Training and Tools for Tourism Professionals

Hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and wholesalers play a major role in influencing industry standards through the vacation packages they design and offer to their clients. The Rainforest Alliance works with major local and international tour operators around the world to promote ecologically and socially responsible best practices for tourism businesses in Latin America.

Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation, and Other Businesses

The Rainforest Alliance provides training and technical assistance on environmentally and socially-sound management, certification standards and marketing to hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, and other tourism businesses in Latin America.

Tour Operators

The Rainforest Alliance's relationship with local tour operators in Latin America begins when they sign a contract that spells out commitments by both parties. We then provide introductory seminars about best practices and tourism certification programs, including an introduction to our program.

Next, we invite staff with their affiliated lodges and enterprises to attend workshops that allow us to delve deeper into the subject of sustainability, and study successful businesses that have implemented best practices or have earned eco-labels.

Bicyclist

Those businesses may elect to receive additional Rainforest Alliance support, including customized technical assistance and marketing support.

For their part, the local tour operators agree to be responsible for organizing the seminar and training events, recruiting participants and motivating them to join our best practices program. These tour operators also agree to give priority to hotels and lodges that adopt best practices, in tour packages offered to international tourism wholesalers in North America and Europe.

Travel Agencies and Wholesalers

Travel agencies and wholesalers that enter into formal collaborative agreements with the Rainforest Alliance commit to requiring that at least half of the hotels and other providers for package tours be certified by one of the leading tourism certification organizations or can otherwise demonstrate they have adopted sustainable practices.

The wholesalers agree to contacting clients when they return from their trips to survey them about their experiences -- information the company will share with the Rainforest Alliance -- and urge them to convince friends and families to take similar trips.

The Rainforest Alliance provides the travel agencies and wholesalers with updated lists of tourism businesses in Latin America that have adopted sustainable practices, and organizes familiarization or FAM trips for the company's managers to areas that obtain a critical mass of sustainable hotels and other tourism businesses.

For more information or to get involved, contact us at sustainabletourism@ra.org.