People

The people part of the Travelife Standard relates to all of the people your business employs or engages with.  This includes staff, sub-contractors, guests, members of your community, suppliers and other stakeholders.

E-learning

These online courses are free for all Travelife Members.  They are designed to be short and to give more information about Travelife sustainability requirements that will help you prepare for your audit, or simply to increase your general knowledge of sustainability.

View available courses

Community integration and support

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
105 + 106 + 107 + 108 +113 + 114 + 115
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
123 + 124 + 125 + 126 + 131 + 132 + 133 + 135 + 136
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
134 + 135 + 136 + 137 + 141 + 142 + 144 + 145 + 146 +  148 + 149
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
134 + 135 + 136 + 137 + 141 + 142 + 144 + 145 + 146 +  148 + 149
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Ensuring that your business is actively protecting local culture and heritage is very important both for ensuring good relations with people in your community and that tourism is having a positive impact on them. This is also an important issue for many guests around the world who want to know that their trips are helping, not harming, people in the destinations they visit. Many Travelife Members say this is also important to their staff.

Objectives

  • To ensure you speak to the right people to find out what issues are of concern to people in your area
  • To protect and, where appropriate, promote cultural heritage including art, food, language, customs and history
  • To make sure your guests understand how to respect and protect local culture and heritage

Travelife is looking to ensure that the following core areas are being covered:

Access to important resources, services and sources of employment are not restricted by business operations

The business takes steps to protect vulnerable people in their community from discrimination and exploitation

The business respects and protects cultural heritage, natural resources and biodiversity in their destination

The business supports local businesses and demonstrates a commitment to economic development in their community

The business is actively participating in important community issues that are related to their business and consults with relevant community groups on any developments they wish to undertake along with general tourism issues that their business may contribute to.

Travelife looks for evidence that businesses have policies and procedures in place to ensure they are supporting their community.

Child safeguarding: Travelife insists that all properties have a policy in place that shows their commitment to safeguarding children and that they have trained their staff how to identify and report suspected instances of child abuse and exploitation. This must cover children who are guests at their property, children they employ and children in their local area. This covers child prostitution, human trafficking, child abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Free access: The operations, policies and procedures of an accommodation provider must not restrict access to important resources such as clean water, education, employment, healthcare, shopping for provisions or any other activity that local people rely on (e.g. fishing). They must also not restrict access to any services they offer to people outside their hotel. For example, if a restaurant accepts reservations or walk-in diners from other hotels, it cannot deny reservations to locals. Finally, the business cannot restrict access to any area or right of way that was previously publicly available. For example, making part of a public beach private or removing a public accessway to a beach.

Indigenous people: It is important to protect indigenous cultures by supporting them. This involves things like consulting with indigenous groups about how they would like their culture represented (and perhaps promoted) to hotel guests. For example, using their art, language, food or entertainment. It also involves protecting their intellectual property by not appropriating their food, language, art or any other aspect of their culture for commercial gain without their permission. Finally, businesses must ensure that guests are educated about how to interact with indigenous people in a respectful manner. Businesses must respect the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Legislation and licensing: Businesses must be able to show that they have complied with all applicable laws and obtained all necessary licences for things like construction, renovation and sourcing natural resources such as water or firewood.

Sharing services: If a hotel operates the only essential service in their destination, they must take steps to provide access to local people. For example, if a hotel is in a remote location with no medical services yet operates a clinic for their staff, they must take steps to ensure the clinic is also available to locals.

Transparency:  A key part of building good community relations is being transparent with local community members. This involves things like publishing sustainability polices and reports in the local language/s on the company website.

Remedy: If in the past the business did something that prevented access to an essential service or resource, or in some other way damaged the local economy or environment, then they must look for ways to remedy this, preferably in consultation with relevant community groups.

Much of the terminology used in this lesson is self-explanatory, however, the community integration part of the Travelife Standard often creates some confusion with Members, so we have tried to clarify some of the terminology below.

Community integration: This effectively describes how connected a property is to their local community versus a company that largely hires staff from outside the area and is not really aware of local issues, or just doesn’t care about them. Community integration combines both of the following two areas.

Community support: This is about supporting the local community with economic development, preservation of the local culture and way of life (including indigenous people) and ensuring that the impacts of the property are more positive than negative.

Community engagement: This relates to a property becoming an active participant in the community. It means taking a proactive approach to community issues by attending meetings, supporting local charities and by being transparent with the community about business operations.

GUIDES

Detailed guide: Community integration and support English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human rights English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Sustainable procurement

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
29 + 33 + 57 + 64 + 118 + 119 + 120
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
41 + 45 + 70 + 77 + 139 + 140 + 141
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçee

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
44 + 48 + 75 + 83 + 152 + 153 + 154
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
44 + 48 + 75 + 83 + 152 + 153 + 154
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

One of the most effective ways to improve your environmental impact is to include sustainability in your procurement and purchasing procedures.  This can help you prevent things that are harmful to the environment, such as hazardous chemicals or plastic straws, ever reaching your property in the first place.  This immediately eliminates the need for you to worry about how to properly manage and dispose of them.   

GUIDES

Quick guide: Community engagement policy English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Community integration and support English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Detailed guide: Sustainable procurement (includes buying local) English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe

Your guests

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
27 + 47 + 60 + 81 + 112 + 122 + 123 - 126 + 127
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
39 + 59 + 73 + 96 + 130 + 134 + 143 + 144 - 147 + 148 + 150
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
41 + 62 + 79 +104 + 143 +147 + 156 + 157 - 160 + 161 + 163
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
41 + 62 + 79 +104 + 143 +147 + 156 + 157 - 160 + 161 + 163
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

The core purpose of this part of the Travelife Standard is ensuring that guests know about a property’s sustainability work and have the opportunity to contribute.

Travelife is looking to ensure that the following core areas are being covered:

Guests are made aware of the property’s sustainability efforts and achievements

Guest are given opportunities to support and engage with sustainability initiatives

Guests are encouraged to protect and respect cultural heritage, natural resources and biodiversity at the destination

Travelife looks for evidence that businesses have procedures in place so that guests are both aware of and support their sustainability efforts. Businesses must not simply rely upon experienced and skilled customer facing staff to provide information. Guests should be able to access the information without necessarily having to interact with a staff member.

Travelife: All properties must display their current Travelife certificate in a public area of the property so that guests begin to recognise the brand and general awareness of sustainability and certification is raised.

Supporting local business: Guests should be encouraged to visit shops, restaurants and so on that are outside the property so that local businesses have the opportunity to maximise on tourist spend in the destination.

Respecting local people: Guests should be given information on how to interact with local people so that these interactions are a positive experience for all involved. This could include how to dress, how to be respectful of culturally significant sites and so on. In some destinations this might cover things like avoiding noisy parties after a certain time and reminders to drink alcohol responsibly.

Protecting vulnerable people: Guests should be discouraged from things like orphanage visits and informed about how to interact with vulnerable people in the destination such as the homeless.

Protecting biodiversity and natural resources: This could be as simple as reminding guests not to litter but some properties may have more complex considerations such as not feeding or touching animals, ways to protect a coral reef or nesting turtles and so on. It could also include information on how to minimise impacts on places like national parks and reserves.

Direct engagement: Guests should be offered ways to directly participate in sustainability initiatives such as invitations to join beach cleans or to make donations to local charities.

Congestion and pollution: If safe public transport options are available, then guests should be given information about how to use these in order to reduce air pollution, emissions and congestion from individual journeys by vehicle. This can also be a way of encouraging guests to experience the destination and culture outside the property.

GUIDES

Detailed guide: Community integration and support English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Detailed guide: Human rights English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Safeguarding children

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
109 - 111
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
127 - 129
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
138 - 140
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
138 - 140
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

As an accommodation provider, you are in a unique position to help identify, prevent and report instances of child exploitation and abuse.  Saving just one child is important, but if the entire accommodation sector took a proactive approach to safeguarding children then our industry could have a major impact on improving the lives of millions of children around the world.

GUIDES

Quick guide: Child safeguarding policy English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Safeguarding children English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human rights English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Fair labour practices

TRAVELIFE CHECKLIST CRITERIA

Criteria numbers in bold are not mandatory for your first Travelife audit.

MICRO
(1 to 30 guests)
82 - 95 + 97 - 99 + 100 + 102 - 104
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

SMALL
(31 to 160 guests)
97 - 110 + 111 + 112 - 114 + 115 + 116 + 117 + 118 + 119 - 122
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEDIUM & LARGE
(161 to 1,000 guests)
105 - 118 + 119 + 120 + 121 + 122 - 124 + 125 + 126 + 127 + 128 + 129 + 130 - 133
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

MEGA
(1,000+ guests)
105 - 118 + 119 + 120 + 121 + 122 - 124 + 125 + 126 + 127 + 128 + 129 + 130 - 133
View checklist: English Español Ελληνικά Türkçe

Purpose

Responsible businesses treat all people fairly, especially their staff, something that a business is almost always rewarded for in terms of employee loyalty and increased guest satisfaction.

Objectives

  • To ensure you are complying with all labour laws and regulations
  • To make sure your employees have written terms of employment that they freely agree to
  • To avoid discrimination, harassment, abuse and exploitation
  • To make sure your staff can raise issues and concerns with management without fear of retaliation
  • To ensure that disciplinary procedures are consistent and fair

Travelife is looking to ensure that the following core areas are being covered:

  • Labour practices are fair, legal and transparent
  • People are protected from discrimination and exploitation
  • The business operates in accordance with the principles set out in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Travelife looks for evidence that businesses are following (or have plans to follow) the key principles of upholding and protecting both human rights and fair labour practices.

Discrimination: Employees must not be discriminated against and the business must follow the same principles with respect to suppliers and customers. Businesses must not discriminate due to age, nationality, ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation or religious/spiritual beliefs. Differences in salary, standard of staff accommodation, general working conditions, promotion and development opportunities must only relate to employment level, skill and experience.

Freedom: Employees must enter and leave their job of their own free will. This means that there is no evidence of bonded labour such as making people pay their own recruitment fees, withholding passports and other important personal documents, making people pay deposits they have to work off or refusing to give back personal property or earned wages when people wish to leave. These issues are surprisingly common in many popular tourist destinations, including ones with strict laws to protect people from bonded labour.

Languages: One common issue is ensuring staff employment documents are in languages that all staff can understand, or that arrangements are made for someone who is fluent in both languages to verbally interpret these for them.  For example, it is not reasonable for someone who does not read Spanish to accept terms of employment that are only provided to them in Spanish.

Making representation: Staff must be allowed to join unions, form associations (with elected representatives) and provide feedback to management without retaliation. Time must reasonably be made available during working hours for these activities. They must be told when they join the company how they can approach senior management about employment issues. There should be a written procedure in place that explains how grievances should be handled by both the employer and employee.

Record keeping: Employment records that include proof of age, hours worked, wages paid and so forth, must be kept. Staff must be given copies of documents detailing their wages and hours worked, such as pay slips.

Transparent and balanced disciplinary practices: There must be a disciplinary procedure in place that is easily accessible for staff to read. It should explain what kind of offences will result in disciplinary proceedings, what those will be and ensure that the consequences are reasonable in line with the infraction. For example, being late to work should have lighter consequences than stealing. It should also ensure that infractions that impede on the rights of others are taken seriously, for example, sexual assault or racial abuse should carry harsher consequences than wearing a uniform incorrectly.

Protection of children: If children under the age of 18 are employed (voluntary, contracted or otherwise), then special conditions should be made to ensure their health, education and general well-being is protected in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Written employment terms and conditions: It is fundamentally important that all staff have read, understood and agreed to a set of written employment terms and conditions. At a minimum these must cover their wages, hours and time off.

Working hours and wages: Local laws or international best practice must be followed in terms of minimum and maximum working hours, breaks and regular time off. Staff must be paid at least the minimum wage for all time worked. Overtime must be handled in accordance with the law (or international best practice) and with the agreement of the staff member so that it is either paid or taken off in lieu.

Much of the terminology used in this lesson is self-explanatory, however, there are some terms that are fairly unique to the United Kingdom, even though they are used in practice around the world under different names, so we have explained them here.

Disciplinary procedure: This is a written document that describes what actions could result in an employee being disciplined and what that discipline (the consequences) will be. This is so both employees and employers understand their rights and obligations when it comes to breaking company rules or policies. Typically, they are broken into misconduct that is minor (e.g. being late for your shift), serious (e.g. using coarse language) and gross (e.g. sexual assault). The consequences must never involve physical punishment or confinement, but should instead relate to things like verbal warnings, written warnings and instant dismissal. Disciplinary procedures can be stand-alone documents, contained in employment terms and conditions, or a general employment policy. Sometimes they are in all three places.

Grievance procedure: These are written procedures that explain to staff how they can raise a complaint if they think they have been treated unfairly or experienced an abuse of their human rights whilst working at their place of employment. They should explain the hierarchy that should be followed when raising a grievance, paying particular attention to what happens if the grievance is with their immediate supervisor. They should protect staff from retaliation of any kind. Staff must have these explained to them when they first join and they must be easily available for employees to review in languages they understand. For example, a poster in a break room.

Making complaints and giving feedback about employment terms: This is not necessarily the same as a grievance, which is typically of a personal nature. Complaints about employment terms could be things like wages, hours, breaks or uniforms. Feedback might be suggestions about how to improve working conditions, staff loyalty or productivity. It is essential that all staff can give feedback either in person or anonymously without fear of retaliation. It is also essential that staff can join together in associations or committees with elected representatives to either make complaints or suggestions about working conditions without retaliation.  There should be ways for them to do both of these within their normal working hours. E.g. if staff form a committee then reasonable paid time should be set aside on a regular basis for them to meet at the place of business during working hours.

GUIDES

EXAMPLES

Detailed Guide:  Fair labour practices English | EspañolΕλληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Disciplinary procedures English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Grievance procedures English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Quick guide: Avoiding discrimination English | Español | Ελληνικά | Türkçe

Detailed guide: Human rights English | Español | ΕλληνικάTürkçe

Example: Telling staff how to give you feedback English | EspañolΕλληνικάTürkçe