18 Nov

Travelife gains funding and recognition from Brussels

The Travelife Sustainability system has secured funding from the European Union so that it can become integrated with the European Eco label. The funding will be delivered through the EU’s three-year Eco-innovation project.

The support coincides with TUI, Europe’s largest tour operator, announcing this summer that it is aiming to have half of its customers staying in Travelife-awarded hotels by the end of Summer 2011. It is also working towards having all of its suppliers Travelife-awarded within five years.

The EU Ecolabel is only awarded after satisfying strict criteria and following wide consultation with experts and after verification that a product or service has met high environmental and performance standards. Accommodation suppliers following the Travelife programme and qualifying for its Gold Award will satisfy the EU Ecolabel criteria.

By the end of October, TUI estimates 25 percent of its customer will be staying in a Travelife-awarded hotel. Earlier this year it advised all its main suppliers that by May 2011 they will need to subscribe to the Travelife Sustainability System. The mandate is included within its Sustainable Development Contract Addendum that’s part of its main contract with all suppliers.  It aims to encourage suppliers to embed sustainability into their operations, including registering to Travelife.

Chris Thompson Travelife Sustainability Manager said: “It is a fantastic achievement for Travelife to have gained this funding from the European Union so that we can fully utilise the benefits of achieving EU Eco label status. It is also a major endorsement of TUI UK’s ongoing commitment to sustainability that they aim to have half of their customers staying in accommodation providers with Travelife by next year”

Garry Wilson, Director of Purchasing for TUI UK & Ireland said, “We are working towards having all of our suppliers Travelife-awarded within five years and have 50% of our customers staying in Travelife-awarded hotels by next summer.  This updated contract addendum will help us in achieving these two goals.  As one of the UK’s leading tour operators, we are committed to setting the benchmark for the industry and are always looking to build on the steps already taken to reduce the impact of our operations, and those of our suppliers on the environment. Together with our suppliers and with the help of Travelife, we can make all areas of our operations more sustainable.”