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MAKING SRI LANKA INBOUND TOUR OPERATORS MORE RESPONSIBLE

PROJECT BACKGROUND:

There is a growing urgency for Sri Lankan tour operators and ground handlers to improve their environmental and social performance. The key reasons are:

  1. More and more travellers are seeking sustainable holiday products

  2. International tour operators and wholesalers in source markets are beginning to demand that Sri Lankan counterparts take responsibility in the destination and start addressing the impacts generated by their activities.

  3. Influential actors: Sri Lankan tour operators are a central link for both the supply and demand of Sri Lanka’s tourism. They are one of the most influential actors in the industry and have the ability to affect changes in behaviors and attitudes towards more responsible forms of tourism.

  4. A license to operate: It is a well-known fact that tourism creates both positive and negative economic, socio-economic and environmental impacts. With Sri Lanka’s tourism experiencing exponential growth its tourism assets (cultural and natural) are under considerable pressure. In order for Sri Lanka to ensure its long-term competitiveness and sustainability the industry must begin to address the impacts generated. Sustainability of a destination is the responsibility of all stakeholders – with tour operators playing a key role.

  5. Its makes good business sense! It has been proven that companies working towards sustainability score better on customer satisfaction, staff motivation and business efficiency with positive effects for their competitive advantage. Source: Travelife.  

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Recognising the urgency for Sri Lankan tour operators to respond and the challenge this poses – especially for those with limited resources be for tour operators, we have partnered with the Travelife who have developed an easy-to-use solution for monitoring and improving the performance of tour operators.

Travelife is a leading training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to reach sustainability. It is a fair and affordable system which helps tour operators and travel agencies to manage and improve social and environmental impacts by complying with sustainability criteria. Ultimately, when a company meets the requirements, it will receive a Travelife award.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

Ensure a significant percentage of Sri Lanka’s tour operators become Travelife accredited.

    1. To assist Sri Lankan tour operators address both the positive and negative impacts their business generates

    2. To assist Sri Lanka tour operators become more competitive internationally by being more sustainable

    3. To raise awareness of the importance of a more sustainable future for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

Download the TRAVELIFE CRITERIA FOR SRI LANKAN TOUR OPERATORS

PROJECT ACTIVITIES TO DATE:

  • 16th August 2016 RTP, Sri Lanka sign an MOU with Travelife, Europe

  • 15th September 2016 RTP conduct a workshop to modify the Travelife criteria and certification scheme to be applicable and relevant for Sri Lankan Tour Operators.

  • November 2016 – nine Sri Lankan Tour Operators are funded by CBI to commence work for participation in the Travelife scheme. In addition a further 33 Sri Lankan tour operators have registered to participate.

Project Period:  October 2016 - ongoing

PARTNERS:

  • Responsible Tourism Partnership, Sri Lanka

  • Travelife, Europe

  • Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), Netherlands

  • Sri Lanka Association of Tour Operators (SLATO)

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