Thomas Cook has become the first tour operator to place all of its global tour operating business in the Travelife Sustainability System offered to the UK travel trade by Abta.
Andy Cooper, Thomas Cook director of government and external affairs, said: “Thomas Cook’s commitment to sustainability is serious and long-term and we wanted a scheme that would not only be consistent across all our hotels worldwide but offer our customers an easy way to select hotels that excel in these areas.
“We have hotel groups with properties in many different countries supplying our various markets, so it makes sense that we all use one, credible system that will drive up sustainability performance.”
Chris Thompson, Travelife manager, added: “This is a massive step forward for Travelife which, as a recognition scheme, has been steadily building over the past few years.
“Thomas Cook’s commitment to Travelife across its group means that tens of thousands of hotels will now have an incentive to join the scheme which will help them improve and market their sustainability practices.”
Travelife allows hotels and accommodation providers to rate their sustainability practices based on a bronze, silver and gold rating of achievement.
Hotels are assessed against a range of sustainability issues such as waste and energy management to preventing forced labour and discrimination to supporting local businesses.
The awards are used to promote the commitment to sustainability in brochures and other forms of holiday marketing materials.
The Thomas Cook Group takes approximately 23 million customers away each year on holidays in destinations across the globe.
The group will use the Travelife Sustainability System as the preferred way of not only managing their supply chain but providing customers with a way of being able to recognise those hotels that actively protect and support their local environments and communities.
The UK was the first market within The Thomas Cook Group to subscribe to Travelife back in 2004, and in 2010 over a million of its customers stayed in properties that have been audited against the Travelife criteria.
The Group is now working proactively to engage all of its markets fully with the scheme and looks forward to seeing both the recognition for the hotels who participate and the benefits to their environments they operate in.