The Travel Foundation is calling on firms to collect customers’ unwanted currency to help raise cash and awareness for sustainable tourism initiatives.
The charity said this element of its Summer Time for Change campaign presented an “easy way” to support its work and educate customers on the need to protect holiday destinations “to ensure they thrive and survive, now and in the future”.
Midcounties Co-operative Travel has worked with The Travel Foundation to road-test encouraging customers to put their unwanted currency of any denomination (including obsolete coins and notes) into collection boxes to support the organisation’s work.
Midcounties currently has more than 100 boxes in its agencies and Post Office outlets, and hopes to raise about £200 with each box.
The group has also included a donation to the Travel Foundation in the cost of its holidays sold this summer.
Airport parking company Airparks has also organised two collection areas at Luton and Birmingham airports to aid the campaign.
Graeme Jackson, head of partnerships at The Travel Foundation, said each year Brits bring home an estimated £663 million in leftover foreign currency after their holidays, while there is also about £450 million in old British pound sterling still in circulation, which can be donated.
“That’s a lot of unwanted cash that could help us transform tourism so it protects fragile environments and creates sustainable livelihoods for people around the world,” he said.
The money would be used to fund projects “that create real change [and] opportunities for local communities and protect heritage, culture and precious ecosystems”.
The collection box scheme, operated by Cash4Coins, is open to all businesses wishing to take part, with boxes delivered and collected when they are full.
To request a collection box and receive an information pack, email graeme.jackson@thetravel foundation.org.uk or call 0117 930 7170.