Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Question 1

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Question

Does the brand (company) have a policy to improve the labor conditions of own employees and those of its suppliers?

Dutch version: Heeft het merk (bedrijf) een beleid om de arbeidsomstandigheden van zijn werknemers te verbeteren, inclusief de werknemers van toeleveranciers?

German version: Setzt der Markenhersteller Maßnahmen um, um die Arbeitsbedingungen der eigenen Arbeitnehmer und Arbeitnehmer der Zulieferer zu verbessern?

References and Guidelines

This question is very general and should help brands to make the first step on a policy for labor conditions. Rank a Brand’s previous research shows that travel agencies and tour operators do not publish much information about their labor conditions policies on their websites and Code of Conducts are generally missing.

On this point of labour conditions, the travel sector lags behind compared to other sectors selling manufactured goods, such as clothing and electronics. While several sources point out that good working conditions and labor rights in the tourism industry, especially in low wage (high risk) countries are at stake, see for example this report that Dutch NGO Somo has written about the labor conditions in the tourism industry in Brazil. The UK NGO Tourism Concern states that “endemic poverty, lack of opportunity, a heavy dependence on tourism to generate income plus weak adherence to international labor standards creates fertile ground for the exploitation of workers at the bottom of the tourism supply chain in countries all over the world” and is campaigning for better labor conditions in the tourism industry which resulted in UK’s leading tour operators adopting policies on labor conditions for hotels included in their holiday packages.

This question is included to encourage the travel sector to become more transparent and start taking action, even if the steps are small. With this question, we do not consider the quality of the policy per se, but there should be at least a short description of the brand’s goals, its planned or ongoing actions and its achieved outcomes so far. This is what we mean by “concrete”.

Some companies do not report on a labor conditions policy, but offer accommodations that are socially certified which means that at least for these accommodations standards on labor conditions are included. Therefore these companies get a ‘Yes’ as well.

The certifications that are acknowledged for this question are:

Please note that for now we do not differentiate between these certification standards, although the included labor standards vary between these certifications. Having accommodations certified, is a first step and additionally, all standards embody a public promise of better and more fair labor conditions, and can publicly be held accountable for this. We may change this when reporting on labor conditions (policy) and/or when the standards of the certifications improves.

Ranking Guidelines

Yes:

  • [Brand] has taken several policy measures to improve labor conditions, such as [...] (see link/page..)
  • [Brand] does not publish a labor conditions policy, but it offers [certification]-certified accommodations, which means that labor conditions are included in a part of the company's processes.

No:

  • [Brand] explicitly says it does not have a policy on labor conditions (see link/page...)

?:

  • [Brand] aims to [... (e.g. ' improve the labor conditions of its employees')], but does not provide any clear [policies/actions/initiatives*] to do so (see link/page) on its website.
  • [Brand] does not communicate any information on a labor conditions policy on its website. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.

-* You can pick the topic that applies to 'your' brand.