UK: Travalyst is launching an initiative to review sustainability certification bodies, which are displayed against available accommodation on its partner platforms.
The aim of the initiative is for Travalyst to be able to offer consistency to travellers trying to choose sustainable accommodation.
The not-for-profit organisation is a global coalition of some leading brands in travel and technology, with partners including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa.
Sustainable Hotel News asked Travalyst if it had worked together with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as its is a key player in the sector when it comes to alignment around certifications.
Travalyst explained that the certification initiative, like its accommodation framework, is developed in consultation with the GSTC to ensure alignment with industry standards.
“Travalyst maintains ongoing communication with industry organisations such as GSTC and WTTC to ensure alignment across the industry for initiatives like this one.”
The initiative has three criteria which will be validated by Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Group when reviewing a certification. This process will have to be completed before the certification can be displayed on Travalyst’s partner platforms.
- The certification process includes a third-party audit that includes on-site and/or online assessment of sustainable practices reported by the property;
- The standard upon which the certification is based is publicly available;
- The standard focuses on evaluating the impact of social and/or economic, and/or environmental factors, among others, as encompassed within, but not restricted, to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Polly Lomas, Travalyst’s head of strategy and impact, said: “People want to travel more sustainably and that all starts with having access to clear, consistent and credible information at scale. Creating a master list of certification bodies meeting the Travalyst criteria will help to improve the credibility of sustainability information in the accommodation sector, and credibility is key to driving trust.”
There are a plethora of sustainable hotel and destination certifications globally and the sector has long been trying to find a way to align and validate hotels and destinations, which have sustainable practices in place to achieve net zero – those aligned with the GSTC Criteria and the UN’s SDGs are held in particularly high regard. Check out our feature from last year below.