“Tour operators and travel agencies need to modernize their way of operation and provide high quality services and specialized products in a responsible and professional manner,” Yiorgos Telonis, president of Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) said in late January at the official launch of “EOS CODE,” the European Code of Practice on Environment Oriented Sustainability.
EOS CODE is a free and useful tool for tour operators and travel agencies to help them enhance their competitiveness by embracing sustainable tourism and improving the quality of their product and services.
“Competitiveness through quality and sustainability are the three axes that can decide success for a tour operator or a travel agency in today’s highly demanding tourism market,” HATTA’s president said.
The voluntary code of practice is specifically designed for small and micro enterprises of tour operators and travel agencies that are primarily involved in package travel but does not exclude the larger companies.
“This code of practice could only be voluntary, because the elements contained in it can only be regulated by the market itself and its needs, and not by any kind of legislation,” Mr. Telonis underlined.
Tour operators and travel agencies who subscribe to the EOS CODE would have to formally accept and abide by a number of principles that are essential for the provision of sustainable and high quality tourism products and services. Among these principles are the monitoring of the environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of the business and the education and training of the employees on environmental and cultural values in tourism.
Subscribers will have access to a handbook of best sustainable business practices via the EOS CODE website (www.eoscode.eu) that contains best practices already implemented and that have proven their effectiveness in six different business areas: internal management, product development and management, contracting with suppliers, customer relations, relations with destinations and quality management.
lso, the signatories will have the chance to learn from already existing best practices and to pick up the one that better suits their businesses.
All enterprises implementing the EOS CODE will be presented via the project’s website and will be able to use the logo of the EOS CODE to indicate their commitment to and application of sustainable business practices.
At a first stage, the EOS CODE will be available to all tour operators and travel agencies that are members of the five national associations-partners to the project, namely ABTTA (Bulgaria), FIAVET (Italy), HATTA (Greece), PIT (Poland) and UHPA (Croatia).
At a later stage the code will be accessible to all tour operators and travel agencies of national associations represented within the European Association ECTAA, who is also a partner to the project.
GTP was the communication sponsor of the event.