Sustainable tourism certification for tour operators
We were contracted by the European Centre for Eco Agro Tourism to prepare local tour operators and activity providers from Kyrgyzstan for Travelife certification. This activity was conducted in collaboration with Helvetas, KATO (Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators) and KCBTA (Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association). The program consisted on onsite and online training, followed by group and individual coaching. We worked with companies from all over Kyrgyzstan, with a special focus on Bishkek, Osh and Naryn.
As a result of the project, 20 tour operators received Travelife Partner award. In addition to tour operators preparation, we coordinated the work of local coaches, who will be further supporting local tour companies on their way towards sustainability. We have also conducted a training for Russian-speaking tourism professionals willing to become Travelife advisors and auditors. We believe that capacity building of the local experts is a key factor that will help develop sustainable tourism long-term.
With Anula’s support and coaching more than 20 Kyrgyz companies have been awarded the basic sustainability certification (Travelife Partner) and are in a process of preparing for the full certification. Her deep knowledge of sustainability, high level of committment and passion about the sector make her a true sustainability consultant and advocate. Anula’s proficiency in Russian served a great asset in training the local stakeholders: tourism businesses, destinations, associations and municipalities.
It turns out that not everything is so difficult! Many are afraid to delve deeper into the issue of sustainable tourism and eco-certification. We were also afraid, as we saw a scaringly-long list of requirements But, thanks to Anula Galewska, her seminars, and consulting support, we received Travelife Partner status in less than a month! She “chewed” every point and everything turned out to be not so scary. Many criteria are easy to achieve with no extra effort or expense. Now we can take the next big step to further grow our business and better preserve nature in Kyrgyzstan!