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Rainforest Alliance and TripAdvisor Join Efforts to Expand the GreenLeaders® Programme

The Rainforest Alliance and TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, have joined forces to expand the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders® program to all countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America. The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program helps travelers around the world plan eco-friendly vacations by offering a list of hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns that are committed to sustainable tourism practices.

More than 7,600 properties around the world have GreenLeader status and in 2014 alone, the program was launched in 21 markets, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. For its launch in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Rainforest Alliance helped review and adapt the evaluation tool to be used by the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders® program, ensuring that the tool applies to tourism companies in Latin America and that it aligns with internationally recognized sustainability criteria.

“TripAdvisor is the largest travel site in the world. Working with them provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to the promotion of sustainable tourism at a global level -- and to raise awareness on the efforts made by Rainforest Alliance certified tourism companies. In addition, we hope to encourage lodges to take action and reduce their environmental footprint,” said Ronald Sanabria, Vice President of Sustainable Tourism for Rainforest Alliance.

Rainforest Alliance has 14 years of experience working with tourism in the region and has a sustainable tourism certification program recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The Rainforest Alliance sustainable tourism certification standard evaluates environmental, social and business performance of companies through a series of requirements based on the global sustainable tourism criteria of the GSTC, which is considered to be the minimum criteria any stakeholder involved in tourism activities should meet in order to achieve a sustainable performance.

“For TripAdvisor, it is a pleasure to have an ally as solid as Rainforest Alliance for its expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean. We recognize the growing importance of the environment for travelers, who constantly look for eco-friendly lodging,” said Jenny Rushmore, Director of Sustainable Travel for TripAdvisor. “The international presence of the Rainforest Alliance and its hard work to ensure sustainable development and preserve our forests make them an ideal partner to join forces with, so that together we can ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry.”

As part of this partnership, tourism companies already certified by the Rainforest Alliance and companies that will obtain certification in the future will simultaneously receive the GreenLeader status, without having to apply for the evaluation required by TripAdvisor to accept members into their program. “For Rainforest Alliance certified companies joining the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders® program, this will provide added value and significant exposure to a wide audience that will enable them to earn a space in the competitive international market,” Sanabria added.

Travelers can learn more about the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program at www.tripadvisor.com.br/GreenLeaders

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Tourism
Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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