Dear business friends,
Let me begin by wishing you all a happy and sparkling New Year. I sincerely hope that 2018 will be a prosperous one!
Looking back on 2017 we have good reason to be optimistic: we have launched an exciting new website and have seen an increased growth in traveller numbers. Our financial figures are up and pre-bookings for 2018 are at a peak.
At the same time we have also experienced a downside: increased touristic pressure on our destinations and an increased frequency of extreme weather events, possibly due to the effects of climate change. At SNP we are therefore constantly working on decreasing our carbon footprint, which is quite challenging being a tour operator that takes clients all over the world! In this newsletter we will update you on some of our projects.
If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me or your SNP product manager. Let's hope for good business, lots of clients and safe and sustainable travelling!
SNP goes for complete CO2 neutral travel!
Commencing in 2018 SNP will compensate the CO2 emissions of all our travellers, and we have amended all our prices to reflect this change. This is a major step forward, since up until now we have only offered this on a voluntary basis. It has been made possible due to two important factors: firstly, we have joined forces with a number of other Dutch tour operators and together have contracted the South Pole Group to offer the compensation in a more cost effective manner.
Secondly, together with this same group of Dutch tour operators, we have developed the CARMACAL, a tool which can be used to precisely calculate the CO2 footprint of the total tour/package on offer. SNP will financially compensate the CO2 footprint of the land arrangement; whilst we have added a surcharge to the ticket price of all flights, all precisely calculated with the CARMACAL. The CO2 compensation will offer financial support to three different, gold standard certified projects in developing countries, namely solar energy, wind energy and cooking stoves.
Tour guide training in sustainability
Last year we launched a complete new e-learning module for tour guiding and sustainability. This module has been developed by the Travel Foundation in the UK and is known as ‘Leading the Way’.
All our 180 SNP tour guides have undertaken the training and completed the exams with good results. If you are interested in offering this training program to your own guides, please do not hesitate to contact us. The entire module is in English and free of charge.
Important new EU legislation
We must draw your attention to a new European legislation taking effect as of May 25th 2018: The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short. As a result of this new legislation, we will be under obligation to collect written agreements between SNP and all of our business partners, ensuring the protection of our customers’ personal data. The collection and use of customers’ personal data from your side should only happen with the sole purpose of fulfilling the travel related services as agreed in our contracts. You will not be permitted to provide any customer personal data to third parties or use it yourself for any other purposes, such as marketing activities, neither during nor after their trip.
We will be in touch with you during the coming months to get this formal agreement in writing. We hope we can count on your support.
Inspirational tours and special welcome new partners
The only constant factor in the travel business is constant change. Of the nearly 800 group and individual tours we offer online, nearly 10% are brand new. SNP product managers have been inspired to develop these tours by our local partners, by you!
We would like to welcome the following to the ‘SNP Family’ :
Caribbean Tours AG Cuba
Owadan Tours Turkmenistan
Nature Trek Canada
For the Azores (Portugal) we have also strengthened our partnership with Melo Travel.
A glimpse of some new tours in 2018! Cycling on Vancouver Island in Canada, and along coastal roads in Sweden, trekking through the mountains and deserts of Turkmenistan and birdwatching in the Pantanal in Brasil. Enjoy a welcome ceremony amongst the Belaraghi villagers on Flores, Indonesia, and get up close & personal with the Komodo dragons. Go local and travel on a donkey in remote north Portugal (also fun for the kids), stay in community houses and sample local cuisine. Discover the Sila and Pollino National Parks in Calabria, Italy’s authentic south, and go off-road in the Atacama desert in Chile. What do all these new tours have in common? Nature, activities, remote destinations and locals with whom friendships are made. We hope you continue to inspire us with your ideas, and surprise SNP product managers and our customers in 2018 and beyond.
News from our office
Exactly one year ago (Newsletter Dec 2016) we introduced our new specialized team ‘Long Haul’ to you. It has proven to be a successful formula, creating more in-depth knowledge, efficient workflows, a growing number of customers, and increased client satisfaction. It has also been a challenging year, with new staff, new tasks and increasing demand. But everyone is confident that next year will only get better! To strengthen our team ‘Europe’ we have welcomed Manon; and last but not least, our Sales team has four new members and is ready for take-off!
Traditionally early January is the beginning of our peak booking season. It may also be interesting for you to know that during the past year all teams have had various opportunities to travel to different destinations, gaining more insight and knowledge. Thanks to the continuing support and efforts of our local counterparts, our staff will be better equipped to successfully sell the destination!