Corporate Culture & Social Responsibility
Making a Difference
Through travel we come to understand there is more that unites us than divides us. There is much we can learn from others — and about ourselves — when we travel. Travel is a privilege, and all privileges come with responsibility to each other and to our environment. What it means to be a socially responsible traveler is complex and constantly evolving.
“Tourism is a tool to tackle some of the world’s challenges. Tourism creates dignified livelihoods and alternative jobs and economic investment to stop deforestation, invasive farming and mining and depletion of ocean health. Travel is the most important thing we can do to benefit our own lives and a more positive future.”
–Costas Christ, Beyond Green Travel:
Tourism amounts to 10% of the world’s GDP, accounting for 10% of all jobs.
Travel teaches us about who we are and what we value.
As modern society continues to present new challenges, we can never settle on the answers we find. We must continue to learn more and push forward to best serve our clients while also doing good.
At TravelStore, we are committed to a culture of continuous self-improvement; we believe this will help us become better neighbors at home and and more responsible citizens of the world.
Whether for business or leisure, travel is about making the world more connected. We have witnessed the power of travel to transform individual lives, businesses and communities for the better. You can read about a few of our initiatives below.
Travel as Positive Force
We appreciate the enormous benefits travel generates to society and wildlife at large. It is through travel we become more respectful and more inclusive of other peoples and cultures. Through travel nature and wildlife is better protected and preserved. It is through travel businesses enhance relationships and understanding, making business better and more personal. It is through travel we create jobs and can support local economies and help preserve cultures.
As travel professionals we are attracted to our profession as a result of our innate understanding of the benefits travel provides the world and in making us better human beings as we strive for a better world.
Our corporate values are not a top-down philosophy but one that has organically spread through our team to become our prevailing culture. That’s because TravelStore is a 100% employee-owned company.
As shareholders, we have a stake not only in the long term interest of our company, but in ensuring travel is responsible [and sustainable]. We are cognizant that every traveler is a steward of the world.
Whether we travel for business or pleasure, we strive to do so responsibly and with the notion of the positive difference we can make.
Overtourism and climate change are very real problems, and managing tourism development is important. Travel is not without risk — travelers risk having negative consequences as much as positive ones for a local culture or economy.
We are aware travel has an impact on the planet, and we support our partner airlines, cruise lines and tour companies that continue to invest in building planes, vehicles and ships that significantly reduce their environmental impact. Each traveler needs to be responsible and mindful in reducing single-use plastics, not waste water, and offsetting their carbon emissions:
As a 100% employee-owned company, TravelStore’s values start at home. We believe we are successful as an entity because we recognize and reward the efforts and excellence of each and every employee. Through daily meetings in each of our offices we constantly share and focus on our company values. Learn more about us.
As a company that engages around the world, having a diverse complement of management and staff is welcome and to be strived for. Women and Latin Americans are on our Board of Directors; in management positions we have 23 women, Latin Americans and Islamic colleagues.
Enabling Social Good
The United States already leads the world in volunteerism rates: many Americans are keen to make giving back part of their travel adventure. We seek out partnerships with select companies to provide our clients with the opportunity to invest in life-changing experiences and helping others in need. #travelelevates
TravelStore is focused on minimizing our own footprint: in our client-facing operation, transitioning from paper documents to digital itineraries, and in our internal operations, cutting back the use of paper invoices and photocopying, reducing use of single-use plastics, and facilitating employees’ ability to work from home to reduce carbon emissions.
What Doing Good Looks Like
TravelStore is engaged in a host of undertakings to help ensure our business leaves the world better than we found it.
Through America Share and Micato Safaris, TravelStore has “adopted” two children in Kenya, Samson Odur and Zulkheir Noor, covering their education and living costs for up to ten years until they graduate from high school (pictured in our Gallery above with our CEO.) The program has helped hundreds of young men and women succeed in life.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, TravelStore staff supported the State of California’s initiative to provide accommodations for healthcare workers, keeping them and their families safer and closer to their workplace. During this program we handled tens of thousands of phone calls, seven days a week, booking well over one million room nights at hotels across the state that participated in the program.
TravelStore’s locations are involved in philanthropic efforts in their local communities. As a company, TravelStore has raised funds to support those in need through various initiatives: we have engaged with the Travel Elevates Foundation, (we are on their advisory board), with local organizations (Venice Family Clinic, Providence Little Company of Mary, All Hands and Hearts, Desert Cancer Foundation, Second Harvest Foodbank), as well as supported international causes including (Doctors Without Borders, Nepal Relief.) We’ve assisted with disaster relief from hurricanes in the Bahamas and Texas, earthquakes in Mexico, and the fires in California and Maui. TravelStore staff has donated $15,000, matched by the company, to contribute $45,000 to Direct Relief to those who suffered from these natural disasters. After the devastating fires in Maui, TravelStore employees and independents raised $10,000 for charitable organization providing relief or services to those in need in Maui. TravelStore then matched the $10,000 to the Travel Elevates Foundation.
TravelStore’s philanthropic efforts cross oceans alongside our travelers. We support various NGOs working to improve health and education in developing countries. We are a proud partner of Free The Children, which operates Me to We trips in Kenya and India for adults and families. The non-profit strives to find collaborative solutions that empower families to lift themselves out of poverty, and to help communities meet every child’s right to education, water, health care, food, and a thriving future. In conjunction with Signature, TravelStore helped fund a new computer center at Harambee Center in Nairobi in 2019.