BANGKOK, 14 November 2017: Destination Asia Thailand has been awarded ‘partner status’ by Travelife as part of its efforts to steer operations to a more sustainable path.
The official award ceremony took place during World Travel Market 2017, in London.
Destination Asia Thailand managing director, Addie Hirunkate, received the Travelife Partnership Certificate from Travelife general manager for tour operators, Naut Kusters.
Travelife, which was originally established with the support of European travel associations to raise standards in Europe, has now spread its wings to offer international sustainability certification to the travel sector worldwide. Financially that is a good move for Travelife, although the logistics of verifying compliance is more challenging.
To achieve partner level, the inbound tour operator had to comply with more than 200 criteria, related to operators’ office management, product range, supply chain and customer information.
The Travelife standard covers ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights, and labor relations, and is formally recognized as fully compliant with the UN-supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
Since becoming a Travelife member, Destination Asia has joined with other DMCs to comply with the ‘Elephant Camp Welfare and Sustainability Standard and Assessment Initiative’.
At present, no widely accepted set of criteria and evaluation system is available for elephant camps in Asia. As a key member of the group, Destination Asia will help develop common standards and tools in order to jointly evaluate suppliers and, ultimately, motivate camps towards improved animal welfare and sustainability standards.