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Sunvil Holidays reports a positive uptake for its opt-out carbon offset policy. In May, 56% of its customers paid to carbon-neutralise their travel - up from 47% in April. The scheme was introduced last year for 2007 brochures.

Sunvil Holidays took the bold step - one of the first UK tour operators of any size to do so - of including the carbon offset fee automatically on all holiday invoices. Customers have the choice of opting out by simply deducting the cost, which is listed separately, from their holiday invoice.

Noel Josephides, managing director of Sunvil Holidays, says: "Our opt-out charge has tested the water for the entire industry and has proven that the majority of consumers are genuinely concerned about responsible travel, with the percentage of take-up still rising.

"While we realise carbon offsetting is not a complete answer, we hope that these small steps will act as a catalyst for others to follow, which will in turn go some way to safeguarding the planet," he adds.

The carbon offset charge of a return flight to the Azores or Cyprus with Sunvil Holidays is £3.60 pp, while flights to Greece cost £2.83 pp. Money collected by Sunvil is donated to two carbon offset initiatives in Retezat National Park in Romania - the implementation of solar power at visitor and community centres and information points, and a new car park to reduce car access into the heart of the forest.

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