London, 10 November 2016

Global Discovery, the DMC network covering sixty destinations worldwide, proudly announces that with new Travelife certifications and partnerships our network is taking the lead in making tourism more sustainable. Yesterday, at a ceremony at the World Travel Market in London, two more DMCs from our network received Travelife Certification: Khiri Travel Indonesia and Happy Trails Indonesia received the highest degree of certification. Orion Trek Voyages in Morocco received a Travelife Partnership. In Indonesia and Morocco these are the first DMCs to enter the Travelife program. Earlier our partner DMCs Abang Travel in South Africa, Khiri in Thailand and Vietnam were certified and our DMCs in Nepal, India, Malaysia and Cuba have started the program. Our partners in Latin America already joined local Sustainability programs. Sustainable tourism is a key value within our network and we aim at full certification for all our members in the next two years, either through Travelife or a local sustainable tourism program.

Travelife Certification is a program recognized by the GSTC and UNWTO as an international certification program of the highest standards. It also conforms to the ISO 14001 standard on environmental management. It is the most extensive program for the travel industry, including standards of energy efficiency and conservation, water and waste management, greenhouse gas emissions, labor practices, human rights, community relations, ecosystem conservation, cultural impacts, health and safety, fair business practices, customer protection and animal welfare.

Happy Trails CEO Gerald van Amerongen on this award:
“We are extremely proud to get the certification and hope many of our Indonesian colleagues will follow suit. Indonesia is such an unimaginably beautiful country with its thousands of islands, its amazing cultures and natural richness and yet, a lot is under threat. Business and especially travel business needs to take its social, environmental and cultural responsibility seriously to protect and promote the destination. This certification is just the beginning; we will proceed to persuade our key hotels and suppliers to take sustainability very seriously. Within our company we have always stressed the word ‘’Happy” in our name. We want all the stakeholders to be happy: our staff, our customers, the people we visit and the nature we enjoy. We will work hard to do our bit in a time when life on our beautiful planet is under threat in so many ways. We will soon proceed with our businesses in Malaysia and on Borneo to reach the highest level of Sustainable Tourism as well’’

‘’We have taken several very concrete measures, such as the switch away from plastic water bottles, saving as many as 100.000 a year and to compensate flight emissions for staff flights and soon for flights from all our customers as well, by donating the carbon offsets to a reforestation program in Kalimantan. Further internally, we have developed a ‘bike to work’ program in which all our employees encouraged to come to the office in a more sustainable way.”

For more information, please contact:
Graham Read (Sustainability Consultant for Global Discovery)
Guido Weers (Director of Communications)