'CSR-TOUR' - Travelife
Sustainability for Competitiveness
CSR TOUR - Corporate Social Responsibility Training and certification in the Travel sector
UHPA and UHPA members are fully aware of important and central role of the travel agencies in the tourism industry. As intermediates between tourists and tourism businesses, they can influence the choices of consumers, practices of suppliers and the development within destinations. Through their unique position travel companies can make an important contribution to the protection of the environment and culture, and in promoting social and human rights standards in the destinations they visit.
UHPA is actively providing support and help to members in their path toward sustainability. Project Eos Code - A Code of Practice on Environment Oriented Sustainability was an introduction to sustainability with more than 60 UHPA members involved. As next step UHPA has come together with partners from Netherlands, Great Britain, Greece, Poland and Latvia to develop and implement the project “Corporate Social Responsibility Training and certification in the Travel sector (CSR TOUR)”. Project is supported by EU programme Lifelong learning to facilitate the introduction of a Travelife tested and proven Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) training and management system among members of Polish, Latvian, Greek and Croatian travel associations. Collaboratively developed by UK and Dutch tourism industry stakeholders since 2004, the Travelife methodology for CSR in tourism provides travel companies with a range of practical learning, assessment and implementation tools that enable staff to implement CSR in their companies. CSR-TOUR adapts the Travelife methodology components to each country’s particular context, develops CSR standards, pilot tests the methodologies and builds local capacities and knowledge to manage, promote, implement and expand the CSR training system and quality standards in order to ensure long-term continuity of the intervention.
Travelife is a fair and affordable system which helps tour operators and travel agencies to manage and improve social and environmental impacts by complying with the international sustainability criteria. Ultimately, when a company meets the requirements, it will receive a Travelife award. Travelife has become the common sector wide sustainability system used throughout the industry with already more than 18 national travel associations promoting Travelife among their members. This creates a critical mass, establishes a ‘level playing field’ and avoids confusion within the supply chain and among consumers.
The Travelife programme follows a three-stage approach:
Stage 1. Travelife Engaged
In the first stage the company commits itself and introduces the appropriate management procedures. An appointed sustainability co-ordinator obtains the personal Travelife certificate and elementary steps and good practices are implemented. During this engagement stage the company itself is not rewarded yet.
Stage 2. Travelife Partner
When the sustainability report is in compliance with basic Travelife requirements, the company will reach the Travelife Partner status. This status enables the company to communicate its sustainability commitment supported by the Travelife Partner logo.
Stage 3. Travelife Certified
In the third stage the company is in compliance with the Travelife Certified standard for travel companies. The standard has been recognised as the first standard for tour operators in compliance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria. Compliance is verified by an independent auditor based on an on-site assessment.
More and more tour operators and tourism businesses in Croatia are taking an active approach towards sustainability, not only because consumers expect them to do so, but also because they are aware that intact destinations are essential for the long-term survival of the Croatian tourism.
UHPA members are good examples of that active approach towards sustainability with appointed sustainability co-ordinator who has passed Travelife training. Even though during this engagement stage these companies are not rewarded yet they are working on integrating sustainability practices in key operating areas. We invite you to contact these companies if you want to make contribution to the protection of the environment and culture, and to promote social and human rights standards in the destinations you visit.
For further information please contact Ivica Projić (firstname.lastname@example.org)