Intrepid launches hotel sustainability basics program

Intrepid partners with World Travel & Tourism Council to launch hotel sustainability basics program


Partnership to support the improvement of hotel suppliers across the tour operator's global supply chain

Intrepid Travel, world leader in responsible travel, has joined forces with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Hotel Sustainability Basics Program, to become the first global travel company to extend the internationally recognized sustainability verification program to its suppliers.  

The Hotel Sustainability Basics Program was developed through WTTC and is overseen by the Sustainability Hospitality Alliance. The program is designed to serve as the first step for hotels beginning their journey toward more sustainable operations, regardless of their size or resource. 

Under the program, hotels undergo a three-year evaluation process, measuring and benchmarking their improvements on 12 criteria in the areas of people, planet and efficiency. Hotels must achieve at least eight of the criteria after the first year, with at least one benchmark from each of the three focus areas. After three years of improvement, hotels can move on to the Global Sustainability Tourism Council (GSTC) certification, the global standard for sustainability in tourism, or follow other improvement journeys, such as the Sustainability Hospitality Alliance’s Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality.  

For participating hotels, the improvements will help them to appeal to increasingly climate-conscious travellers and industry partners. For Intrepid, these changes benefit the performance of its overall supply chain, strengthening operational practices and enhancing the credibility and reputation of local businesses. As part of its science-based carbon reduction targets, Intrepid is committed to addressing Scope 3 emissions across its global supply chain.    

Intrepid will initially launch a trial with a pool of its accommodation suppliers in Nepal and Bhutan in January 2024, with plans to expand the program to other hotels and lodges across its global supply chain. 

"Our suppliers have told us that they want to improve their practices, but as small and medium-sized businesses, they often don’t know where to start, or don’t have the resources,” says Sara King, GM of Purpose for Intrepid Travel. “By offering our hotel suppliers access to this internationally recognized program, we can make focused improvements that will support them, and the overall impact of our business,” she adds.  

“Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but need a step-by-step guide that is scientifically verifiable,” says Chris Imbsen, WTTC Director of Sustainability. "We are incredibly proud that Intrepid has joined the Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative, demonstrating their seriousness to becoming a more sustainable organisation,” he adds.  

This initiative is the latest in a series of efforts by Intrepid to work closely with its suppliers across social and environmental improvements. In June, the company established the industry’s first-ever consortium aimed at reducing the risks of modern slavery in travel and tourism’s supply chains.  

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