Eco Travel Arrives at the Retail Counter

Eco Travel Arrives at the Retail Counter
October 18, 2017 Bradley Cox

Green partners: LCC CEO Casso von Düring, Thomas-Cook-Manager Stefanie Berk and Travel-Bridge CEO Stephan Busch (right). Photo: Lenthe / touristik-foto.de

For the first time, green journeys are now visible in the Bistro Portal reservation system, via a new  sustainability project aiming to boost the sale of eco-travel.

In October, the pilot program commences with approximately 1,000 travel agencies from the Lufthansa City Center (LCC) and DER Touristik systems, as well as participants in the Green Travel Transformation project. All agents will be able to recognize hotels that are sustainable within the Bistro reservation and consultancy system.

About 2300 hotels will be marked with a green leaf. This includes green properties of all relevant organizers. “For travel agencies, it was a key question as to whether the product was also available through/from the tour operators,” says Hasso von Düring, CEO/board member of the industry initiative Futouris, which is part of the research group alongside the Leuphana University, Fraunhofer Umsicht, Travel Bridge and Planet4People. The green leaf has been developed within the framework of the Green Travel Transformation project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

However, the green leaf label won’t just stay in the Bistro system. “Thomas Cook will also add the green leaf to catalogs for Summer 2018,” explains Stefanie Berk, manager of Futouris partner Thomas Cook. This is the first time a tour operator gives reference to a neutral label in its catalog, says Futouris-Board member von Düring, who is CEO of the LCC.

In fact, the new label does not have its own certification system, but represents an extensive selection process used by quality international green labels. The green leaf basically represents seven certificates together. “These are all in accordance with the standards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which has certified global core criteria,” said Stephan Busch, CEO of Travel Bridge. The company consolidates sustainable hotels, certified by recognized organizations around the world, in a single database. In cooperation with the hotel data base Giata, these can then be integrated into various systems for travel agents and tour operators via automated interfaces.

The project is still in the test phase and to a certain extent a closed shop. However, travel agencies that wish to find out about green offers can find an overview at www.greentravelindex.com. A free registration is possible via the code gtt2018. To discover more about the project, please see the issue 20/17 of the print magazine fvw. (IL)BistroPortal