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Aitken Spence Travels, the first Sri Lankan DMC to be Travelife Certified

17 Feb

Aitken Spence Travels the leading destination management company in Sri Lanka has been awarded the Travelife Certified sustainability award. The Travelife Certified award is a recognition for the company’s long-term efforts and leading position regarding sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

As a responsible travel organisation throughout its journey, Aitken Spence Travels championed all management and performance requirements to earn this title. The organisation complied with more than 160 criteria related to an operators’ sustainability management, office operations, working with suppliers and customer communication. The Travelife standard covers the ISO 26000 corporate social responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations; and is formally recognised as in full compliance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council standards.

Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels commented, “We are delighted to be awarded the Travelife certification as a leading DMC in Sri Lanka and for having paved the way in the industry. As an organisation, we are committed towards sustainability and promote responsible tourism.”

“I am thankful to my team who are a set of professionals that goes beyond the call of duty. The dedication and commitment of our staff is commendable as sustainability is part of our DNA. We have implemented many activities that results in greater impact to our environment and we will continue to lead from the front.”, he further added.

Commenting on the certification, Mr. Naut Kusters, Manager of Travelife for tour operators stated, “I am delighted to see that sustainability in the tour operator’s sector is obtaining momentum. While we congratulate Aitken Spence Travels as a leading DMC in Sri Lanka for obtaining this certification, we hope that it will inspire other companies in Sri Lanka to follow the same path.”

Travelife was launched in Sri Lanka in 2016 in partnership with the Responsible Tourism Partnership Sri Lanka (RTPS). Today more than 20 Sri Lanka tour operators are working towards certification. Mr. Nishad Wijetunga, Chairman RTPS, stated “sustainability is key for the future of tourism in Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence Travels is one of the first companies in Sri Lanka to be awarded this certification which is of the highest international standards and is a historic landmark towards our goal to establish Sri Lanka as global leader in sustainable tourism”.

Travelife, which has been established with the support of the European Commission, is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector. More than 35 national travel associations are promoting the scheme to their members including ABTA, The British Travel Association and PATA, the Pacific Asian Travel Association. Since 2012, more than 600 Asian tour operators have been trained. They are now working step-by-step towards more sustainable operations.

Aitken Spence Travels affirmed its market leadership position by facilitating over 200,000 visitors to Sri Lanka in the financial year 2018/19. The Group’s destination management arm, handles inbound and outbound tour packages for groups, FIT and the MICE segments which operates in a highly competitive business environment.