Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and Travelife, an internationally recognised sustainability certification program for the tourism industry have announced a partnership with Travelife.
The partnership aims to promote sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka by educating SLAITO’s members to uphold Travelife standards. This is in keeping with SLAITO’s commitment to promoting sustainable tourism practices in Sri Lanka.
The tourism industry thrives on the natural environment, wildlife and culture, which Sri Lanka has in abundance. To maintain these treasures, sustainability should be at the core of every tourism venture. This means that tour operators should operate their business in an economically sound, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly way.
Companies working towards sustainability score better on customer satisfaction, staff motivation and business efficiency with positive effects on their competitive advantage.
In this sense, Travelife engages tourism enterprises in training, management and certification for tour companies committed to reaching sustainability.
Travelife has partnered with SLAITO to assist SLAITO member DMCs (Destination Management Companies) in attaining sustainability in their business. A company that seeks to be recognised and affiliated with Travelife goes through three stages: engagement, partner level, and certification.
The first stage is called ‘engagement,’ where the company commits itself and introduces appropriate management procedures, including appointing a sustainability coordinator who undergoes Travelife sustainability training.
“Today’s travellers look for more than just comfort and value; many now seek to improve their carbon footprints by making more sustainable travel,” Travelife in Sri Lanka Project Manager Aline van der Meulen said.
“Now that the international tourism industry begins to return, it gives Sri Lankan Tour Operators the chance to be ready to meet potential customers with a fresh and sustainable image. Travelife helps to make the first footsteps by offering a clear framework to achieve sustainability goals,” she said.
Through the partnership with Travelife, SLAITO aims to help its partners implement sustainable practices in their operations. This includes minimising their impact on the environment, supporting local communities, and ensuring the well-being of their employees. Travelife provides a comprehensive framework and certification program that helps tourism businesses achieve these goals.
“We are excited to partner with Travelife to promote sustainable tourism practices amongst the DMC community in Sri Lanka,” said SLAITO President Nishad Wijetunga.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to promoting responsible tourism practices and supporting our partners to do the same. By upholding Travelife standards, our partners can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability,” he added
To achieve Travelife certification for DMCs, individual businesses must demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by meeting a set of rigorous criteria. These include reducing their energy and water consumption, supporting local communities, and implementing sustainable supply chain practices. Once certified, businesses are listed on the Travelife website and can use the Travelife logo to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to customers.
As a result of this partnership, SLAITO members will benefit from special concessions on Travelife rates and will receive all the necessary tools and resources, free of charge, to enable certification.
SLAITO and Travelife will work together in the coming months to educate SLAITO’s members on the importance of sustainable tourism and how they can achieve Travelife certification. By working together, the two organisations aim to make sustainable tourism a standard practice in Sri Lanka and demonstrate the country’s commitment to responsible tourism practices.