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Sustainable Tourism

Who are we
ANVR is the only travel trade association in the Netherlands representing 180 tour operators and 1500 retail agencies. Collectively the members represent approximately 90% of the outbound package travel market. The aim of the ANVR is to combine the strength of its members in pursuit of their common social and economic interest, so that the organization can play a prominent national and international role as the representative of the Dutch travel industry.

What does sustainable tourism mean for us
The ANVR set up a policy that requires all his members to meet a minimum of sustainable practices through a number of established criteria. Through this pro-active and future-oriented policy the ANVR stimulates and motivates its members and supports the development of more sustainable tourism products and services to enhance the positive impacts wherever possible and to reduce the negative social, cultural and environmental impacts as much as possible

Download ANVR’s vision of the future of tourism 2025
Download Factsheet Carbon Management for Tour operators

What do we expect from our members
The following points are the fundamentals of the ANVR sustainability policy:

  1. Sustainable tourism management by tour operators and travel agents.
  2. Influencing policy of tour operators and travel agents
  3. Developing and offering (practical) tools for tour operators and travel agents (to implement more sustainable practices).
  4. Communication of Best Practices

At this moment all 180 member tour operators have appointed a sustainable tourism coordinator who has successfully concluded the online Travelife management training. All tour operators have now met the minimum requirements that have been set: to make an action plan and report on this to the DTO foundation, an independent foundation working on Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship.”

History and background on sustainable tourism
The ANVR was the first association in Europe to decide in 2003 to commit all its members to implement a basic environmental management system (called PMZ). The system gained interest from the British Federation of Tour Operators (nowadays part of ABTA). In 2004 they collectively started, with the support of the EU LIFE programme, to work on a common European system using all existing experiences, and this resulted in the “Travelife” approach. In June 2008, the ANVR board and members decided to go one step further and to make the implementation of a fully equipped management system for all members compulsory from 2010/11 onwards. All tour operators members had to report annually on their sustainability efforts based on pre-defined questions, in order to be able to benchmark members and measure progress. Minimum conditions, which will get stronger in time, will also be reset in 2013. In addition to the minimum requirements of tour operators an online sustainability training for approx. 300 head-offices of the retail agencies is now under development. It is planned to start the training in the last part of 2012.

Our Projects & Partners in sustainable tourism:
ABTA and ANVR are working together within various international sustainability initiatives such as INTOUR and IDH.

ABTA is the largest tourism related trade association in the UK, representing nearly 750 tour operators and over 4000 travel agency businesses. ABTA’s vision is to achieve confidence at the heart of travel; confidence for companies to trade and invest, confidence for customers to book and confidence that the industry is building a sustainable future. www.abta.com

CBI and ANVR working together on sustainability training for incoming tour operators in a number of developing countries. These incoming tour operators are important actors in the tourism supply chain for the ANVR tour operators at the destinations. They are the intermediary between the outbound tour operators and local accommodations and therefore have a key position in enhancing sustainable tourism. Therefore, we also work on capacity building activities of incoming tour operators. The objective is to increase the number of Travelife trained incoming tour operators. www.cbi.eu  

ECEAT - (European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism) promotes sustainable development by integrating tourism with biodiversity, environmental protection, local development, sustainable land use and the preservation of cultural heritage. ECEAT-Projects follow a business oriented approach through the development and implementation of standards, management systems, training tools and by providing marketing support. One of the projects ANVR working on is ECEAT’s Travelife training for tour operators and retail agencies www.travelife.eu 

IDH: IDH program is a partnership working on accelerating sustainable tourism. The aim is to develop a more sustainable tourism supply chain by creating a market pull in Europe on the one hand and certification of accommodations in six focus countries (Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, and Turkey) on the other hand. Partners of the “Accelerating Sustainable Tourism Initiative” are: IDH, ANVR, MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands), Travelife/Abta and CBI (Ministry of Dutch Foreign Affairs)

INTOUR: ANVR is one of the project partners in this ECO-Innovation initative supported by the EU. It links Travelife with EU Ecolabel and EMAS certification schemes in order to give credibility and direction to the efforts of accommodations, tour operators and travel agencies at improving their environmental & social performance. http://www.travelife.eu/index.php?id=1&mid=346  

Travelife: ANVR is represented in the steering and working groups of Travelife certification system for accommodation and Travelife working group of tour operators. www.travelife.org  

IDUT; ANVR is leading of the association of the association for sustainable tourism Initiatives outbound of the Netherlands and is focused on networking and knowledge sharing between various stakeholders related to the Dutch outbound tourism market. www.idut.nl  

ECPAT /The Code; ANVR signed the Code of Conduct (www.thecode.org) for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in April 2012.Consequently, the ANVR will take the necessary actions for successful implementation of the following four criteria as an integrated part of daily operations:

  • To establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children in the frame of the umbrella organization
  • To actively encourage the member companies to sign and implement the Code of Conduct themselves
  • To offer services to member companies to facilitate the implementation of the Code of Conduct as e.g. the provision of information material to member companies and to travellers or the organization of trainings for small member companies
  • To report annually.

ECTAA: ANVR actively participates in the various working and steering group of European Travel agents and Tour Operators Association (ECTAA) and is represented in, among others, the destination & sustainability groups. www.ectaa.org  

MVO Nederland ANVR is member of MVO Nederland(CSR Netherlands) and closely co-operates with MVO Nederland in the IDH project. MVO Nederland is the national knowledge centre and the national network organization for corporate social responsibility (CSR). MVO Netherlands’ objective is to make all entrepreneurs in the Netherlands look at CSR as the standard for business practice in the 21st century. The partner network of MVO Nederland now has more than 1900 companies, both SMEs, large companies and organizations. Each month about 50 new partners join the network. MVO Nederland shows them the market opportunities of CSR, facilitates mutual collaboration and gives practical advice on how to get a grip on CSR. Within the network of MVO Nederland professional associations, companies, NGOs, research institutions, education and other authorities work together to translate CSR directly into market opportunities. www.mvonederland.nl  

The Travel Foundation is an independent charity that operates internationally to support and encourage the travel industry to embrace sustainable tourism into core business practice. www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk  

TRAVELIFE SUSTAINABILITY SYSTEM
For a number of years, one initiative that has united ABTA, ANVR and ECEAT is the Travelife Sustainability System. The Travelife Sustainability System started through a European Commission funded project to look at developing common approaches to sustainability in tourism. Today, the System has become one of the largest and most widely used sustainable tourism initiatives in the world. The system works by helping hotels to understand how to improve their sustainability impacts and in doing so, how to reduce their costs through for example, saving energy and water or reducing waste. It also helps explain and assesses social sustainability elements, ensuring that hotels are providing working conditions that enable staff to flourish and in doing so, enhancing the customer experience. Hotels that work with the system can assess their current level of performance against the criteria and then undergo a third party audit. The top performers receive recognition of Travelife Gold, Silver or Bronze awards. These awards are then promoted directly by tour operators to their consumers in their brochures and on their websites. Currently, over 40 tour operators are now showcasing the Travelife awards in their marketing materials. For destinations, engagement with Travelife represents a significant opportunity to showcase sustainability credentials to the consumer. In promoting sustainability engagement with hotels in destination, the Travelife Sustainability System is helping to ensure that tourism has a positive impact on the destinations in which it takes place. www.travelife.org

UNEP GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP;
ANVR is member of UNEP Global Partnership which will support implementation of policy recommendations and lessons learned in integrating sustainability in tourism, and develop new tools and projects where no existing solution has been found. www.unep.org

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Check here if a travel company is affiliated with the ANVR. You will also find ANVR Business Partners that cannot use the ANVR logo, but participate in the ANVR Business Partner Program

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