Forty-three Greek travel agencies are among the 627 tourism companies from 35 countries that have been selected to participate in the EU-funded SUSTOUR technical support programme to improve their sustainability performance.
Financed under the EU COSME programme, the SUSTOUR project aims to promote sustainable development practices among travel agencies and tour operators.
Launching this month, the technical support programme will provide a mix of innovative online trainings, multi-day classroom trainings, intensive coaching (group and individual) as well as peer-to-peer learning – all provided and guided by selected sustainable tourism experts.
Companies have been given the choice between obtaining support towards Travelife certification or support in terms of improving specific areas, such as carbon, plastic and supply chain management or certification of their shore excursions.
Various events will be organised in conjunction with European trade fairs to allow the selected travel companies to exchange experiences and best practices and to award those companies who successfully reach certification through the SUSTOUR project.
The participating SMEs in Greece are the following:
Akron Travel, City Plaza Travel Services, City Contact, Trigilidas Travel & Holidays, Dayrise.gr- Incoming Greece, Travart Travel, Ferry & Yachting Services, Travel Idea, Excursions Greece, Rhapsody Travel, Stergenakis S & Sia OE, Margo wine routes, Trails Beyond, Great Gods – Divine Experiences, Greece Private Transfer, MD Travel Company, Business Travel, Outdoors Training, DTS, Mazi Travel, Explore Messinia, S-Cape Greece, Travelway Tourism & Shipping, Joysters, Cruiseway Travel Tourism Enterprises, Ferry Center, DTS Incoming Hellas, Bikewise, Meli Tours, Tryfon Tours, Orea Voyages, Iole Travel, Alfa Odeon Holidays, N. Kasderidis & Co G.P., Petassos Travel, Travel ID, GreeceSunLife Travel & Inner Well-being in Greece, Somewhere We Know, Haritou Travel Group, Eco Events, Viasun Tours, EasyCreta, Offbeat Travel Experience (e-services).
A call for SME applications was launched in March for the selection of a minimum of 175 tour operators and travel agents that would benefit from the SUSTOUR technical support programme to help them improve their sustainability performance. However, more than 730 applications were received.
“We are delighted to see so much interest from tour operators and travel agents across Europe to learn how to make their business and supply chain more sustainable,” Naut Kusters, Director of ECEAT and lead of the SUSTOUR project, said.
Following evaluation by an independent committee, 627 SMEs from 35 countries were selected and signed up to the support programme.
“We have decided to accept three times more companies in the support programme than initially planned, to allow a maximum of companies to benefit from the project,” Kusters said.
SUSTOUR’s project partners include the European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT), the European Travel Agents’ & Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) and FUTOURIS. Additionally, SUSTOUR is supported and promoted by over 20 European travel associations including the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA).