Awards & Press


BBC News Article

Planning a holiday simply isn’t that easy anymore. We are more conscious and aware of the great impact our time spent abroad may have on a community.

We need to collectively stand together. There are numerous aspects during the planning process that need to be considered.


Galapagos Conservation Trust collaboration

A few months back, Karen Simmonds from Travel Matters put in place a partnership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust. After several weeks of the collaboration, the agency was working on their first group booking for a chartered expedition boat which recently returned in July. Their client, a group of young families travelled on the Isabella.

Karen explains that since 1995, the Galapagos Conservation Trust has been the only UK organisation dedicated solely to conservation and sustainable development on the Islands. As part of Travel Matters’ “Make Travel Matter” campaign, this partnership is a perfect one.  The charity’s work supports high impact and research-driven species conservation programmes, backed up by educational outreach to engage and inspire the conservationists of tomorrow.

The group’s experience was educational, providing a fascinating insight into the work of the Trust and the projects they support in Galapagos. They had the opportunity to meet some of the scientists the charity work with, like field assistant, Anne Guezou, who explained to the group about their tortoise tracking project. There was also the chance to hear Dr Luis Ortiz – Catedral from the Galapagos Conservation Trust and Massey University who spoke about his research on land iguanas, the Floreana Mockingbird and Racer snake. The cruise itinerary visited the Central Island Destinations of Baltra, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, North Seymour, Bartolome and Santiago.


Best Travel Agency at the 1st annual Adventure Travel Awards in London.

Travel Matters was the proud winners of Best Travel Agency for 2017 at the 1st annual Adventure Travel Awards in London.

The judges commented that this agency puts a heavy emphasis on sustainable tourism and community benefits, an ethos which is at the heart of adventure travel.

The Adventure Travel Awards have been created to recognise and reward the businesses and individuals who are dedicated to supporting, growing and promoting adventure travel – from tour operators of all sizes, through to travel agents, gear companies, DMOs, DMCs, publishers, accommodation, PR agencies and tourist boards.

The award winners were announced at ATC on Thursday 19 January at 7pm. The ceremony was hosted by television broadcaster (and inveterate traveller) Kate Humble.


Travel massive

Karen went to the Travel Massive event in London. Travel Massive is the world’s largest community of travel industry insiders, leaders, and innovators. Here’s a photo of her sharing stories with BBC’s Rajan Datar who hosts BBC World News’ flagship travel programme. The evening was very interesting as we met new businesses, start ups, vloggers, bloggers and entrepreneurs alike.  Roll on the next event!


Travel Foundation

As part of our Make Travel Matter campaign, we learn much about what is happening on the global stage of sustainable travel issues. So this September, Karen met Simon Reeve at the Travel Foundation’s annual general meeting during which chief executive Salli Felton explained the charity’s different approach.

We also heard from Petra Stušek, General Manager of Ljubljana Tourism, Slovenia – which incidentally won the Tourism for Tomorrow Award 2015. We heard from her what a sustainable destination should look like. We heard from Annette Tingle, the Travel Foundation Programme Co-ordinator, Jamaica. We listened to Megan Epler Wood, a Director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative.

All in all, the afternoon inspired as well as providing a great opportunity to network, exchange ideas and catch up with fellow colleagues who share a passion & drive to influence, lobby and lead in this area of tourism.

Thanks Salli & team Make Holidays Greener – The Travel Foundation


Trees for cities

Karen Simmonds, owner of the independent travel agency, Travel Matters in South West London is jumping in the freezing cold water of the unheated Brockwell Lido. The event “Freeze for Trees” aims to raise funds for Trees for Cities, one of the charity partners Travel Matters supports.
As part of their Make Travel Matter campaign which encourages people to think about the positive impact their holidays have on the destinations they travel to, clients have contributed financially to tree planting instead of carbon offsetting.
“Last year Silvia ran the 10km for Tourism Concern, another one of our charity partners – this year it is my turn to do something radical!” says Karen. Trees for Cities is an independent charity, planting trees in cities worldwide. They deliver projects across the UK and Ireland as well as internationally in cities such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Kigali, Ica and La Paz.
The event is Saturday 13th December from 10.30am with the jump in at 11.30am.

BeFunky Collage.jpg

don’t get done in the sun

Hard-hitting holiday series in which Fiona Foster and Rani Price look at all the things that can ruin our precious two weeks in the sun, from problems with flights or hotels to scams, tricks and cons.

We were very pleased to have helped BBC with their travel programme.



Highlighting Responsible Tourism week, Travel Matters are hosting an event with guest speakers. Raj Mistry from Travel Indochina and Lisa Fisher from Rainbow Tours.

Thursday 7 February 2013 at 7pm – 9pm

Travel Matters Destination Showcase @ Panel Room, The Windmill on the Common, London SW4.

Spaces are limited and are a first come first serve basis.

Responsible Tourism Week is a free, five-day event exploring down-to-earth applications of noble concepts including responsible tourism, conscious travel, the local travel movement and ecotourism with effective and inexpensive social media and local events.

Travel Indochina has been the leader in creating real travel experiences in Asia since 1993, catering to the traveler who is seeking an authentic journey through the region. They share their experience and passion for the region by designing, creating and operating life-changing holiday experiences. Rainbow Tours are pioneers of responsible travel and specialise in tailor-made holidays to AfricaMadagascar and Latin America. They can take you to famous iconic sights on both continents and also to hidden corners where you get right to the heart of local cultures and landscapes.