Volunteer Vacations on the Rise in 2008
Submit Applications for “Change Ambassador” Travel Grants from Marriott and Travelocity
Travelocity’s 2008 forecast poll found that 38 percent of more than 1,000 survey respondents were interested in taking a vacation where they can give back and make a difference during their stay. Travelocity’s Travel for GoodSM program and Marriott International, Inc. will award 15 Change Ambassador “volunteer vacations” to those who best demonstrate their commitment to improving the environment and local communities. Applications are being accepted now through March 31st at www.travelocity.com/travelforgood.
The Change Ambassadors Grant can be redeemed by an individual or a team. Each grant will provide up to $5,000 for a volunteer vacation and trip accommodations. Grant recipients will be selected by a committee and notified by the end of June 2008. Complete details, including online application materials, are available at www.travelocity.com/t4g.
“We’ve heard from many of our previous grant recipients that their experience volunteering abroad has had a huge impact on them personally by allowing them to experience the culture on a much deeper level,” said Jeffrey Glueck, chief marketing officer of Travelocity. “We’re grateful to our partner, Marriott International, Inc. for helping us enable more people to help around the world.”
“This relationship is an example of our company’s environmental commitment,” said Mari Snyder, vice president of corporate social responsibility and community engagement, Marriott International, Inc. “We are reducing our carbon footprint and continually finding ways to operate more eco-consciously. Travel for Good fits in perfectly with our green initiatives and is a terrific way for our guests to get involved.”
Marriott’s commitment to the environment spans more than 20 years. Focus areas include: water and energy conservation, clean air initiatives, reduce-reuse-recycle waste management, clean-up campaigns, and wildlife preservation. Marriott leads the industry with more than 250 ENERGY STAR hotels and last year, the company pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by one million tons over 10 years from 2000 to 2010. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the Sustained Excellence Award and Partner of the Year since 2004. For more information visit www.Marriott.com.
The Travel for Good program was created by Travelocity employees as a means to better the world through travel. The program consists of two primary initiatives – Go Zero (carbon offsetting) and Change Ambassadors (volunteer vacations). The company launched its Go Zero program in conjunction with the Conservation Fund to help customers lessen the effect of climate change on our world and enhance forests and wetlands through forestation programs. Travelocity’s Change Ambassador program makes it easy for volunteers to find opportunities to help serve local communities while on vacation. Travelocity, which acts as an aggregator for select voluntourism organizations, has teamed up with some of the top volunteer organizations in the country, including Cross-Cultural Solutions, Earthwatch, Globe Aware, and Take Pride in America. Key components of the Change Ambassadors program are consumer and employee grants that are being awarded to people who wish to help others through volunteering, but do not have the financial means to take a volunteer vacation. . More information can be accessed at http://www.travelocity.com/t4g.
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