Support, certification and promotion of businesses in tourism and leisure
Photo © Taryn Elliott
About the program
The Good Travel Program offers a variety of tools to assess, support and certify the sustainability of businesses in the tourism sector. All types of businesses in the tourism supply chain are welcome, including hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, activity providers, tour guides, local DMOs, etc. Businesses participating in the program are promoted on the Good Travel Guide sustainable travel platform to responsible travellers looking for a green, responsible holiday.
There are several different tools that we offer as sustainability support for businesses.
GOOD TRAVEL SEAL
Sustainability certification on our SME Standard (two-thirds of the GSTC-criteria), especially developed for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Businesses that do not feel part of the “travel sector” (e.g offices, farms, shops) can apply for the Good Planet Seal (same criteria and procedure).
GOOD TRAVEL SEAL +
Certification on the full GSTC Industry Standard.
The GTS-SME Standard is a great first step for all businesses, but we suggest hotels interested in recognition by Google and Booking.com to do this GSTC Standard based certification.
Certification for businesses adhering to virus-preventive measures for a smart post-corona recovery.
Through this certification businesses can prove that they have effective measures in place against virus transmission, enabling them to inform their clients better.
GOOD TRAVEL SCAN
Assessment of our 10 universal criteria for all types of businesses beginning their sustainability journey.
Good Travel Scan is currently piloted in Greece, but we will be pleased to provide more information to businesses interested in this program.
Unique selling points
Our publicly available scorecards show visitors an overview of the sustainability performance of all assessed and certified businesses.
Our programs are especially created to be affordable and feasible for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), but we also support larger businesses.
We cooperate with local experts and representatives to introduce the program in each destination and in the local language.
How it works
You will be invited to fill out the reporting for each criterion on our online platform and submit supporting documents. This will indicate to what extent your business implements measures for sustainable and responsible tourism.
The information on the platform will then be assessed by a team of experts, who will evaluate whether the criteria were achieved by your business. You will also receive feedback on how to improve.
If over 70% compliance is reached, an independent auditor will verify your reporting by visiting your business. The audit can be carried out online (via video call) or on-site.
The findings of the audit are used to make a final certification decision. If the result is sufficient, you will be awarded the certification.
Best price guarantee for micro and small businesses:
The lowest annual fee is only €100 for a micro-business (up to 5 staff) in a QualityCoast or Green Destination promoting the GT program.
Fees depend on the number of employees (average over the year):
Accommodations to consider the number of guest rooms. The basic fee structure is the same for all certification tools, but GTS+ requires additional costs for the onsite audit. Registering for two tools simultaneously, with a combined audit, can present a 50% discount on one of them.
Up to 33% discount in QualityCoast or Green Destinations:
If located in a QualityCoast or Green Destination where the DMO, Chamber of Commerce, or hotel association actively promotes the GT Program, we can discount the fees by up to 33.3%.
Fees are different per country:
Low-income, middle-income and high-income countries are eligible to pay different fees. Got interested? Get in touch with us!
Program benefits for businesses
You will be featured on the Good Travel Guide and its social media platforms. On top of that, if your business has received at least a 2-star certification, it will be promoted to a global audience by our communication partners:
- Accommodations can get listed on EcoHotels.com, an alternative to the dominant online travel agencies.
- Businesses can be showcased on Sustainable First, a platform recognising sustainability efforts in tourism.
HAPPIER GUESTS = HIGHER RATING
Certification boosts management and quality of services.
Certified businesses use 19% less water, 24% less waste, and 10% less CO2.
Clarify that your business is compliant to the standards of a responsible certification!
Frequently Asked Questions
The Good Travel Program is a sustainability support program for tourism and travel related businesses and facilities, which offers a number of tools to assess, improve, and certify the sustainability of your business. These tools include the Good Travel Scan, Good Travel Seal, Good Travel Seal with full GSTC-I Standard, and Virus-Aware Seal.
A tourism sustainability assessment and certification program evaluates the sustainability performance of businesses by assessing compliance with an array of sustainability criteria and identifying areas for improvement. Businesses that reach a certain level of sustainability can become certified to demonstrate their sustainability achievements. Businesses taking part in the sustainability program are committed to becoming more sustainable in the future, mitigating the negative and increasing the positive social, environmental, and economic impacts of tourism on their destination and community.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to today’s travellers, and they are seeking out destinations and businesses that they can trust to be responsible and make a positive impact. Having an independent sustainability certification, and especially with the transparency of our performance scorecard, can assure visitors of your commitment to sustainability.
Compliance with the environmental criteria can help you save on energy, water, and waste disposal, while doing good for society and the environment. The social criteria will improve the well-being of your employees, visitors, and the local community, bringing a more supportive and efficient work environment. Overall, investing in your sustainability can bring better reviews and higher ratings, eventually bringing more visitors, boosting your income, management, and quality of services.
- The Good Travel Program offers you the best-price guarantee, being the most affordable global sustainability certification program.
- The program is accessible for businesses at all levels of sustainability, and you will receive the support to keep improving in the long-term.
- Certified businesses are promoted on the Good Travel Guide.
- The unique scorecards provide a level of transparency not offered by other certification programs.
- The program operates worldwide, cooperating with local expert organisations and representatives, who can introduce the certification under a custom branding and local language for each destination.
The Good Travel Program is especially created to serve medium and small-family run enterprises (SME’s), being more accessible and affordable, but large businesses are also welcome to be certified. The program is available to all types of businesses within the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry.
Our process is very straightforward.
- You will gain access to our reporting platform, where you will be invited to report your actions and upload supporting documents to evidence your compliance to sustainable tourism.
- The information uploaded on the platform will then be assessed by a team of experts, who will evaluate how many of the criteria were achieved by your business.
- An independent auditor will verify these criteria by visiting your business (either online or on-site).
- The findings of the audit will be used to make a final certification decision. The result will be a percentage score and if it is sufficient, you will be awarded the Good Travel Seal and a Certificate.
The Good Travel Seal has 86 generic criteria + some sector specific criteria. They are divided into 12 themes, which are: Purchasing and Sales, Social well-being, Good Employment, Health and Safety, Accessibility, Energy and Climate, Waste, Water, Pollution and Nuisance, Nature and Scenery, Cultural Heritage and Information.
To get more information send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer your queries.
There are three levels of the Good travel Seal based on a percentage score. To achieve 1 star, you must comply with at least 50% of the criteria, to achieve 2 stars, you must comply with 75% of the criteria and to achieve 3 stars, you must comply with 95% of the criteria.
Yes, there is an audit as part of the certification process when you achieve at least 70% of the criteria, therefore, only for the 2- and 3- star grading of the certification. The audit can be undertaken on-site by visiting the property or it can also be undertaken online via video call.
The Good Travel Seal has an annual subscription fee, with no extra registration costs. The fees of the Seal depend on the business size (FTE) or number of rooms (for accommodations), and can be found on the table above. Businesses may be subject to an additional audit fee depending on the destination.
Businesses that are located in destinations who are members of Green Destinations get a 33% discount off the annual subscription fee.
The certification is valid for 2 years as long as the annual subscription fee is paid. After 2 years you must be reassessed and audited to continue to be certified by the Good Travel Seal.
Once you are certified with the Good Travel Seal, you will be promoted on the Good Travel Guide website and social media.
Once you are certified you will receive a logo, certificate, and performance scorecard which shows an overview of the criteria achieved. Businesses can display this certificate and scorecard on their property and on their website so that their customers are aware of their commitment to sustainability. Businesses are also encouraged to use the GTS logo in any promotional materials produced.
Greenwashing is a form of Marketing that produces unsubstantiated claims to deceive customers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.
The Good Travel Seal is a strong advocate for avoiding greenwashing, by offering transparency through its certification. This is done by creating a publicly available scorecard. You will be able to show your customers what aspects you do well by displaying in green the compliant criteria, the non-compliant in red and the partially compliant in orange. As a result, customers see clearly your sustainability performance instead of just a label.