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Sustainable Tourism

Who are we
ANVR is the travel trade association in the Netherlands representing approx. 230 tour operators and 1100 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 Factsheet Carbon Management for Tour operators
Download ANVR Better Holidays (Sustainable Tourism) Policies
Download CARMACAL Carbon calculator winner of UNWTO innovation award and WTTC innovation award 
 Watch the following subtitled Dutch documentary on overtourism and carbon footprint:



What do we expect from our members

The following points are the fundamentals of the ANVR sustainability policy:

  1. Sustainable tourism management by travel companies
  2. Influencing policy of travel companies
  3. Developing and offering (practical) tools for travel companies to integrate sustainability into management, supply chain and communications
  4. Communication of Best Practices

ANVR tour operators have appointed a sustainable tourism coordinator who has successfully concluded the online Travelife management training. All tour operators have to meet the minimum requirements that have been set as part of Travelife criteria. Tour operators have to indicate their compliance with ANVR'S sustainability requirements via an online self assessment. We stimulate members to have their sustainability performance independently verified by Travelife for travel companies approved by GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council). We motivate members to achieve Travelife Partner or Travelife Certified (highest international sustainability performance).

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 2011 onwards. All tour operators members had to report every two years on their sustainability efforts based on pre-defined questions, in order to be able to measure progress. Minimum conditions, which will get stronger in time, will also be reset in 2016. In addition to the minimum requirements of tour operators an online sustainability training for approx. 200 head-offices of the retail agencies has also been developed. 

Our Projects & Partners in sustainable tourism
ABTA and ANVR are working together within various international sustainability initiatives such as Travelife, animal welfare etc..

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. 

CARMATOP A frontrunners group of Dutch ANVR tour operators  participated in a project called Carbon Management for Tour operators project (CARMATOP). The aim was to develop and test knowledge about the carbon footprints of tour packages  and translate this into a simple application, a carbon calculator. This calculator allows tour operators to integrate carbon management into their daily operations. The calculator is being developed and could be used by other International tour operators. This proejct was a collaboration of tour operators, knowledge institutions, NGO's ICT company and travel trade association ANVR.

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.  

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. ANVR closely collaborate s ECEAT's Travelife training for tour operators and retail agencies 

ECPAT /The Code; ANVR signed the Code of Conduct ( 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.  

IDH: IDH tourism program had been a partnership working on accelerating sustainable tourism. The aim was 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.  

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

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.  

MVO Toerisme Netwerk (CSR Tourism Network)  ANVR is part of the steering group CSR Tourism network. This is focused on networking and knowledge sharing between various stakeholders related to the Dutch outbound tourism market.

Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism.

We are member and Board Member  of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism. This acts as an open network to support tourism businesses on their way to respect of human rights in tourism. This is according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The focus is on to strengthen travel companies to  work on human rights due diligence along the tourism supply chain.

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.  

ANVR support the use of Travelifeas a way to improve the sustainability performances of accomodations providers and tour oeprators and travel agents

Travelife  Tour Operators & Travel Agents
This part of the business works with travel organisations to help them improve the sustainability of their operations – from energy and water, to staff contracts and working with suppliers.

Travelife Hotels & Accommodations
This program is to help acommodation providers to become more sustainable and become Travelife certified. Travelife also works with tour operators to support and promote Travelife-awarded hotels

ANVR is represented in the steering and working groups of Travelife certification system for accommodation

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.

The ANVR has signed the private sector commitment of the Global code of Ethics in Tourism. See the article ​Private​​ Sector Signatories of The Commitment​ and the article Signing ceremonies of the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism on the site of UNWTO.

​For the full text of the commitment​ to the code please click here​.