-The Tour Operators’ Sector Supplement is a testament to the dedication of a diverse range of stakeholders,” said Jan Jackson, Chair of the TOI, and Environmental Manager at British Airways Holidays. More than 30 organisations, from civil society groups to trade unions, local tourism boards, suppliers, and tour operating companies collaborated on the supplement. -This diversity enhances the credibility of the document,” added Jackson. -It will lead to continued mutual learning in the tour operator sector as we begin to prepare sustainability reports.”

By reporting on actions they have taken on the ground, the tour operators hope to help prevent the negative effects of tourism on local peoples. And, also, to encourage responsible use of natural resources, and prevent pollution and waste at travel destinations around the world.

-Virtually all dimensions of the tour operating business have environmental, economic, and social impacts,” said Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, UNEP Assistant Executive Director. -What gets measured – and reported – gets managed,” she said. -Through improved disclosure, tour operators can help transform an industry that is often the largest employer in some countries into a more sustainable enterprise.”

The performance indicators released today are divided into categories that reflect the life cycle of the -holiday product’- from the planning stage to the development and delivery. They ask tour operators to describe joint actions taken with suppliers to support improvements in their environmental and social performance. Also, ways in which they raise consumer awareness of sustainable holiday-making, recruitment of local residents for management positions, and positive cooperation with concerned organisations and groups at the destination.

Through a feedback process, this pilot supplement will provide the GRI with valuable experience on how to incorporate sector-specific issues into its broader reporting framework.