Travelife’s broken promises to hotel workers (2015)

The Travelife certification is promoted by the travel industry as a guarantee of fair working conditions. But are labour and human rights sufficiently protected at Travelife hotels?

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Workers at Travelife certified and non-certified hotels in Turkey connected to three of Sweden’s biggest tour operators: Apollo, Fritidsresor and Ving were interviewed in this report in order to compare the criteria of the Travelife standard to international labour and human rights standards.

According to the interviewees, violations of local labour law as well as international human and labour rights occur at the hotels.

Many workers are afraid to join a trade union, cannot survive on their incomes and are suffering from work related injuries and/or stress. They also have little access to social security because of the seasonal employment and they do not get proper overtime payments.

The interviews also reveal that breaches of the Travelife standard occur at Travelife certified hotels related to the terms or conditions of employment including wages, overtime payment, effective grievance procedures and employee training procedures.

When comparing the Travelife certified hotels with the non-Travelife certified hotels in the study, there are almost no differences in their compliance with labour and human rights standards.

“These findings truly question the quality and credibility of the Travelife standard."

Topics adressed

  • Revision of the Travelife standard
  • The Swedish tour operators’ engagement in Travelife
  • The possibilities and limitations of auditing
  • Field study findings regarding labour rights, occupational health and safety, wages and working hours, discrimination and freedom of association
  • Recommendations to Travelife and tour operators
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