Certification caps company's 12-year commitment and confirms its leadership on sustainability
MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat, one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, is now Travelife Certified. This marks the first time that this international certification has been awarded to a major international tour operator for the full range of its activities. This recognition underscores Transat's longstanding efforts and leadership in sustainable development.
"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."
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.
"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.
"This certification is the result of the hard work and shared commitment of Transat personnel and of our tourism partners," noted Christophe Hennebelle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Public Affairs, Transat. "We thank our teams and our shareholders for their unwavering support. They can be very proud of this achievement."
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.
Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel. It offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to some 60 destinations in 26 countries in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 12 years and has been Travelife Certified since October 2018 (TSX: TRZ).
About Travelife for Tour operators
Travelife for Tour operators is a management, training and certification system dedicated to achieving sustainable practices within the tourism industry. Officially Accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, it provides companies with best practice sustainability goals, tools and solutions to implement positive change within their businesses and supply chains. Travelife for Tour operators is managed by ECEAT, a not-for-profit organization based in The Netherlands. Travelife for Accommmodations is managed by ABTA, The British travel association. www.travelife.org.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainability standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world's natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC's role as the global Accreditation Body for Certification Programs that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral organization, that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO's, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.
Media: Odette Trottier, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Office: 514 908-8891, Odette.Trottier@transat.com