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In recognition of Planet Ark’s National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July, resort representation company, World Resorts of Distinction (WRD), is proud to unveil a new environmental initiative that will see the team of young, conscious-travel specialists plant a tree for every booking made at a WRD property.

CEO Tess Willcox said Travel for Trees is an exciting new development in the company’s vision to transform the travel industry by championing sustainable resorts and experiences.

“Every time a travel agent in Australia or New Zealand registers a booking at one of the properties in our portfolio, my team and I will get our hands dirty and plant a native tree at a local site,” she said. “Agents can register their bookings via the exclusive Agent Portal on our website.”

Previously as part of the company’s incentive program, agents who registered WRD bookings received a small gift – such as a bottle of champagne – from WRD.

“In line with our refined brand, which we launched last year and which prioritises sustainable travel, we have decided to replace the gift component of our traditional incentive program with a gift that keeps on giving,” Tess explained. “With every reservation, we will plant a tree, taking another much-needed step towards forest preservation.”

“In addition to encouraging guests to offset their flight carbon footprint – either directly with the airline, through a reliable offsetting organisation, or both – this program allows us to take measures to neutralise the impact that travelling has on the planet,” she said.

Tess and her team are committed to planting the most appropriate trees for the local ecosystem, to ensure their advantages are maximised.

“Trees play such a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon while producing oxygen and storing the carbon from the atmosphere in their own biomass. Plus, they regulate our environment by stabilising soil, providing food and shelter for wildlife, and are scientifically proven to have a positive impact on human mental health,” she said.

“We’re also excited about Travel for Trees because it provides us with a team building opportunity, the chance to get some fresh air, spend quality time together, and connect and give back to nature.”