Transat is now Travelife Certified, marking the first time that this international certification has been awarded to a major international tour operator for the full range of its activities.
To hold and maintain Travelife Certified status, a world-leading certification for tourism companies, Transat must comply with more than 200 criteria covering its workplace practices, product range, business partners, and customers. Travelife certification is Accredited by the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and also complies with the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility Standard, which puts forward guidelines on environment, human rights, and labour relations.
“Twelve years ago, we began a structured approach aimed at becoming a model of sustainable tourism,” said Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “In the process, we strengthened our environmental management and our social engagement, including toward children, trained our teams on the importance of sustainable development, retooled our operations to better address customers’ concerns, and urged our partners to implement sustainability practices. Today, we are very proud to receive the Travelife Certified attestation, recognizing best practices in responsible tourism across all of our tour operator and travel agency activities, which were painstakingly reviewed to secure certification.”
“We will now work steadfastly to pursue the continuous-improvement processes required to maintain this certification and become a company that shows ever-increasing respect for the principles of sustainable development. Like our customers and partners, we care about these issues that are so crucial to the future of our industry and the planet,” Ms. Guérard added.
“Our government recognizes the importance of tourism, an economic driver that supports close to 1.8 million good jobs from coast to coast to coast. The tourism industry is growing in Canada and around the world, and we want to make sure Canadians benefit from that. We applaud Transat’s leadership in sustainable tourism as demonstrated by the company receiving certification that recognizes its commitment to the environment, communities and sustainable tourism development. Congratulations!” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.
“I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operators sector is obtaining momentum,” said Kathleen Pessolano, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the GSTC. “Transat’s certification will surely inspire other companies in Canada and North America to adopt GSTC Criteria for Tour Operators.”
Transat has been committed to sustainable development since 2006, with multiple initiatives in environmental stewardship and heritage protection, efforts to thwart child-sex tourism, and collaborations with communities, which are described on its microsite resp.transat.com. It has also established policies recognizing and highlighting sustainability certifications by its hotelier partners, adopted a code of conduct for tourism service providers, and created volunteering and humanitarian leave programs for its employees.
In conjunction with the certification award, Transat is now following a new Action Plan (2018–2020)aimed at influencing tourism providers as well as raising awareness among employees and customers alike of innovative sustainable development and responsible tourism practices.