Travel & Tourism Awards 2021 Page 15 LUX 2021 Travel & Tourism Awards Blank Canvas offers real and authentic experiences, often off the beaten track, operating with a strong ethical and social conscience for people, the environment and animal welfare. Jack Duncan, Managing Director, tells us more about the firm, its core values of ethics and authenticity, and its passion for travel. Blank Canvas Most Unique Outbound Adventure Travel Experience – London Dec20320 Whether it be couples, honeymooners, young professionals, solo travellers, or adventurous families - what binds Blank Canvas’s clientele is a desire to go deeper and see what lies beyond the traditional guidebook recommendations, and a determination to experience the planet in an authentic, ethical and meaningful way. “But they also want to do it *their* way,” states Jack Duncan, the firm’s Managing Director. “That is why everything we do is designed from scratch for each individual client. As our name suggests, we start with a Blank Canvas then use our passion and expertise to create vibrant itineraries that reflect each client’s unique interests, needs and personality.” Blank Canvas provides all the security, and quality, that comes with booking through a traditional tour operator: ATOL protection, ABTOT accreditation etc. But more than that, it operates responsibly, with host communities, the environment and wildlife in mind. There are no cruel activities on offer with Blank Canvas. “We don’t offer elephant riding and we do not offer hunting,” Jack continues. “We try to use local expert guides in each corner of every country we work in. We are about lifting up communities and wildlife, not exploiting them.” Many of our destinations offered by the company may appear to be ‘usual suspects’ at first, but in addition to offering the key sights, Blank Canvas also provides the opportunity to explore hidden corners and encounter new experiences in these more well-known destinations. Whether it be learning to taiko drum in Tokyo, exploring the alleyways of Bangkok with a local street artist, or supporting local charity work in the heart of Phnom Penh – Blank Canvas aims to inspire, whilst being ethical at the same time. It also has a strong focus on authenticity and discovering destinations as they are intended to be seen. “Why see the world through the window of a tour bus when you can spend the night in a jungle lodge in the forests of Borneo or learning how to cook traditional delicacies with a local Laotian family in their home?” It goes without saying that the industry has experienced severe turbulence recently with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has had a major impact on global travel too, with may tour operators, hotels and airlines struggling to stay in business. In response to this, Black Canvas has developed a ‘Covid Promise’ for its travellers with the aim of offering peace of mind to those who book trips through the company. Jack explains more: “Basically, if our clients’ travel plans are cancelled due to Covid-19, they will receive a full refund on their trip, regardless of what we are able to recoup from our partners – no questions asked. “If their trip isn’t cancelled, but they decide to cancel, we will return to them whatever we can recoup. If they decide to postpone, we will do this for you at no extra cost.” Regarding the future, Jack has high hopes that the travel and tourism industry will bounce back, but keeping clients safe and informed is of utmost priority currently. There are also some exciting new destinations for 2021 in the pipeline! “When this is over, travel is going to be more important than ever. Communities that rely on tourism are desperate for travellers to return when (and only when) it is safe to do so. “Our clients know that, with Blank Canvas, their safety and peace of mind are of paramount importance. Our whole approach to business is based on honesty, ethics and trust.” Company: Blank Canvas Contact: Jack Duncan Website: