Launched in 2020 in the midst of the Covid pandemic, Charitable Travel is the first of it’s kind social enterprise helping people combine travel and philanthropy. The unique business model enables consumers to donate 5% of the payment for their holiday to a charity of their choice. It generates donations through a bespoke JustGiving platform from travel bookings made by consumers. Therefore, customers are assured that every penny of profit and everything the company does supports charity fundraising and good causes.

From upmarket, glamorous resort holidays to intimate LGBT+ friendly boutique properties around the world, Charitable Travel takes pride in helping the LGBT+ community with their travel plans and can create perfect, tailor-made holidays for all expectations and budgets. By doing so, travellers can proudly combine their domestic or overseas holiday planning with donating to their chosen UK registered charity.

One-of-a-Kind Travel Charity Takes Pride in Helping the LGBT Community
Melissa Tilling started a travel company with a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic

Melissa Tilling, CEO of Charitable Travel shares that, “Social enterprise Charitable Travel lends our support to charities doing great work fighting discrimination and supporting those oppressed. If you book your trip with Charitable Travel 5% of your holiday price can be donated to the charity of your choice at no extra cost, and there are so many great LGBT+ and human rights causes to help.”

Melissa has enjoyed a 33-year career managing travel companies. Having transitioned in 2008 whilst a director of leading tour operator, Funway Holidays, Melissa is proof that being transgendered does not have to be a barrier and that a successful career is still possible. Melissa, who was spotlighted in Attitude’s inaugural 101 issue showcasing 100 LGBTQ trailblazers, comments, “My hope is that Charitable Travel is successful delivering ‘travel for good’ and our charity and travel colleagues, but most importantly our customers join us in making a difference.”

Sharing her motivations behind the Charitable Travel, Melissa says, “People have asked me whether I was mad to start a travel company during the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020. I think what saves me from that label is that Charitable Travel is a social enterprise rather than a private enterprise and has a clear social purpose to help charity fundraising. The charity sector at this time of global challenge has never need help more so, when we were ready to launch, I didn’t want to waste a moment to start delivering ‘travel for good’.

The charity will also support tourism communities in need around the world. These funds will be raised through close engagement with the travel industry and donations from the travelling public. Primarily, the key objectives include the prevention or relief of poverty or financial hardship; the relief of sickness, injury, disease, and other suffering and the advancement of vocational education and training to aid recovery or diversification. 

One-of-a-Kind Travel Charity Takes Pride in Helping the LGBT Community
South African Safari

To find out more about Charitable Travel, click here.

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Uzma Gulbahar holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University College of London. She is particularly interested in exploring untold stories surrounding marginalised groups, identity and culture.

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