Travelife is an internationally recognized training, management and certification scheme for sustainability in tourism. It is based on international sustainability standards: GSTC, EMAS III, UNEP-TOI Management Manuals, ISO 14001, Global Reporting Initiative, OECD Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines, ISO 26000.
Travelife was launched in 2007 by ABTA, the UK Travel Association and the Dutch ANVR travel association, with the support of Leeds Metropolitan University (UK), Lund University (Sweden) and ECEAT (European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism), a Dutch not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainability in tourism.
The Travelife methodology was developed during the EU supported LIFE project, based on sustainability management concepts developed by UNEP, the Tour Operators Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) and earlier experiences of ANVR and ABTA.
The Travelife system offers integrated and innovative online tools for training, planning, management and reporting on sustainability activities that are specially designed for travel agencies and tour operators. Achieving GSCT-accredited status means that the Travelife certification program fully follows the highest, very demanding international standards, which further differentiates Travelife from all other certification programs in the world. The Travelife scheme has been chosen by more than 40 national and international tourism associations and is affordable for micro and multinational companies.
Effective integration of sustainability management in 6 steps:
Travelife is based on a management system which supports the effective integration of sustainability in 6 steps to reach certification.
- Appointment and qualification of a sustainability coordinator
- Carrying out a baseline assessment of sustainability aspects
- Development and introduction of a sustainability policy
- Development and implementation of an action plan
- Reporting on sustainability activities and achievements
- Audit & Award/Certification
The three-stage approach of Travelife:
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
Based on a sustainability report and compliance with basic requirements assessed by Travelife, the company will reach the Travelife Partner status. This status enables the company to communicate its sustainability commitment and achievements with the support of the Travelife Partner logo. The company is now qualified to work step-by-step towards the final stage.
Stage 3: Travelife Certified
In the third stage, the company’s compliance with the international Travelife Certified standard for travel companies will be evaluated by an independent auditor based on an on-site assessment. The requirements are stronger than the basic requirements of the Travelife Partner standard and are in line with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria and formally recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Successfully completing the third stage will be awarded with the Travelife Certified status. With Travelife Certified award logo you can communicate your excellence in sustainability to your clients and other stakeholders.
Recognized sustainability criteria/standards cover the entire supply chain of areas of business of a tour operator:
- Sustainability management & legal compliance
- Internal management: social policy & human rights
- Internal management: environment and community relations
- Inbound Partner Agencies
- Excursions and activities
- Tour leaders, local representatives, and guides
- Customer communication and protection
UHPA & Travelife
UHPA, Croatia's leading tourism trade association, as a long-term partner of ECEAT, manages the Travelife system for travel agencies and tour operators who are members of UHPA. The cooperation started in 2012 on the EU funded Training and certification of socially responsible business in tourism (CSR TOUR) project after which the two organisations entered a long-term cooperation agreement.
UHPA provides continuous professional support to travel agencies and tour operators in Croatia who are willing to implement the Travelife system in their business operations.
For additional information, please contact Neda Lušić, [email protected] , telephone +385 98 234 176.