As we wind down for the holidays, we are so grateful to say that 2022 was an incredible year for CAS Trips, and we are tremendously thankful for everyone who has contributed to that success. Following a pandemic-forced pivot, during which we were required to rethink how we could find new and innovative ways to bring the CAS experience to life, we are thrilled to be back to travel and have been eagerly exploring new destinations while we gear up for even more student travel in 2023.
The return to travel also gave us plenty of opportunities to mobilize our new sustainability strategy and realize the potential of some exciting new partnerships we have been forging. All in all, it has been an exciting ride to be on. And with the next calendar year set to be even better, we wanted to share some of our 2022 milestones and let you know what you can expect from us going into the new year.
Travel is back, and we are exploring new destinations
In 2022, we led over 60 educational trips and gave more than 2500 students a chance to experience the many values of school travel. With over 7,500 service hours completed, we also helped give back to local communities and support the many valued relationships with our partners worldwide.
In addition to our former destinations, 2022 saw CAS Trips travel to The Azores Islands, Copenhagen, Rome, Zurich, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Salzburg for the first time! We are pleased to have hosted successful trips in our new spots and are scheduled to return to all in 2023. New destinations also meant developing exciting new service themes, ranging from urban sustainability in Copenhagen and Barcelona to working alongside local communities, like with the art-savvy grannies of Lisbon and cooking with refugees in Rome.
Thanks to this expansion, we have been able to grow our team and bring lots of new Trip Leaders into our family.
“It has been one of CAS Trips’ principal aims to encourage more localized impact since long before the pandemic began. The pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate our decisions and we consider it one of our duties at CAS Trips to pioneer innovative, appealing, and impactful trips closer to home. We believe this provides schools with the possibility to travel more locally without compromising on the excitement or impact of educational travel.”Simon Armstrong, CAS Trips Founder
Building new ties in the IB and travel communities
In addition to the many new partnerships we have forged while planning trips for the first time, we have also been able to come together with other organizations doing exciting work in our field and learn from leaders in the IB community.
In March, we had the honor of speaking with IB Director General Olli Pekka-Heinonen. This experience reinforced our synergy with the IB curriculum and gave us a glimpse into the future of the DP program, which will inform our service offerings going forward.
Later in the year, we participated in a dynamic service fair in Berlin coordinated in conjunction with the four key IB schools in the city. We were able to meet and learn from local community project leaders, teachers and students alike.
Pretty Deadly, a personal development program teaching awareness and confidence through self-defense, is one organization that was present at the event. They have since become a CAS Trips service partner and we have already been able to offer reciprocal exchanges.
Currently, we are glad to be reconvening with our CAS Project Challenge panel to adjudicate the 2022 entries. This process always brings together some new and returning faces from the IB community to help reward the effort of students endeavoring to make a positive impact in their communities.
Putting our commitment to sustainability front and center
“2022 has been the biggest year of progress in our approach to sustainability. We are proud of the evolution of our internal training, policy development, and the steps we’ve taken towards sustainability certifications.”Neil Brinckerhoff, CAS Trips Program Director and Sustainability Manager
This was a big year for us in regards to sustainability. We published our first responsible travel policy and first sustainability report. Through it all, we have been committed to aligning our sustainability efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and have made industry commitments to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, the Future of Tourism initiative, and the Glasgow Declaration.
We are also coordinating with CAS Trips Leaders and suppliers in our destinations to engage in sustainability discussions. In April 2022, we became the first tour operator in the Czech Republic to become a Travelife partner. We now offer Travelife access to our partners who may be interested in the online training provided and survey them to better understand emerging priorities.
In addition, updating our service policy, our code of conduct, adding sustainability tips to our new CAS Trips app, calculating travel emissions for all trips, and nudging behavior through our new Take the Train initiative have all been part of our ongoing effort to develop the application of sustainability principles through our work.
Our goals for 2023 are to add transparent emission details and sustainability labeling to our itineraries. We expect this to include average daily accommodation, transportation, and food emissions for each destination we visit.
Gearing up for an exciting year ahead
Speaking of 2023, we are currently preparing for what is sure to be another hugely rewarding year. We are delighted to announce that after a long pandemic-induced hiatus—our iconic Global Student Conferences and Global Student Exchanges will be taking place next year! These celebrations of IB student global citizenship encapsulate all we have aimed to foster through CAS Trips, and we could not be happier to have the opportunity to host our GSCs in Edinburgh, Boston, and Singapore, and Global Student Exchanges in New York, Medellín, and Prague.
Of course, we will also be running regular trips to our many unique destinations and will maintain our commitment to finding fresh and innovative opportunities to help students tap into the full potential of CAS.
With so much to be thankful for this holiday season, we again extend a sincere thanks to all our partners in the IB community who allow us to keep doing what we love. A Happy New Year to all, and we look forward to welcoming you on a CAS Trip in 2023!