Tour Operators and Travel Agents

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The Travelife initiative is financially supported by the European Union Eco-Innovation program, which promotes the introduction of sustainability among European industry sectors. 

The INTOUR was implemented between September 2010  and September 2013.

More information about the INTOUR project and its products can be found at the public project website

Specific Objectives

  1. Integrate the European EMAS III management system in the Travelife sustainability system for travel companies. 
  2. Promote and introduce Travelife for travel companies among members of travel associations in Europe.
  3. Integrate the EU Ecolabel for accommodations with the Travelife sustainability standards for accommodations.
  4. Common promotion of the EU Ecolabel and the Travelife Hotel standard among 12.000 by tour operators contracted hotels in Europe.


Summary of the activities

INTOUR will integrate the European travel industry Travelife sustainability approach with the voluntary environmental management and certification instruments of the EU.  

EMAS III and EU Ecolabel provide credibility and direction to the efforts of European tour operators and travel agencies, while the ‘hands-on’ and sectorial Travelife approach will mainstream sustainability within regular supply chain and contracting processes.

The INTOUR  project is comprised of 4 interrelated work-packages:

1.      Development.  Develop a sector specific management system for travel agencies. Integrate EMAS III within the existing sector-wide European sustainability management system for travel companies.  Introduce a step-up and cluster methodology to EMAS III.

2.      Market replication. Test and  implement the sector specific EMAS III system amongst 1.100+ tour operators and travel agencies within the membership of 11 trade associations in The Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria and other European countries.

3.      Development. Harmonizing common industry suppliers’ standards, criteria and tools with the EU Ecolabel for accommodations; develop industry-wide standards for non-accommodation tourism services (transport services, complementary activities, animal welfare and protection, etc.) with a specific focus on climate and biodiversity  in compliance with any existing EU standards.

4.      Market replication. Encourage eco-certified accommodation services in European destinations by promoting the EU-Ecolabel standards through a market led supply-chain approach among 12.000 hotels contracted by tour operators.  Specific approach in Austria, Turkey and Italy.

Leading partners:

ECEAT - European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (Netherlands)

ABTA - Association of British Travel Agents Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Implementing partners:

ANVR - Dutch Association of Tour operatos and Travel Agencies (Netherlands)

ASR - Alliance of Independent Travel Traders Germany R.A. (Germany)

LMAAustrian Ministry of Environment (Austria) 

ACTA Culture, Tourism and Environment Association (Italy)

KOAN - Consulting (Spain)

ALTSO - Alanya Chamber of Commerce (Turkey)

This project is co-funded by the European Union within the CIP Eco-Innovation initiative of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

For more information contact project managers Naut Kusters ( or Sören Stober (

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