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The Travelife Certification Process & Certification Standards

How does a tour operator or agency become Travelife Certified?

Travelife makes it possible for tour operators and agencies to evaluate, prove and communicate their sustainability achievement by following a three-stage approach:

Stage 1: Travelife Engaged

In the first stage, the company commits itself to the programme and introduces the appropriate management procedures. An appointed Sustainability Coordinator obtains the personal Travelife certificate and elementary steps. Good practices are implemented. During this ‘engagement’ stage the company itself is not rewarded yet.

Stage 2: Travelife partner

This status enables the company to communicate its sustainability commitment and achievements with the support of the Travelife Partner logo. The company is now qualified to work step-by-step towards the final stage.  

Stage 3: Travelife Certified

In the third stage, the company’s compliance with the international Travelife Certified standard for travel companies will be evaluated by an independent auditor based on an on-site assessment. The requirements are stronger than the basic requirements of the Travelife Partner standard and are in line with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Industry Criteria and formally Recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Successfully completing the third stage will result in being awarded with the Travelife Certified status.

What does it mean when a tour operator is Travelife Certified?

Travelife Certified is the best and highest level of certification that a tour operator can reach globally.

Companies that have attained the Travelife Certified status are evaluated by an independent auditor based on an on-site assessment.

The requirements are stronger than the basic requirements of the Travelife Partner standard and are in line with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Industry Criteria.

What does it mean when an accommodation is Travelife Gold certified?

The Gold certification is awarded to hotels and accommodations that successfully comply with the Travelife sustainability standard.

For a Travelife Gold hotel or accommodation to maintain their certification, they must be audited every two years. Audits are undertaken on a rolling basis, depending upon when the hotel was first audited.

In which countries does Travelife operate?

Travelife operates in Africa, Asia, Central and Southern America and Europe, but not all countries have implemented their certification scheme yet. It is also the only global certification scheme available in Africa.

You can find a list of Travelife Certified or Travelife Partner tour operators/agencies around the world by clicking the following link:

https://www.travelife.info/index_new.php?menu=certifiedcompanies&lang=en

You can also find a list of Travelife certified hotels around the world by clicking the following link:

http://www.travelifecollection.com/

Why do you not make Travelife Certification mandatory for all your suppliers?

At the moment, while responsible and sustainable tourism certifications are still a relatively new (yet fast growing) niche in tourism, only few tour operators in developing regions around the world have managed to reach the Travelife Certified status; and many countries do not yet have any certified tour operators at all.

In order to not exclude such destinations completely from our offering simply due to lack of certification initiatives, we currently also promote Travelife Partner and TourCert Check verified tour operators. In the future, when certifications become more prevalent, and once tour operators globally have had a chance to meet global standards, we may require certification for all our partner companies.

Yana Pannecoucke
About the author

Yana is our Sustainable Travel Advisor. As Belgian semi-nomadic adventurer with a passion for travel and sustainability, Yana worked in development aid and research on sustainable tourism across continents. She has lived in Kenya, visited Kilimanjaro, climbed Mount Kenya, saw the mountain gorillas in Uganda and went on multiple hikes and safaris all over East Africa.

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