Sustainability Training for Tour Operators

Between the 24th and 25th of October 2012, Wild Asia joined their new sustainable tourism partners, Travelife, in Bangkok for a two day training workshop for tour operators titled “Sustainability in Tourism”.

More than 80 Thai tour operators joined a two-day training in Bangkok to learn how to integrate sustainability and CSR principles into their company.

Participants included already committed Thai travel companies interested in achieving formal recognition and better market access, as well as major ground handlers who felt a growing demand from their European business partners for complying with international sustainability standards.

How to make the sustainable attainable

The tourism professionals learnt how to integrate sustainability in their office operations such as energy saving and reducing paper use as well as staff-related social policies and human rights. They also looked with “sustainable glasses” towards their transport, accommodation and excursion providers. A more sustainable supply chain can be created by contracting already sustainable suppliers and by supporting existing business partners towards more social and environmentally friendly behavior.

The participants also learnt about the principles of sustainability management and created their initial sustainability mission statement, policy and action plan. In addition they learnt about the growing expectations of European consumers and business partners for accountability on sustainability and how to apply the international Travelife Sustainability System.

Implementing what has been learned

The training kicked off a larger programme in which the European travel associations ABTA (UK) and ANVR (NL) work together with their Thai counterparts in order to promote a more sustainable EU – Thai tourism supply chain. Participants will be offered follow-up support in the use and implementation of the knowledge, methods and tools acquired in the training. The ultimate goal is to prepare for sustainability certification in order to increase competitiveness in the global market.

Amy, from Wild Asia, comments on the training workshop. “I was delighted to see so many different types of operators eager to become sustainable. It was inspiring to see that businesses realise the potential benefits of sustainability beyond just saving some money. Of course, the cost benefits can be huge. But tour operators want to offer life changing holidays that educate visitors, benefit communities, promote workers’ welfare and conserve the natural environment”.

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Gain regional support

Wild Asia are delighted to announce our official partnership with Travelife. This means we will be the SE Asia advocates for the sustainability system, working with tourism operators across the region to improve their business.

We want our region to improve in sustainability, benefit from the environmentally aware market and become recognised as a leading area for responsible tourism. We’ll be offering a range of bespoke consultancy packages to aid businesses towards Travelife certification.

If you are interested in gaining support towards a certification, or would like to discuss responsible tourism training further, please contact us.

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The training, organised by the Thai tour operator associations ATTA and TEATA, was financially supported by CBI, the Dutch agency for the Promotion of Imports from Developing countries and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative.

(The content of this webpage was adapted from a press release preprared by Travelife. Photos: Travelife)

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