The sustainability management part of the Travelife Standard relates to the policies, business documents and resources you need to have in place in order to ensure that operating responsibly is integrated into the day-to-day aspects of your business operations.

Some of these are not required for your first Travelife audit so we have marked those clearly in bold text. All other Members will need to comply with all of the following requirements: -

Do you have a written policy that describe how you reduce, minimise and manage your impact on the environment?

Do you have a written policy that describes how you make sure that you have good working conditions for your employees and how you protect human rights?

Do you have a written policy that describe how you engage with local people and local businesses to support the economy and community, and how you protect local traditions?

Do you have a written policy that describes your quality assurance procedures?

Do you have a written Health and Safety policies?

Do these policy documents apply to all parts of your business and business activities?

Are these policy documents, or relevant parts of them, available in staff areas?

Are these policy documents, or relevant parts of them, available in guest areas?

Are these policy documents also available for the general public via your website? (Not required for your first audit)

Objective

Create a written document that describes your commitment to supporting your local community. This policy will be available publicly and will describe the steps you will take to support and safeguard the community.

This should be one paragraph.  It should show your understanding of the importance of the community to your business and summarise your commitment to operating your business in a way that respects, supports and protects the local economy, people and their way of life.  This can be a separate policy or included as a statement in your general sustainability policy.

For each of the areas listed below, decide the best ways that your business can support the community that are relevant to both the size and resources of your business and the conditions in your destination:

Supporting the local economy

Respecting and protecting local culture, traditions and way of life

Supporting initiatives that improve the community

Supporting and protecting access to essential resources and services

Write these down as your community engagement and support objectives.  Include them in your community engagement policy or add them to your general sustainability policy.

Your objectives should be transferred to a plan and assigned to specific staff or teams to implement.

Each time you write you internal sustainability report, you should write down what progress has been made against each of your objectives, decide if any of them need to change and make recommendations to senior management about these changes or for new objectives.

Each time you write your external sustainability report, you should include a summary of the progress you made against at least one or two of your community engagement objectives.

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español

Objective

Create a written document that describes your commitment to manage the environmental impact of your business operations and the steps you will take to reduce and minimise your impact.  This policy will be available publicly.

This should be one paragraph.  It should show your understanding of the importance of protecting the environment and that you are committed to reducing, managing and minimising the environmental impact of your operations.

Set goals that you are willing to publicly commit to.  These should be specific, measurable, achievable and you should have at least one goal for each of the following areas:

Reducing carbon emissions (energy use)

Waste

Water

Pollution

Conservation

Summarise the processes you will put in place to ensure you achieve each goal.  These should be specific and measurable because you will need to report on them in both your internal and external sustainability reports each year.

It is important that you can show your senior management support the policy. This should be done through a statement within the policy and by including physical signatures.

The policy should be available in all of the following languages:

The local language/s

The languages your staff speak

The languages most of your guests speak

The policy should be available in all of the following places:

Staff areas such as a break room or canteens

Guest areas (either in rooms or another central guest area)

Your website or The Travelife Collection Website

Examples

Environmental policy English | Español

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español | Ελληνικά

Objective

Create a written document that describes your commitment to respecting and protecting human rights and fair labour practices. This policy will be available publicly and will describe the steps you will take to meet your commitment.

This should be one paragraph.  It should show your understanding of the importance of respecting and protecting human rights, and of fair labour conditions.  This can be a separate policy or included as a statement in your general sustainability policy.

Summarise the steps you will take to ensure your business is respecting and protecting human rights and fair labour practices.  This should cover the following areas of your business:

Recruitment

Employment terms and condition

General working conditions

Your guests

Your community

Your suppliers and sub-contractors

The steps you will take should cover each of the areas below and you should ensure that they are relevant to both the size and resources of your business and the conditions in your destination.

Equality

Freedom

Living standards

Access to essential services

Supporting human rights

Respecting everyone’s right to their own privacy, beliefs and identity

Respecting the rights of indigenous people* (if this applies to your destination)

Safeguarding children*

*You may decide to include these in separate dedicated policies and note that even adults-only properties must have a child safeguarding policy to address children in their destination. View our child safeguarding policy guide English | Español).

Write these down as your human rights and labour objectives.  Include them in your human rights and labour policy or add them to your general sustainability policy.

Your objectives should be transferred to a plan and assigned to specific staff or teams to implement.

Include the progress that has been made against each of your objectives in your internal sustainability report.

The policy should be available in all of the following languages:

The local language/s

The languages your staff speak

The languages most of your guests speak

The policy should be available in all of the following places:

Staff areas such as a break room or canteens

Guest areas (either in rooms or another central guest area)

Your website or The Travelife Collection Website

Related Guides

Child safeguarding policy English | Español

Child safeguarding (detailed guide) English | Español

Human rights English | Español

Fair Labour Practices English | Español

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español

Objective

Create a written document that describes your commitment to providing the highest standards of quality and seeking feedback from guests and staff.  This policy will be available publicly and will describe how you maintain quality and how you will collect that feedback and use it to improve your business.

This should be one paragraph.  It should show your understanding of the importance of maintaining standards of quality and collecting feedback as a way of ensuring quality in your business and your commitment to regularly seeking feedback and using it to improve your business.

Give details of what you do generally to make sure that you provide high quality standards (your quality management system).

Decide how you will collect guest feedback, how often it will be analysed and who will analyse it. What actions are you likely to take as a result? Write a summary of this process in your policy.

Decide how you will collect staff feedback, how often it will be analysed and who will analyse it. What actions are you likely to take as a result? Write a summary of this process in your policy.  This part of your policy must be available to staff but does not need to be available to guests or the public.

You need to be able to show that you have implemented the processes you described.  This could include things like creating guest feedback cards to go in rooms and putting a suggestions box in a staff area such as a canteen or break room. If you operate a recognisable quality management system you should display your certification in a public area and in your promotional materials.

You should regularly collect the feedback and summarise the results in a document.  If the feedback suggests you need to make changes or improvements, then these should be written as recommendations for senior management.

The results from the work completed in Step 5 should be included in each of your internal reports so that senior management see the feedback and can take action based on the recommendations.

MORE INFORMATION

Related Guides

Guest Feedback Guide English | Español

Templates

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Examples

Quality assurance policy English | Español

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Telling guests how to give you feedback English | Español

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español

There are many different opportunities for you to collect feedback from your guests.

Written Feedback

Comment cards  |  Printed surveys  |  Online surveys  |  Online reviews  |  Social media  |  Letters  |  E-mails

Verbal Feedback

Asking in person  |  A complaint made in person  |  Praise given in person  |  On the telephone

Businesses that report high levels of customer satisfaction use a variety of these methods to monitor how people feel about the facilities and service that they offer.  Here are some examples that an accommodation provider could use:

Comment Cards or Paper Surveys (guests complete by hand)

These should be well presented and printed on card or paper.

They are more likely to be completed if they are in the languages most commonly spoken by your guests.

It is important that guests can complete these quickly and easily so do not have lots of questions or require them to write a long answer. Things like multiple-choice answers or ratings on a scale work best.

Ask about things that are really important to guests: cleanliness, quality of food, that everything works properly, and customer service.

You can also use the surveys to collect information for sales and marketing, such as ‘how did you hear about us?’

Include at least one question that helps you monitor your overall performance. For example, ‘Would you stay with us again?’ or ‘How likely would you be to recommend us to a friend?’

People are more likely to complete a survey if it is anonymous.

You should make it very easy for guests to discreetly hand in their completed survey so include something that clearly explains what they should do with it when it is completed. g.  leave it in their room, hand it to a staff member, put it in the guest feedback box at reception.

Electronic/Online Surveys

Smaller hotels and independent properties will find that there are many free or low-cost systems available that enable you to easily create online surveys. For example, if you have a Gmail account you can create surveys for free using Google Forms.

These can be e-mailed to guests after they check in, access the hotel WiFi and/or when they check out.

If you offer an online check-out facility, you should include the option to complete the survey at the same time.

Follow the same guidelines described above under ‘Comment Cards or Paper Surveys’ in terms of the types of questions you ask and keep the survey as simple and useful as possible.

Verbal Feedback

There are many opportunities for you to seek feedback informally when your staff interact with guests, and guests may wish to make complaints in person.  Here are some guidelines about verbal feedback:

It should be easy for guests to provide you with verbal feedback at any time during or after their stay.

Information in guests’ rooms should include a phone number they can call to give feedback and invite them to speak with any member of staff.

Ensure that staff are trained to ask guests for feedback. g. waiting staff can ask if everything is okay with a meal a few minutes after it has been served.  Reception staff can ask if everything went smoothly with an airport transfer when they check in and how guests enjoyed their stay when they are checking out.

Put a clear written procedure in place so that all staff understand how to handle any positive or negative feedback they receive either in person or by telephone. This should include how to respond to the guest and how they should report the feedback.  Staff must understand what power they have to personally rectify a complaint and when they need to find a more senior member of staff.

Front-line staff should have regular training on how to ask for and receive feedback from guests.

Positive and negative verbal feedback should be recorded so that it can be included in your internal sustainability report along with any recommended changes for senior management to review on a regular basis. Some hotels use a mobile app like WhatsApp for this.

Written Feedback

Guests may prefer to send you a letter or e-mail with positive or negative feedback.  Here are some guidelines for handling written feedback:

It should be easy for guests to provide you with both positive and negative feedback in writing.

Information on how guests can send feedback should be in guest rooms and on your website. This should include an e-mail address, telephone number and mailing address.

You should have a written internal procedure for how you will respond to written feedback.

Positive and negative feedback should be recorded so that senior management can review the information regularly.

Positive and negative written feedback should be stored so that it can be included in your internal sustainability report along with any recommended changes for senior management to review on a regular basis.

Unless they have given permission, you should not publish anything that can identify the person who wrote or said it. If you remove the person’s name and personal details it may be OK, but make sure that the content does not unintentionally reveal the person’s identity.

Templates

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Examples

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Telling guests how to give you feedback English | Español

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español

Templates

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Examples

Environmental policy English | Español

Quality assurance policy English Español

Guest feedback survey English | Español

Telling guests how to give you feedback English | Español

Telling staff how to give you feedback English | Español 

Some of these are not required for your first Travelife audit so we have marked those clearly in bold text. All other Members will need to comply with all of the following requirements: -

Do you keep a list of all environmental legislation (including regional, national and international legislation) that is relevant to your business?

Or

If this is your first audit, can you show that you have a plan in place to start keeping this list?

Do you keep a list of all labour and human rights legislation (including regional, national and international legislation) that is relevant to your business?

Or

If this is your first audit, can you show that you have a plan in place to start keeping this list?

Do you keep a list of all health and safety legislation (including regional, national and international legislation) that is relevant to your business?

Or

If this is your first audit, can you show that you have a plan in place to start keeping this list?

Do you keep a list of all legislation on financial responsibilities?

Or

If this is your first audit, can you show that you have a plan in place to start keeping this list?

Do you have copies of all the licences and permits which you need for the business premises and operations and are these available for somebody to look at if needed?

Does the person completing Questions 10 to 15 have the proper authority and experience to do so on behalf of your business and have they signed the Travelife Declaration?

Objective

Create a list of all the local, national and international regulations and legislation your business has to comply with.  The list must include all of the permits and licences your business must have.

Find out all of the local, national and international regulations and legislation your business must comply with that relate to the following areas:

Environment

Health & Safety

Financial (e.g. taxes)

Labour & Human Rights

Find out all of the permits and licences your business must have, including any special instructions on where or how they need to be displayed.  For example, some countries require hygiene permits to be displayed in a restaurant.  Don’t forget things like boreholes, desalination plants, waste treatment plants and animal facilities if you have them. You should also check that they are all up to date.

Create a spreadsheet or word document where you can list all of the information you have collected.  If you do not have a computer, you can write a list and keep it in a file or folder.  The list should include:

The name of the legislation, regulation, licence or permit

Information about where you can find it. This could be a link to a website or a description of where it is stored at your property

For permits and licences, include any instructions about where they must be displayed and any expiry dates

The date you last checked your compliance or validity

You might be asked to show this document during your audit so make sure all of the relevant people know where to find it.

During your audit, the auditor might ask to see any of your licences and permits.  They will also check that they are current.  You should spend time ensuring that you can easily find them.  If any will expire before your audit, you should get them renewed or provide evidence that you have applied for them.

When the list is completed, it must be checked by a senior manager who is authorised to confirm that your business complies with all of the regulations and legislation.  They must complete and sign the Travelife Declaration of Compliance.  You should store this somewhere safe as your auditor may ask to see it.

Download this guide as a PDF  English | Español | Ελληνικά

 

Click here to view and download the Travelife Declaration of Compliance

Templates

Legal register that meets minimum Travelife requirements English | Español | Ελληνικά

Legal register template that we recommend you use English | Español | Ελληνικά

Examples

Legal register that meets minimum Travelife requirements   English | Español| Ελληνικά

Legal register that we recommend you use  English | Español | Ελληνικά

Muy pronto esta sección estará disponible en español.

Useful Links

With Members in over 50 countries, it can be difficult for us to provide reliable information that covers all of the right regions.  If you find a website that is reliable and contains information you think other properties in your country or region would find useful, then please e-mail the a link to info@travelife.org.

Regional Laws & Regulations

African Union Law

ASEAN Legal Database (search by member country or type of law)

Caribbean Environmental Law

Commonwealth Charter

European Union Environmental Laws

European Convention on Human Rights

UK Modern Slavery Act this covers the supply chain of some UK businesses.  For example, hotels contracted by UK tour operators.

International Laws & Regulations

CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species)

ILO (International Labour Organisation

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Some of these are not required for your first Travelife audit so we have marked those clearly in bold text. All other Members will need to comply with all of the following requirements: -

Have you created a sustainability progress report within the last 12 months? (Not required for your first audit)

Does this sustainability report show the progress which has been made since the last report? (Not required for your first audit)

Do you collect feedback from your guests to understand how satisfied they were with your accommodation? Do you use it to improve your service?

Do you have evidence of how you have used this customer feedback to make changes and improvements?

Objective

Write an internal report at least twice a year that assesses your performance against your policies, goals and targets.  The report should be reviewed and discussed by senior management each time it is produced.

You will need to review the activities you did and the measurements you took since your last report that cover one or more initiatives or targets from each of the following four areas:

Environmental Impact

Labour & Human Rights

Community Engagement

Guest Satisfaction

For each area in Step 1, you need to compare what your business actually did versus what you said you would do. For example, if you said you would reduce your energy consumption by 20% but you only reduced it by 15%, you will need to write that in the report and explain why.

Your report should include:

A title, date and author

The date of the last report and the period of time the report covers

Headings for each of the four areas you are assessing from Step 1

The targets, goals or statements you made for each of the four areas

Your actual performance and/or activity for each of the four areas

Conclusions (reasons) about why you did well or why you did not do well

Recommendations of how to continue improving performance

E-mail the report to senior managers and other people in your business who work on sustainability.  You should ask them to send their comments back to you or schedule a meeting where you can discuss the report and agree on the next steps you will take.

Your auditor may ask to see your reports along with evidence that senior management have reviewed and discussed the report.  You can do this in one of the following ways:

Have the report signed and approved by the senior managers who read it

Keep formal meeting minutes that are signed by a senior manager present at the meeting

Show e-mail exchanges that demonstrate the report was read and discussed by managers

Examples

Internal sustainability report English | Español

Templates

Internal sustainability report  English | Español

Download this guide as a PDF English | Español | Ελληνικά

Objective

Write an annual report showing the progress you have made against your sustainability goals and targets since your last report and that is easily accessible to anybody.

Use the information in your internal sustainability report for the year.  It should include your performance in at least one of these areas:

Environment

Labour & Human Rights

Community Engagement

Quality Assurance

For the area you are reporting on, you need to compare what your business actually did versus what you said you would do in your sustainability policy and in your last public report. For example, if you said you would reduce your energy consumption by 20% then you need to show how you actually performed.

Your report should include:

A title, date and author

The date of the last report and the period of time the report covers

Headings for the areas you are assessing from Step 1

The public targets, goals or statements you made for each of the four areas

Your actual performance and/or activity for each of the four areas

We recommend you include conclusions about why you did well or why you did not do well

Your targets and goals for the next year

You should publish the report on your website and display it in staff and guest areas at your property.  If publishing it on your website is not possible, you could:

Upload it to the Travelife Collection website then include a link to that on your website or a public social media page such as Facebook.

Upload it to a public social media page such as Facebook but make sure it is easy to find throughout the year.

Your auditor may ask to see your reports along with evidence that senior management have reviewed and discussed the report.  You can do this in one of the following ways:

Have the report signed and approved by the senior managers who read it

Keep formal meeting minutes that are signed by a senior manager present at the meeting

Show e-mail exchanges that demonstrate the report was read and discussed by managers

Download this guide as a PDF English | Español | Ελληνικά

Examples

Internal sustainability report English | Español | Ελληνικά

Templates

Internal sustainability report  English | Español | Ελληνικά

Some of these are not required for your first Travelife audit so we have marked those clearly in bold text. All other Members will need to comply with all of the following requirements: -

Do you have a member of staff who has responsibility for environmental management?

Do you have a member of staff who has responsibility for managing the welfare and labour standards of all employees and do you have a member of staff who has responsibility for managing human rights?

Do you have a member of staff who has responsibility for managing how the business supports, communicates and works with the local community, local business and protects local culture and traditions?