TRAVELIFE SUSTAINABILITY IN TOURISM

tralife_1.gifTRAVELİFE SUSTAİNABİLİTY İN TOURİSM

Travelife certification is a training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to reach sustainability.

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Sustainable development at a tour operator or travel agency. Why? How?

Integrating sustainable development issues within an agency is not just a matter of being green, add circuits in the wilderness or meet local people. The challenge of sustainable development is more horizontal and provides insight to: customers, employees, partners and improves returns from these stakeholders. In fact sustainability increases the competitiveness of your business.
Yes! Integrating sustainable development issues is business and not only for "saving the world!"
How? Just take a step back from the different functions in your company and think about the impacts of it. You will see that you can quickly find solutions to improve the impact and improve performance.
With the Travelife program for Tour Operators and Travel Agencies, we support you in that direction.
 
From 2013 till December 2015, travel companies from France, Bulgaria and Turkey are supported by EU funds to get advice and training to reach the Partner level of Travelife certification.

In France, Transat France reached Travelife Partner level

In France, Transat was the first TO that decided to integrate sustainability in their business with support of Travelife and  reached the Partner level of the Travelife certification.

In fact Dolores Merino Cebrian, CSR director of Transat France, strives to integrate all Travelife criteria in the activities of Transat and hopes to reach the international certification level in 2016.

In France, ID-Tourism provides training and advice for TO and travel agencies to integrate sustainability.
In October 2014, Guillaume CROMER director of ID-Tourism and coordinator of Travelife in France, organized a free training session open to the directors of French travel companies.

During this course, Guillaume CROMER showed how sustainability through the Travelife certification can also be an innovation leverage and a cost reduction tool.
Many executive French directors were there, such as: Club Med, Transat, 3Mundi, and they are committed to integrate sustainability in their own company.

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First steps towards sustainability in tourism sector in Bulgaria

During the General Assembly on 25 February 2014 of ABTTA (Association of Bulgarian Tour operators and Travel Agents) the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainable development in the tourism sector has been introduced to ABTTA members.  As a result and in accordance with the project activities schedule, a National expert group had been established and started working on the adaptation of the Travelife system to the Bulgarian tourism context.

On 7 – 8 November 2014 a pilot group of 20 travel companies – ABTTA members passed the “Sustainability for tour operators” training seminar in Sofia.

The participants - CEOs of tour operators and travel agents, incoming and outgoing tourism managers, product managers – were introduced to the concept of sustainable tourism and the Travelife system by the international trainer Chris Thompson.

During the two-day seminar the participants expanded their knowledge on the central intermediary role of the travel companies between suppliers and tourists,  their possibility to influence the tourism demand and destination development policies and were trained how to increase their long-term competitiveness.

International Sustainable tourism standard Travelife adapted for Turkey

Antalya - The Travelife standard for travel agents and tour operators is used for certification worldwide.  On 30 May several renowned Turkish tourism experts adapted the Travelife Partner standard to the local reality.
The meeting was kindly hosted by Travelife certified hotel Baia Lara in Antalya.

The meeting was attended by experts from TÜRSAB, Akdeniz University, ALTSO, NGO's and several travel agents from Antalya. It was convened as part of the SUSTOUR initiative which aims for more sustainability in tourism business and education. International tour operators and consumers have growing expectations of the sustainability of their holidays. Hence sustainability in tourism is essential to secure the future success of tourism in Turkey.

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40 Turkish travel companies in Alanya & Antalya started to work on sustainability
 

On 27&28 Oct in Antalya and 30&31 Oct. in Alanya, travel agents and tourism companies joined a 2-day training to learn how to integrate sustainability and CSR principles in everyday business.
 
Travel companies were updated on the growing expectations of international consumers and business partners on sustainability and how to use the internationally accredited Travelife programme. The training showed the benefits for companies with success stories from other tourism companies around the world.

After the training and exam the participants receive a certificate. Final goal is to prepare for the Travelife Partner recognition and ultimately for Travelife Certified in order to increase competitiveness in the global markets. The participants are offered free coaching in order to reach these goals.
Train the Trainer seminar in the Netherlands

July 2014, The Netherlands: Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility will become more important for the success of travel companies. Understanding CSR and Sustainability is key knowledge for today’s students. It will enable them to practically apply ethical principles in their future workplace, which will provide them a (future) competitive advantage.

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Travelife offered a comprehensive training for VET teachers and tourism professions which now will also be tailored and offered to students and vocational training institutes.

Objectives of the training were:
•To introduce the concept of sustainability and how to apply it in the travel sector;
•Understand the Travelife system and how it can be applied in education;
•To exchange experiences in integrating CSR in training and education;
•To develop a strategy for transferring the knowledge and skills to vocational students as well as companies.
•To agree on further development needs and responsibilities.
•To form an international tourism and sustainability co-operation network of teachers and trainers.
After completion of the training, participants were supported in the use and implementation of the knowledge, methods and tools that were acquired in the training. 

This project is realised within the Lifelong Learning programme implemented by the Republic of Turkey Ministry for EU Affairs, Turkish National Agency (http://www.ua.gov.tr), with a grant provided by the European Commisson. However, The Turkish National Agency nor the European Commission can not be held responsible for the information provided in this newsletter.