Committed to sustainable tourism

Thailand September 05, 2017 13:01

By The Nation

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Sens Asia Travel, a leading provider of private tours and small group holidays to top Asian destinations, has deepened its commitment to conscientious travel by officially joining global sustainable tourism organisation Travelife.

Founded in 2007 by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the UK Travel Association and the Dutch ANVR Travel Association, Travelife is a training, management and certification scheme dedicated to achieving sustainable practices within the tourism industry. The system provides companies with “realistic sustainability goals, tools and solutions to implement positive change within their businesses and supply chains”.

Travelife requires its partners to comply with ISO 14001 standards, the full set of ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility guidelines and the OECD ethical business standards. The Travelife standard is formally recognised as in compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. Travelife for tour operators is supported by PATA, which promotes the scheme among its tour operator members.

“It is critically important for any new business, such as ours, to lay the right foundation from the start as it allows a culture of sustainability to become deeply embedded operationally,” said Sens Asia Travel managing director Linh Bui. “This is the reason we have partnered with Travelife so that we can maintain and follow internationally-recognised sustainable travel practices and operate responsibly at all times.”

Sens Asia work closely with local communities and the surrounding ecosystem, taking it upon themselves to support and take part in a number of ongoing environmental initiatives in Southeast Asia. These include the recent “Save the Langur” campaign on Cat Ba Island in Vietnam, “Action for a Green Halong 2017” with Bhaya Group and IUCN, and numerous tree planting initiatives throughout the region.

Sens Asia trips also directly support experiences at places such as KOTO (Know One, Teach One) restaurant in Vietnam, a non-profit organisation giving at-risk and disadvantaged youth the possibility to learn and thrive, the PHARE circuit which provides free vocational art training programme for street kids, and Seeing Hand Massage, which trains blind massage therapists in Siem Reap.

The Travelife certification process represents a serious undertaking for travel businesses, with strict criteria required to reach partner status.

“We would like to show travellers that we are truly dedicated to an environmentally sustainable tourism model,” added Linh Bui. “We will be working tirelessly to achieve Travelife Certified status and continue to create experiences throughout Asia that secure a brighter, greener future for the region.”

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