Fair Trade Tourism Signs Partnership Agreement with Travelife for Tour Operators
Fair Trade Tourism has signed a significant partnership agreement with Travelife, Europe’s biggest sustainability certification scheme for tour operators. The agreement sees the two organisations combine forces to offer sustainability training and certification for tour operators throughout southern Africa and will enable tour operators to become part of the globe’s biggest network of sustainability accredited tour operators.
The Travelife system for tour operators is managed by ECEAT (the European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism), a not-for-profit organisation based in the Netherlands, which offers sustainability training and certification to help tour operators implement positive change in their businesses and supply chains. The partnership agreement will see Fair Trade Tourism become the exclusive implementing partner for Travelife in southern Africa, with all FTT Approved tour operators offered free Travelife membership until 2020.
In terms of the agreement, Fair Trade Tourism and Travelife will offer southern African tour operators sustainability training around all aspects of their businesses, from office operations, to product development, working with suppliers, educating clients and promoting sustainable destinations. FTT Approved Tour Operators will be given free Travelife membership and have the opportunity to progress to Travelife Partner, which demonstrates progress along the sustainability path, or Travelife Certified, which demonstrates global best-practice in sustainability. They will also be incorporated into the Travelife online platform, which is accessed by major global outbound operators interested in promoting sustainability in their supply chains.
FTT MD Jane Edge said the Travelife agreement represented a major move forward for FTT in achieving global impact. “According to a recent survey we conducted, 72% of FTT Approved tour operators are seeing a growing demand for responsible tourism. We needed to take FTT to the next level and Travelife was a natural partner to engage with. Travelife offers superb sustainability training and a certification scheme that is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. We are privileged to be partnering with them to implement this in southern Africa.”
ECEAT MD Naut Kusters said partnering with FTT, as Africa’s leading responsible tourism organisation, would enable Travelife to gain significant traction on the continent. “Together with the Green Tour programme that we are currently implementing in Kenya, we see the FTT partnership as an opportunity to help Africa’s businesses significantly enhance their sustainability practices and to increase the number of sustainable travellers to the continent.”