On March 19, 2021, a solemn presentation of Travelife Partner certificates to 7 Kyrgyz tour operators took place in Bishkek:
· Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (КАТО)
· Kyrgyz Guides
· Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association (KCBTA)
· Travel Experts
· Visit Kyrgyzstan
· Eco Nomad
The ceremony took place during the event following the results of the first year of implementation of the Greentour: Sustainable Tourism in Kyrgyzstan Project. The certificates were presented by the representative of the EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms Anna Soltysik-Pawlic, the Regional Director of Helvetas Central Asia, Ms Anja de Beer, and the international expert on sustainable tourism, Ms Anula Galewska.
There are three stages of Travelife certification: 1) Participation in Travelife; 2) Partnership in Travelife; 3) Travelife certification. Earlier, as part of the project, a number of workshops on sustainable tourism were organized in the cities of Bishkek, Osh and Karakol, in which about 200 representatives of tour operators and accommodation facilities received institutional assistance in obtaining international Travelife certificates, as a result of which they became participants in the program. However, the above 7 tour operators did not stop there and did a great job to move to the second stage.
“The Travelife Partner level is a proof of their commitment to sustainability in tourism through sustainable approaches and responsible travel. Participation in the certification program is paid, but the Greentour Project supports local tour operators and accommodation facilities not only in increasing their potential, but also in their free participation in the Travelife program. This became possible thanks to our partner in the implementation of the project - the European Center for Ecological and Agricultural tourism (ECEAT),” said Manager of the Greentour Project Nargiza Kudaiberdieva.
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The Greentour project is funded by the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia program and implemented by the Helvetas Intercooperation GGMBH in cooperation with the European Center for Ecological and Agricultural tourism - Stichting Netherlands (ECEAT), the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (KATO) and the Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association (KCBTA).
The Travelife Sustainability System was created in 2007. It is an initiative dedicated to promoting the sustainable development of tourism and the tourism industry. Travelife management requirements are in line with ISO 14001 and EMAS. The technical requirements include the full set of ISO 26000 and OECD corporate social responsibility principles, which include working conditions, human rights, environmental issues, biodiversity and fair business practices.