SUSTOUR to Present New Sustainability Tools for Tour Operators at ITB Berlin
SUSTOUR, a European Union (EU)-funded project aimed at promoting sustainability among the tour operator sector in Europe, will present its latest sustainability tools at the ITB Berlin travel trade fair that will open its doors in Germany next week.
Launched in 2020, the program aims to provide support to more than 175 small and medium-sized tour operators, among which over 40 are Greek, to enhance their sustainable management and performance, as well as open up new market opportunities.
Managed by a consortium of seven organizations, including ECTAA and supported by 24 travel trade associations, the project also offers an SME support budget of 600,000 euros to roll out an extensive training and certification support scheme for tour operators and travel agents.
SUSTOUR at ITB Berlin 2023
At this year’s ITB Berlin, SUSTOUR will showcase its objectives and achievements so far, as well as its three new tools: the Plastic Reduction Toolkit, the Carbon Footprint Calculator of Trips, and the Activity Codes of Best Practice.
The Plastic Reduction Toolkit offers tour operators and their suppliers practical, hands-on guidance for switching to more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic.
This includes 11 decision trees, rating charts for the impact of different plastic alternatives, standard operating procedures, and starter manuals for a “plastic pollution-free holiday.”
The Carbon Footprint Calculator of Trips, also known as CARMACAL, allows tour operators to measure the complete and detailed carbon footprint of their tour packages, including transport to/from the destination, accommodation, local transport, and activities.
CARMACAL has also been recently upgraded to make it more user-friendly for tour operators.
The Activity Codes of Best Practice is a compilation of sustainability standards for various tourism activities that tour operators can share with their activity suppliers. It includes 36 different activity codes in an attractive PDF format.
“Sustainability can be overwhelming for many small travel companies. We are confident that the new tools will enable tour operators to better integrate sustainability into their businesses and help empower consumers to make better choices,” said President of ECTAA Frank Oostdam.
SUSTOUR will also host a stage event on March 7 at 4:30 pm to give an overview of the project, examine the relevance of sustainability certification for tourism businesses, and showcase the developed toolkits.
The event will also serve as an opportunity to celebrate the tour operators and travel agents that achieved a Travelife Partner and Travelife Certified award for their commitment and excellence in sustainability. It will be followed by a networking reception.
ITB Berlin 2023 will take place as a pure B2B event under the slogan “Open for Change” from March 7 to 9. Its internationally renowned ITB Berlin Convention will be held parallel to the show and will be live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.