has proven popular with Thomson’s customers.

Jane Ashton, Director of Group Sustainable Development for TUI Travel PLC, says:

“We are committed to improving the sustainability of our suppliers and working with our hotels to reduce their water footprint. Raising money for charities which deliver vital and life-saving clean water supplies where they are needed will remain a key priority for us here at Thomson and First Choice.”

-ends-

Notes to editors

* CDP Water Disclosure Project 2010 Report

**Research conducted by Thomson and First Choice in November 2011

For further information and images of the Water Tank project in Kibwezi, South Eastern Kenya, please contact Claire Borgeat on 01582 648629

Contact

Thomson Press Office

e: pressoffice@thomson.co.uk

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