Thomas Cook have today subscribe to the Travelife Sustainability System for all of their tour operator businesses around the globe. Travelife has evolved as a supply chain management tool for outbound tour operators and for those hotels which participate in it there are real advantages.
1. Travelife provides a simple step by step process which starts with an on-line checklist to enable an accommodation business to check its performance, gain advice and monitor progress. The next step is to invite a Travelife auditor to conduct a full environmental and social audit of the business, the efforts made by the business can then be recognised with a certificate if they meet the criteria.
2. The link with a major global tour operator like Thomas Cook ensures that the hotel secures recognition for its sustainability efforts and that there is market advantage. Thomas Cook is able through Travelife to provide its customers with a simple way of being able to recognise those hotels that actively protect and support their local environments and communities and Thomas Cook works to raise awareness of what the certification means in all its markets. In 2010 over a million of its customers stayed in properties that have been audited against the Travelife criteria.
Back in December TUI launched its guidelines on sustainable hotels and set its target: to have half its customers staying in a Travelife-certified hotel by the end of summer 2011 and its entire UK programme, which includes 2,000 properties, accredited by 2015.
Both Thomas Cook and TUI are taking the sustainability of their supply chains more seriously and are now actively managing them – they are also working on aviation, sutainable excursions and addressing sustainability in their shops and offices. As TUI UK’s Sustainable product manager Sean Owens said in December: �Travelife accreditation will be a licence to operate in future.� The two biggest operators are now pushing the pace of change.