Operator members of ABTA are being offered a tool which allows them to measure the sustainability of the accommodation they are selling.

The Travelife Sustainability System, which is part of the Federation of Tour Operators Sustainability Handbook, offers guidelines which allows both tour operators and their suppliers to fill out an online checking process and grade accommodation bronze, silver and gold.

The system  is an initiative that the FTO  has developed with funding from the European Commission with the input of about 60 different organisations from around the world.

ABTA head of development Andy Cooper said: “There is a huge degree of confusion and misunderstanding about sustainable and responsible tourism.

“We hope that by providing a simple tool we will be able to help our members and suppliers find a simple path to address all their sustainability needs.”

Head of responsible tourism of FTO Chris Thompson, who developed the system,  said: “This is not another ‘eco-label’ or ‘environmental management certificate’ it is a sustainability recognition scheme that enables businesses to actively promote their environmental and general sustainability efforts to as wide an audience as possible.”

More news from the ABTA Convention 2008.