[pullquote style=”right”]Wild Asia is Travelife’s official South East Asia Partner. We’re really excited to be launching the scheme here in Malaysia.[/pullquote]
Rigorous review and authorization procedures have determined that Travelife’s revised Tour operator and Travel agent standard is considered equivalent to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria; the minimum requirement for tourism businesses worldwide. The GSTC is supported by the UN and is comparable with the FSC standard for wood and the MSC standard for sustainable fish.
Naut Kusters, Manager of Travelife for Tour operators and Travel agents said: “I am delighted that the Travelife for Tour operators and Travel Agents standard achieved GSTC Recognition. It will provide direction to committed tour operators and recognition for front runners. The standard is comprehensive and profound and has integrated leading global standards and guidelines for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility”.
With support from the EU Eco-innovation program, national trade associations in more than 15 countries already promote Travelife to their members. The Travelife training, reporting and planning tools are available in more than 10 languages.
Travelife in Malaysia
Wild Asia has recently been appointed as Travelife’s South East Asia partners. Travelife is the world’s most far-reaching international responsible tourism certification scheme; and the only scheme of its kind recognised by international players such as Thomas Cook, TUI, Virgin Holidays and Kuoni. It recognises best practice in environmental and social responsibility, as well as quality. The demand for certification from such operators is increasing and we want to showcase what Malaysia has to offer; perfect timing for Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
Managing and marketing Malaysia sustainably, we believe, is the only step forward:
- Protecting the product – Millions of visitors come to Malaysia each year for our beautiful natural environment and rich cultural heritage. About 10% of total tourist arrivals (that’s 2.4 million people) to Malaysia are purely nature tourism related travel (Economic Transformation Programme, 2010). Tourism has a part to play in protecting the very essence of why visitors come, sustainable tourism ensures these are preserved and enhanced.
- Safeguarding our economy and livelihoods – Revenue from tourism related activities contributes almost 12% to the GDP and total revenue generated from the tourism sector is RM62 billion (2012).
- Increase in demand – For example, by 2020, Thomas Cook wants at least 1,500 of their hotels Travelife certified. Malaysia can tap into the high spending European market by taking sustainability seriously.
- Competitive advantage – Neighbouring and competitor destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia and Australia have all taken the plunge to gain green credentials and are reaping the benefits. It’s time Malaysia to join suit and exceed their achievements.
What happens next?
We’re currently looking for Malaysia based partners from tourism associations and authorities to help ensure the success of the introduction and implementation of Travelife into our country.
If you are interested in partnering this scheme and have a membership of tourism operators across Malaysia, download our Proposal below and contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org[Download not found]
The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism team are recognised regional responsible tourism experts. As official partners of the Travelife scheme, we are excited to be offering bespoke consultancy packages for local tourism businesses to help them get on the path for certification and get the most out of the sustainability system.
If you are a Malaysia based tour operator or accommodation business who is interested in gaining accreditation but needs a helping hand, please contact us to discuss beginning your journey to sustainability, email@example.com