Heal the world with your holiday

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What a difference a day makes….to recognize the day that changes your life in some way, has always been a thrilling thought. On the 26th of June, 2014, my English cousin visited us with his wife and their two children (in their twenties). I hadn’t met my cousin in something like 30 years, but as we are related, he felt familiar right away and so did the rest of his lovely family.

I’m a ”talented amateur-pianist”, so I played some Sibelius to our English guests and told them that I aim to give charity concerts where ever there’s a need for money to be used for something positive. It just so happens that both my cousin and his wife do voluntary work for Vision for Asia, a Christian association helping out in Asia (www.visionforasia.org). I’m a member of Zonta (www.zonta.org) and eager to do my part in making the world a better place to for everybody, beginning with the feminine gender. It took us a couple of hours after having met to come up with the idea that I should give a concert in London and donate the money to Vision For Asia, or to www.oasis.org, an association that works to eliminate trafficking (can you think of a more horrible business than selling people?), or to Zonta, or…I can’t help anybody ”on site” but I CAN play, so I will.

The day after, the 27th of June, I realized I needed to change the whole concept of my travel agency to really live up to the value I’ve chosen for it (”Add the amount of love in the world”) and now I’m in the process of calculating the costs of my products anew, negotiating with the people I co-operate with for more commission, thinking hard how to update my Internet-pages, checking out if there are laws that restrain my idea – in short, doing what I should always have been doing; implementing the business plan.

As any marketing professional will tell you, without an USP (”Unique selling proposition”) everything concerning marketing is hard, with a good one everything is relatively easy. I needed to put my idea into words and found the solution talking to my wonderful Italian friend, with whom I’ve been “skyping” every week without exception since February 2013 (I needed to learn Italian fast, and he kindly agreed to speak to me every week. What an asset!) Another friend had already suggested something like “SaariTours – sustainable social development”, but Johnny (yes, the name exists in Italian!) shook his head and re-frased it to: “Heal the world with a holiday”. I changed the “a” to “your”, and now SaariTours’ new slogan is: “Heal the world with your holiday”.

The next time you travel with me to Paris, Tuscany or Dordogne, SaariTours will donate at least 5 % of the price of your trip to some organization or project. You don’t have to become a regular donator to anything, but you’ll know that every time you travel with SaariTours, you’re making an impact on somebody’s life. Now isn’t that a “unique business proposal”? And, I’ll do my best to give a concert in all of the above places during the trip – that’s my dream. I’ll also tell you what my services during a trip cost you and exactly how much is going to charity, but I think the amount will be around 5 %. I need to keep SaariTours going and get paid myself, and the rest will go to help those in need.

I do of course know that a lot of big companies give money to good things and from now on, so will my little company. I may not use my idea heavily in marketing (after all, SaariTours is not a charity organization), but it gives me a boost of energy, my company a sense of purpose and enables me to put everything I know into work for something good. It makes me want to develop the content of the holiday packages even more, so that what you give away (i.e. pay for the holiday) will give you back even more.

The sun is shining in the nature and in my heart and I’ll be singing ”What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours”, while figuring out how to best formulate my abilities, my values and my company into products you can buy with a good conscience.

Read here what these wonderful organizations do: www.zonta.org, www.oasis.org,  www.visionforasia.org

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