UTRECHT – At the Dutch tourism trade fair ‘Vakantiebeurs’, Mrs. Helena Rey, Tourism Programme Officer United Nations Environment Programme, awarded two companies with the Travelife Certificate for Tour operators & Travel agents.

During the ´Changes in Tourism´ event, organized by the Dutch travel association ANVR on environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility,  the Travelife Certificate for tour operators and travel agents was awarded to Dutch tour operator All for Nature Travel, and to Greek Destination Management Company TUI Hellas in Heraklion (Crete).

TUI Hellas in Heraklion is the first Greek travel company to be awarded with Travelife certification in recognition of its long-term efforts and frontrunner position regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Mr Spyros Kritikos, destination manager TUI Hellas Crete: “Responsible Leadership is one of TUI Group’s core values. It underlines our commitment to sustainable development and to making a positive impact on society. We at TUI Hellas here in Greece consider it both our duty and our pleasure to work on promoting the principles of sustainability in Greek tourism. We are really proud that our branch office in Crete is the first to be awarded with the Travelife certificate in Greece and we would like to express our appreciation to the experts of Travelife for their support to this achievement. TUI Hellas remains at the forefront of these efforts towards a future tourism development model based on the respect to local nature, culture and society, and we do hope that more businesses will follow.”

Dutch tour operator All for Nature Travel has been founded to contribute towards nature conservation and iconic wildlife by means of travel. Mrs. Annemiek van Gijn, founder All for Nature Travel: “We are very proud to receive the Travelife Certification for Tour Operators. Sustainability has been key from the beginning, and 30% of our gross margin is invested back into nature conservation. For the traveller this means a beautiful wildlife experience with the knowledge that the journey contributes to nature & wildlife protection.”

In Greece both trade associations SETE and HATTA collaborate with Travelife on the promotion of sustainable management among their members. Mrs Angeliki Rossolatou, sustainability coordinator for HATTA, commented: “Tthis certification can inspire all Greek tourism businesses to work in a more sustainable way and fully value -and help their clients to fully appreciate- our country’s cultural, natural and social treasures”.

Mr. Alexander Lamnidis, General Manager of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) stated: “The Travelife certified achievement proves that travel companies in Greece are on the right track concerning their sustainability strategies and compliance. We hope that more companies will soon reach this specific stage and improve the country’s status overall.”

The Travelife criteria for tour operators and travel agents contain all relevant topics for Corporate Social Responsibility, also because sustainable tourism is nothing other than enjoying a good holiday with respect for the environment, people, nature and culture.  Mrs Silvia Hendriks, Travelife Account manager Europe remarked: “With EU support, trade associations all over Europe have committed themselves to Travelife, which supports more sustainability throughout the sector. The certification of TUI Hellas Heraklion is a significant landmark in Greek tourism”.

Photo caption (from left to right): Mr. Spyros Kritikos, TUI Hellas Heraklion, Mrs. Helena Rey, UNEP and Mrs. Annemiek van Gijn, All for Nature Travel. – See more at: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/64198/first-travelife-certificate-for-tour#sthash.I3Lki95v.dpuf