Travelife sustainability awards handed out to four

Bhutanese tour operators

March 8, 2017, Berlin: During ITB 2017, Soren Stober, ABTA’s manager of the Travelife sustainability scheme, handed out the Travelife award to 4 companies from Bhutan. The Travelife Partner award was handed out to Windhorse, Bhutan Bhutan Travel, TLF Holidays and Swallow Trail. The awards are recognition for the long-term efforts and frontrunner position of these companies in sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The awarded companies comply with more than 100 criteria, related to operators’ office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. The Travelife standard is covering the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations; and is formally recognized as being in full compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

Windhorse, Bhutan Bhutan Travel and Swallow Trail are the first companies in Bhutan to have reached the Travelife Partner award.

Mr Naut Kusters, manager of Travelife for tour operators, “I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operators sector is obtaining momentum. The award of the front runner companies from Bhutan will inspire other companies to follow the same path”.

Travelife, which has been established with the support of international travel associations, is the leading international sustainability certification in the travel sector. More than 35 national travel associations are promoting the scheme to their members including ABTA, the British Travel Association and PATA, the Asian Pacific Travel Association. Since 2012, more than 600 companies, including 30 from Bhutan, have been trained in CSR with the support of the Dutch government CBI program. They are now working step-by-step towards more sustainable operations.

Travelife for Tour operators

Editor notes

Travelife for Tour operators and Travel agents

Naut Kusters, phone +31 6 48805 475

About Travelife (

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. Travelife has two key focuses:

Travelife for Tour operators and Travel agents:  the system provides online training and practical tools for sustainability management and certification. The training and online tools are suitable for tour operators and travel agencies of any size and cover all management aspects of the travel company business including office operations, the supply chain, destinations and consumers. Upon submitting a report in compliance with the Travelife standard the  company can obtain the “Travelife Partner” of  “Travelife Certified” status (based on an independent onsite audit).

The Travelife standard for Tour operators and Travel agencies is based upon the full Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including labour conditions, human rights, environment, biodiversity and fair business practices. The management requirements are compatible with EMAS and ISO 14001. The system is supported by more than 35 national travel associations to further its implementation among members.


Travelife for Hotels and Accommodations: the certification system helps hotels and accommodations manage their social and environmental impacts and communicate their achievements to customers. The system provides an online sustainability checklist, based on European and International standards, to enable property managers to check their performance, gain advice and monitor progress. Once subscribed, properties undergo a third party audit to conduct a full environmental and social audit of their property and if they fulfil the criteria, properties may achieve Travelife Gold or Platinum awards, which can be displayed in brochures and on websites. To date nearly 17,000 properties have registered with the Travelife for Hotel, 1.500 have completed a full third party audit and more than 900 properties have achieved a Travelife award. Travelife is the only certification scheme that works in partnership with some of the largest tour operators in the world as well as smaller independents, who all use Travelife to motivate their contracted hotels and accommodations towards more sustainability.