Unforgettable Travel Company

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Unforgettable Travel Company's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Unforgettable Travel Company is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

unforgettablecroatia.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | WAVENEY GYMNASTICS CLUB
Each year, we hold a training camp for
those who have a disability, followed
by a competition at the end of the
camp. Attendance at this event has
grown to over 70 this year, and it
continues to be a great attraction for
gymnasts from places like Scotland,
Jersey, Portsmouth, Worcestershire,
Poole, Yorkshire and all parts of
EastAnglia.
We continue to discuss and plan for
the future as the demand for our
sport grows, helped by the success of
the national teams. Our future plans
involve the possibility of a satellite club
within the area, but there is still some
groundwork to do, not least relating
to the financial implications of such
aventure.
Strengthening our workforce
The club has tried to recruit coaching
staff with experience and high-level
qualifications in the past, but this has
not proved very successful, as we are
in a quite remote area of the country.
Consequently, we have, in recent
years, taken the decision to invest in
the development of local young people
who are keen to become coaches.
Having now established the centre
as a facility to run courses, we are
attracting tutors to come to the club.
We have gone from employing just
one full-time coach and a part-time
administration officer in 2002 to now
operating with a workforce of around
40 employees. Their contracts vary
from part time to full time depending
on their individual circumstances.
The implications for the club, which
is registered with Companies House
and the Charity Commission, are
quite substantial, as we are a non-
profit-making organisation. Our main
source of income is from membership
subscription charges, and our total
income from all avenues is around
£450,000. However, our expenditure is
very similar.
Legislation from government relating
to the living wage and pension
contributions is a difficult act to
balance, as many of our coaches are
young, and there are increases to meet
every year which are linked to their
age. We are reluctant to increase our
fees, as we are in a deprived area and
an increase could be detrimental to our
membership for those families who
already experience some hardship. Our
board of directors are from a variety of
professional backgrounds and all offer
their services voluntarily, meeting every
six to eight weeks. The club also has a
team of fully trained welfare officers.
We want to continue to grow and
to engage local youngsters and
all members of our community by
encouraging them to take up sport
or exercise to enable them to have
healthier lifestyles at an affordable
cost. Our area suffers from a significant
number of people with underlying
health issues. Any significant
government legislation increasing the
living wage could have a catastrophic
effect on the continued development,
expansion or even survival of the club in
a deprived area like Lowestoft. Despite
these challenges, we will continue to
focus on running a successful business
and trying to help raise the self-esteem
of our localcommunity.
We will
continue to
focus on
running a
successful
business and
trying to help
raise the self-
esteem of our
local
community
The Recharge Cafe area
31UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL COMPANY |
LEISURE & TOURISM
An extensive fleet of brand-
new luxury ships
With a 98 per cent Feefo feedback rating, Unforgettable
Croatia is the UK’s largest luxury tour operator to
Croatia – where it offers a handpicked choice of
luxury small ship cruises to the country aboard its own chartered
vessels. Group Director Graham Carter tells
The Parliamentary
Review
that Unforgettable’s aim is to bring the iconic vistas and
unforgettable experiences of cities like Dubrovnik and Hvar to
as many people as possible, while treating every client as if they
were family.
Headquartered in London, with offices in San Francisco, Melbourne and Split, we
launched in 2015. We have had remarkable success thus far, which includes 40 per
cent year-on-year growth and more than 15,000 happy clients who have travelled
with us to date.
Our organisation has become one of the country’s fastest-growing travel
companies. We believe this is the result of taking pride in what we do and our
unrivalled service, coupled with our highly personalised offering. This shows in our
multiple awards and our 98 per cent positive independent feedback rating.
We operate one of the youngest fleets of brand-new luxury small ships, which
can accommodate up to 38 passengers at any one time, providing a more
intimate and personal experience. Our yacht-like vessels sail along the magnificent
Dalmatian coast, bringing guests to visit beautiful UNESCO-listed cities like Split and
Dubrovnik along with lesser-known islands and secluded bays.
FACTS ABOUT
UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL
COMPANY
»Group Director:
GrahamCarter
»Founded in 2015
»Located in London, with
offices in San Francisco,
Melbourne and Split
»Services: Luxury small ship
cruises in Croatia
»No. of employees: 23, not
including crew
Unforgettable Travel
Company
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL COMPANY
These cruises offer unique experiences,
including daily excursions such as trips
to family-run wineries and visits to an
oyster farm to harvest fresh oysters.
Guided walking tours of medieval old
towns, culinary classes in local homes
and adventures through waterfall-filled
national parks are often featured as
well. Due to their size, our ships can
dock in smaller ports overnight, giving
clients the opportunity to dine al fresco
in authentic eateries and mingle with
the locals.
The impact of Brexit
Much like a number of companies in
the UK, the Brexit referendum has had
a fundamental impact on our business.
Our first year of trading was in 2016 and
we benefited from a very strong pound
earlier in the year when a lot of British
people booked their summerholidays.
Our first year of business was nearly
our last. The significant turnover and
healthy profits we had generated in
our first six months of trading were
wiped out on June 24 following the
result of the Brexit referendum.
We never expected the British public
to vote to leave the EU, nor did we
take the necessary precautions to cover
such a result with the untimely collapse
of the pound. It was a harsh six-figure
business lesson – we narrowly finished
the year with a tiny profit, thanks to
the support of our suppliers.
Knowing that the UK was in for
a tumultuous period after the
referendum, notably the impact it had
on both the pound and consumer
confidence, we knew we had to do
something to survive.
In 2017 we embarked on a strategy of
international expansion to reduce our
reliance on the UK market. Our first
new division was launched in Australia,
a very well-travelled English-speaking
market with many seeking adventures
on the sea – Croatia proved to be a
success. In 2018 we opened a division
in the US, focusing on clients in the
states along the east and west coasts.
We were fortunate in that the Game of
Thrones TV show was a big hit in the
country, putting Dubrovnik on themap.
Our intimate luxury cruises have proved
very popular among our discerning
US clients. Today 50 per cent of our
bookings are derived from the US and
Canada, while 22 per cent are from
Australia and 25 per cent come from
the UK. We no longer need to convert
currency to pounds, which we use to
pay salaries and UK office costs.
Intimate cruises for
discerning guests
We operate
one of the
youngest fleets
of brand-new
luxury small
ships, which
can
accommodate
up to 38
passengers at
any one time,
providing a
more intimate
and personal
experience
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL COMPANY
These cruises offer unique experiences,
including daily excursions such as trips
to family-run wineries and visits to an
oyster farm to harvest fresh oysters.
Guided walking tours of medieval old
towns, culinary classes in local homes
and adventures through waterfall-filled
national parks are often featured as
well. Due to their size, our ships can
dock in smaller ports overnight, giving
clients the opportunity to dine al fresco
in authentic eateries and mingle with
the locals.
The impact of Brexit
Much like a number of companies in
the UK, the Brexit referendum has had
a fundamental impact on our business.
Our first year of trading was in 2016 and
we benefited from a very strong pound
earlier in the year when a lot of British
people booked their summerholidays.
Our first year of business was nearly
our last. The significant turnover and
healthy profits we had generated in
our first six months of trading were
wiped out on June 24 following the
result of the Brexit referendum.
We never expected the British public
to vote to leave the EU, nor did we
take the necessary precautions to cover
such a result with the untimely collapse
of the pound. It was a harsh six-figure
business lesson – we narrowly finished
the year with a tiny profit, thanks to
the support of our suppliers.
Knowing that the UK was in for
a tumultuous period after the
referendum, notably the impact it had
on both the pound and consumer
confidence, we knew we had to do
something to survive.
In 2017 we embarked on a strategy of
international expansion to reduce our
reliance on the UK market. Our first
new division was launched in Australia,
a very well-travelled English-speaking
market with many seeking adventures
on the sea – Croatia proved to be a
success. In 2018 we opened a division
in the US, focusing on clients in the
states along the east and west coasts.
We were fortunate in that the Game of
Thrones TV show was a big hit in the
country, putting Dubrovnik on themap.
Our intimate luxury cruises have proved
very popular among our discerning
US clients. Today 50 per cent of our
bookings are derived from the US and
Canada, while 22 per cent are from
Australia and 25 per cent come from
the UK. We no longer need to convert
currency to pounds, which we use to
pay salaries and UK office costs.
Intimate cruises for
discerning guests
We operate
one of the
youngest fleets
of brand-new
luxury small
ships, which
can
accommodate
up to 38
passengers at
any one time,
providing a
more intimate
and personal
experience
33UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL COMPANY |
LEISURE & TOURISM
Over-tourism
As a result of terrorism events, which
have taken place in countries like
Turkey, Egypt and parts of North Africa
in recent years, tourists have been
searching for safer destinations to visit.
As Croatia is one of the world’s safest
places to visit, it has enjoyed a 25 per
cent increase in tourism over the last
four years.
This increase has resulted in cities like
Dubrovnik experiencing a significant
rise in the number of tourists it sees,
particularly by those arriving on huge
ocean liners. Dubrovnik now has
as many as four large cruise ships
visiting daily. The problem of over-
tourism, which has plagued places like
Venice and Santorini, is now affecting
Croatia’s most popular city as well.
The thousands of guests that descend
on Dubrovnik from these ships for
just a short time do little to support
the local community. Overcrowding,
increased waste and pollution in the
Adriatic are just some of the issues
impacting this city.
This year we launched a sustainability
campaign aimed at fighting over-
tourism in Croatia, protecting
the beautiful blue waters off its
shores while supporting the local
communities. Although our Split to
Dubrovnik cruises are still popular, we
have opened new routes in Croatia
for clients to visit, featuring largely
undiscovered islands and cities, further
away from busy Dubrovnik.
We understand the effect that
increased tourism has had on both
sea and land. As such, we have
removed all plastic from our ships
and are donating 10 per cent of our
annual profits to the Blue World
Institute in Rovinj, a not-for-profit
organisation responsible for research
and conservation of dolphins and
turtles in the Adriatic. We have also
implemented a buy local initiative for
2020, which means our ships will buy
their supplies locally and support each
of the islands they visit.
We are passionate about our small ship
cruises, the unique experiences they
provide and the ecofriendly approach
to the environment they offer. With
strong continued growth planned,
we look forward to opening further
destinations and Unforgettable brands.
This year we
launched a
sustainability
campaign aimed
at fighting over-
tourism in
Croatia,
protecting the
beautiful blue
waters off its
shores while
supporting the
local
communities
The glorious landscapes
of Croatia

unforgettablecroatia.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Unforgettable Travel Company. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development