Transat Is First Major Tour Op To Earn Travelife Sustainability Certification
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Transat has become the first major international tour operator to become Travelife Certified for the full range of its activities. Travelife works with travel businesses around the world to help them improve their social, economic and environmental impacts.
Businesses that prove they meet the Travelife sustainability criteria become Travelife certified, helping them promote their achievements to others.
Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat, says the recognition underscores the company’s longstanding efforts and leadership in sustainable development.
"Twelve years ago, we began a structured approach aimed at becoming a model of sustainable tourism. In the process, we strengthened our environmental management and our social engagement, including toward children, trained our teams on the importance of sustainable development, retooled our operations to better address customers' concerns, and urged our partners to implement sustainability practices,” Guérard said.
“Today, we are very proud to receive the Travelife Certified attestation, recognizing best practices in responsible tourism across all of our tour operator and travel agency activities, which were painstakingly reviewed to secure certification."
To hold and maintain Travelife Certified status, Transat must comply with more than 200 criteria covering its workplace practices, product range, business partners, and customers. Travelife certification is Accredited by the UN-supported Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and also complies with the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility Standard, which puts forward guidelines on environment, human rights, and labour relations.
"We will now work steadfastly to pursue the continuous-improvement processes required to maintain this certification and become a company that shows ever-increasing respect for the principles of sustainable development,” Guérard added.
“Like our customers and partners, we care about these issues that are so crucial to the future of our industry and the planet."
Transat has been committed to sustainable development since 2006, with multiple initiatives in environmental stewardship and heritage protection, efforts to thwart child-sex tourism, and collaborations with communities, which are described on its microsite resp.transat.com.
It has also established policies recognizing and highlighting sustainability certifications by its hotelier partners, adopted a code of conduct for tourism service providers, and created volunteering and humanitarian leave programs for its employees.
"This certification is the result of the hard work and shared commitment of Transat personnel and of our tourism partners," noted Christophe Hennebelle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Public Affairs, Transat. "We thank our teams and our shareholders for their unwavering support. They can be very proud of this achievement."
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.