We are very excited to share with all of you our last award by Travelife, a leading training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to reaching sustainability. After months working with the support of CBI and our coaches, we have successfully completed an extensive report on sustainability practices within our tour company. We know this is just the beginning of a long journey but we are proud of our staff members, customers and suppliers for their contribution to promote responsible travel in Ethiopia.
What is Travelife and what does it mean to become partner?
Travelife is a certification system, dedicated to achieving sustainable practices within the tourism industry. It provides companies with realistic sustainability goals, tools and solutions to implement positive change within their businesses and supply chains. Travelife is managed by ABTA – The Travel Association in the UK – and by ECEAT Projects – a not-for-profit organisation based in The Netherlands.
The Travelife Partner level award was received on June 28 by Inside Ethiopia Tours (Ethiopia). The award recognizes the long-term efforts of Inside Ethiopia Tours regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Inside Ethiopia Tours complies with more than 100 criteria, related to an operator’s office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. The Travelife Partner level standard is covering the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relation.
Mr. Naut Kusters, manager of Travelife for Tour Operators, stated that: “I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operator sector is obtaining momentum. The Partner award of Inside Ethiopia Tours will inspire other companies in Ethiopia to follow the same path”.
Travelife is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector. More than 35 national travel associations are promoting the scheme to their members including, KATO, the Kenyan Association of Tour operators, TATO, the Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators, ABTA, The British Travel Association, PATA, the Pacific Asian Travel Association and FTT in South Africa.
Sustainability and Responsible travel in Ethiopia
Responsible travel is a necessity within the tourism business. Being socially and environmentally aware when you travel is the first step to make a positive impact on the places and people you visit during any trip. Responsible tourism is formed by all the travel stakeholders. That is why Inside Ethiopia Tours is working together with accommodation and transport suppliers and the local authorities to ensure fair economic, social and environment policies. We aim to protect Ethiopia from the impact that humans leave behind whenever they travel throughout our country. For further information, please check our policy on sustainability.
If you are looking for responsible travel experiences within Ethiopia, Inside Ethiopia Tours is working on providing sustainable package tours according to the following principles:
- Include accommodations that have in place sustainable practices such as fair contracts and work conditions in accordance with Ethiopian laws, rejection of sexual exploitation and child abuse or energy and waste reduction to minimise its footprint on environment
- Use the shuttles provided by hotels and share vehicles when available for airport pick-ups and drop-offs or city tours
- Provide tours using public transport with the assistance of one of our guides in order to ensure safety while offering a real Ethiopian experience
- Excursions or activities included in the tour package follow sustainable guidelines such as ensuring wildlife and flora preservation, low carbon footprint or avoiding child abuse or sexual exploitation practices
- Contribute to compensate the green house and carbon emissions by offering the possibility to carbon offsetting initiatives in Ethiopia
- At least 40% of the tour benefits go directly to the community or charities
Join Inside Ethiopia Tours on the sustainability path!
If you see our sustainability icon throughout our tour packages, it means there are sustainable practices in place and therefore you are being responsible by choosing this tour. One of our goals is to include more sustainable packages but we need your willingness to take part of a responsible travel. From our side, we are working with our stakeholders, specially our accommodation suppliers, to improve their internal management in terms of human resources and environment.
We want to keep growing as a sustainable tour operator and that is why we are happy to hear from you! What other sustainable practices would you like to see in Ethiopia?
Let’s unite to help the most precious thing we all have: our land and resources!