Travalyst
The Duke of Sussex with the Travalyst founding company partners in 2019 [Credit: Travalyst]

Travalyst launches sustainability certification initiative

UK: Not-for-profit organisation Travalyst, a global coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, is launching an initiative to acknowledge sustainability certification bodies within the accommodation sector.

Founded in 2019 by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Travalyst brings together partners including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, TripAdvisor and Visa to deliver sustainability information to the mainstream to help people make better travel choices.

According to Travalyst, people booking travel need accurate information to base their decisions on and one way to verify sustainability information is through certification bodies. Research published by Booking.com reveals that 65 per cent of travellers would feel better about staying in accommodation if they knew it had a sustainability certification.

There are currently over 100 tourism certification bodies globally that focus on sustainability, therefore Travalyst will review whether they meet a set of criteria in order to be displayed on its partner platforms. The overarching aim of the initiative is to drive consistency in display of sustainability certifications across Travalyst’s partner platforms.

Three criteria have been validated by Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Group to ensure rigour and independence, and are as follows:

  • The certification process includes a third-party audit that includes on-site and / or online assessment of sustainable practices reported by the property.
  • The standard upon which the certification is based is publicly available.
  • The standard focuses on evaluating the impact of social and / or economic, and / or environmental factors, among others, as encompassed within, but not restricted, to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Polly Lomas, head of strategy and impact at Travalyst, said: “Travalyst aims to bring sustainability information to the mainstream to help people make better travel choices. People want to travel more sustainably and that all starts with having access to clear, consistent and credible information at scale.

“Creating a master list of certification bodies meeting the Travalyst criteria will help to improve the credibility of sustainability information in the accommodation sector, and credibility is key to driving trust,” she added.

More information on the fee-free initiative can be found here.

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