Sustainable Tourism Code Of Conduct
We aim to achieve a sustainable global society and promote and highlight sustainable tourism to our guests, suppliers, and operating teams.
As our planet is a valuable commodity, Tour East Group tries to empower and enable travellers and local communities to positively impact the surrounding environments in which they visit or live. We work with our suppliers and teams to educate and motivate them to deliver higher sustainability options and standards to our customers. The Tour East Group aims to understand sustainable travel behaviour to create a better future.
Unique cultures, traditional communities, biological diversity, climate actions, waste reduction, health & safety and child protection make our destinations attractive and desirable. We, therefore, continuously strive to manage the balance of economic and social requirements whilst preserving these elements.
We stand by the idea of "leave no one behind" proposed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the United Nations adopted in September 2015.
Additionally, we pledge to work towards sustainable tourism development following the five key areas proposed during the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (#IY2017):
- Inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
- Social inclusiveness, employment expansion, poverty reduction, and human rights protection;
- Resource efficiency, environmental protection and combatting the efforts of climate change;
- Protecting the cultural values and heritage, promoting diversity;
- Mutual understanding, accessibility, peace, and security;
We aim to positively impact local communities and minimize adverse effects on our office and holiday destinations. Our priority is the well-being of the communities we interact with, and we strive for a harmonious coexistence that enhances these areas' overall social and environmental fabric.
Our Sustainability Policy
We aim to uphold and enhance Tour East Group's operations ethically and in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible manner, thereby following the three principles of sustainability.
As such, Tour East Group recognizes the merits of the Triple Bottom Line.
As an aspiring and committed member of Travelife, we have started the process of working step by step towards complying with international sustainability standards, focusing on the following:
1-2: Respect for constitutional rights, Non- corruption, and bribery
We respect international standards governing the protection of human rights. We are mindful of the inalienable rights enshrined under the constitution and case law of the countries and regions in which we operate. We refrain from engaging in any conduct that infringes upon these rights.
We respect all human beings as individuals and do not engage in any form of discrimination, whether based on race, religion, ethnicity, political ideology, creed, gender, national origin, family background or disability
1-4: No forced labour, No child labour
We do not participate in any form of forced or child labour.
3-1: Fair and equitable dealing
We recognize the importance of free and fair competition in the marketplace. We do not engage in the improper restraint of trade nor in unfair commercial practices that impede competition.
3-2: No abuse of superior bargaining position
We do not unilaterally modify commercial terms or impose unacceptable requirements on our business partners.
4.1: Prohibition against unfair restraint of trade
We do not engage in any act or activity that serves to restrain competition, including but not limited to the collusive sharing of information with competitors or the execution of mutually binding agreements (whether formal or informal) regarding pricing or sales. We exercise the utmost care and prudence to prevent such cartel-type behaviour.
4.2: Fair competition
We do not defame or slander our competitors or disparage their products, services or good name. We do not obtain information regarding our competitors through improper means and refrain from infringing upon our competitors' intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights, etc.).
6.1: Environmental awareness
We are deeply mindful of the environment and actively pursue measures to mitigate our operations' environmental footprint, such as reducing global warming.
6.2: Cultural conservation
We respect the diverse tapestry of the world's history and strive to preserve the rich fabric of humanity's historical and cultural legacy for future generations by creating meaningful global opportunities for human interaction, exploration and discovery.
6.3: Sustainable community development
As conscientious, law-abiding members of the community, we strive to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of the countries and communities in which we conduct business. 
 JTB Group Code JTB GROUP CODE of Conduct
Tour East Group also strives to promote ethical local products and reduce waste production and carbon consumption.
Our policy is to maximize the positive economic and social benefits received by local communities due to our presence while minimizing any negative impacts. To learn more about our Energy reduction policy, click here.
We commit to responsibly delivering our services whilst providing our valued clients with an innovative and varied product offering. Customer privacy and feedback have the highest priority.
We prioritize working with local licensed partners and suppliers who share our philosophy or are open to learning and implementing new policies so that they can improve and develop business practices and services sustainably. As Tour East Group, we are committed to developing and operating our tourism services sustainably and, concerning our destinations, providing for the health & safety of our teams, suppliers and guests.
If our business partners provide sustainable tourism and travel services, we prioritize selecting and recommending them to our customers.
Our Sustainable Engagement
We are excited to share that Tour East has partnered with Travelife for Tour Operator & Travel Agents program. Travelife is a credible and globally recognized sustainability certification program in the tourism industry, accredited by the GSTC-Global Sustainable Tourism Council, that we are proud to be a part of.
We are committed to taking the necessary steps to meet global sustainability standards.
Tour operators and travel agents can participate in Travelife, which is a certification program that involves three stages:
- Travelife Engaged
- Travelife Partner and
- Travelife Certified.
Our efforts in implementing Travelife have begun with Stage 1 in select countries, and we aim to advance to the next level, the Travelife Partnership. Our Singapore and Bali offices have already achieved Travelife Partner status and are preparing to work towards Travelife Certification.
To attain the Travelife Partner status, we must comply with more than 100 sustainability criteria, categorized into five essential areas: Office operations, Product development, Working with suppliers, Customer relations, and Destinations.
Our goal at Tour East Group is to achieve Travelife Certified status by 2024. We are committed to sustainable management and practices, and we achieve this through regular training, raising awareness among our staff and suppliers, and fostering a culture of sustainability.
At Tour East Group, we strive to uphold sustainable business practices in tourism. Sustainability statements should be third-party certified, which is why we chose Travelife for Tour Operators & Travel Agents as our partner in sustainability engagement.
We aim to strengthen our commitment to sustainability management and make it a consistent part of our operations, always keeping in mind our responsibility to the environment and society.
Wildlife & Animals Code of Conduct
At Tour East Group, we are committed to re-educating what is acceptable in modern society. We do not promote or encourage any activity detrimental to the well-being of any animal or the ecosystem.
As the governance and management of 'what is acceptable' have many variances across the regions of our business, it is incumbent upon us as a company, along with our partners, stakeholders, and team members, to commit and spread the word to instigate change.
A comprehensive Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism report outlines the Five Freedoms we need to strive towards attaining for all animals:
|Five Freedoms||Welfare quality® criteria|
|Good feeding||1. Absence of prolonged hunger.
2. Absence of prolonged thirst.
|Good housing||3. Comfort while resting.
4. Thermal comfort.
5. Ease of movement.
|Good health||6. Absence of injuries.
7. Absence of disease.
8. Absence of pain induced by inappropriate management procedures.
|Appropriate behavior||9. Expression of social behaviors.
10. Expression of natural behaviors.
11. Good human-animal relationship.
12. Positive emotional state.
|Protection from fear and distress||
13. Absence of general fear/distress/apathy.
14. Ability to seek privacy/refuge.
15. Absence of surgical or physical modification of the skin, tissues, teeth, or bone structure other than for genuine medical treatment/ manipulation/sedation.
At Tour East Group, we prioritize the well-being and safety of captive animals. Our approach involves educating our suppliers and enforcing compliance with all our policies.
- Animal attraction providers have a legal license for the type of attraction or activity they offer
- Animals are not being subjected to cruel conditions.
- Animals are not 'humanized.'
- Animals are not trained in unnatural tricks
- Animals are not forced to join activities
- Animals are held in enclosures big enough for this type of animal that is internationally agreed
- Animals receive healthy, regular and sufficient meals.
- Animals have constant access to adequate and clean drinking water
- Specialized veterinarians regularly check animals
We recommend avoiding wild animal attractions that exist only for tourism purposes and not for conservation. Instead, look for attractions that generate revenue for conservation efforts or focus on caring for endangered species. Since some attractions claim to contribute to conservation efforts but do not, it's crucial to stay informed.
We commit to partnering with responsible establishments to prioritize the well-being and conservation of animals, especially in Elephant Camps across Southeast Asia. We strive to provide unforgettable experiences of observing wildlife in their natural habitats.
Plastic & Waste Reduction Code of Conduct
Our partners are encouraged to use our advanced online booking system, WebConnect. With this system, they can effortlessly view rates, receive quotations, and book accommodations, transfers, and sightseeing tours. Tour East Group profoundly cares about the environment, and we support nature conservation in every possible way.
Based on our group code, 6-1 Environment awareness, we comply with the following rules;
Single-use plastic reduction
Innovative and eco-friendly options have emerged to address the issue of reducing plastic and waste:
- Instead of Plastic bags – We use reusable bags made of fabric, cotton, plastic, paper, etc.
- Instead of Plastic straws, cutlery, and chopsticks – We ask for Bamboo, Metal, or glass utensils. We support restaurants that have made the switch to biodegradable materials.
- Instead of Plastic bottles & Styrofoam containers – We invest in reusable water bottles, tea/coffee flasks, tin boxes, and Tupperware to store our daily snacks & meals.
- Instead of buying water bottles daily, We invest in a water filter system or use water distribution companies such as Sprinkle.
- We prioritize responsible waste management and do not burn items containing plastic, chemicals, adhesives, or ink colours. Instead, we encourage recycling and request that plastic, paper, glass, compostable waste, and batteries be disposed of in separate recycling bins. We use recyclable and refillable products (paper, toner, ballpoint pens).
- We encourage our staff to reuse stationary such as box files, folders, envelopes, paper clips, rubber bands, and packing materials.
- We encourage our staff to save e-documents on the computer instead of printing hard copies.
- We reuse and recycle paper (print on both sides) and encourage our offices to buy recycled/environmentally friendly paper whenever possible.
- Our default setting for printing and copying in the office is double-sided, which helps to save paper and reduce waste.
- Our itineraries and quotes are conveniently created and distributed digitally, allowing easy distribution to clients in Word or PDF.
- Our partners can find all information and previously produced brochures online in digital format at our Agent Portal
- Our partners are encouraged to use our advanced online booking system, WebConnect. With this system, they can effortlessly view rates, receive quotations, and book accommodations, transfers, and sightseeing tours.
- Tour East Group has invested significantly in a cutting-edge Progressive Web App (PWA) now available in key countries. This innovative tool enables us to provide digital itineraries, up-to-date service information, effortless browsing and reservation of in-destination services and experiences, and customer support.
Our sustainable purchasing policy can be viewed here.
Accommodation Code of Conduct
In our effort to select the most sustainable accommodation providers available, we prefer establishments that follow these core principles:
- The proper comfort for the right price
- Fair business
- Minimises impact on the environment and society
We give priority to accommodation suppliers who adhere to high sustainability standards, have sustainability certification, and evaluate their properties based on the following principles:
- Waste management and greywater recycling
- Renewable energy systems
- Farm-to-table concepts
- Local workforce & human care
- Maintain biodiversity
- Reduce single-use plastic items.
- Promotes a Non-smoking environment
- Smart architecture & technologies
- CSR activities
- On-site transportation with green vehicles
- Preserve the local culture and heritage & incorporate elements of regional art while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
Accommodations actively participating in sustainability efforts are offered incentives to advance the sustainable movement further.
If contracted accommodations put essential services like food, water, energy, healthcare, or soil to neighbouring communities at risk, then it may be necessary to review or end the cooperation with the accommodation.
The Tour East Group strongly emphasises protecting children and has fully embraced the Childsafe movement's policies. We pledge never to directly or indirectly contract or book accommodations that utilise forced labour or employ children to do work that adults should do. Children under 14 who work within the business are subject to particular working hours and conditions per the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and/or the ILO Convention 138. The condition has been included within the terms of the accommodation contract.
Excursion & Transportation Code of Conduct
The following considerations will be made in the evaluation of excursion suppliers and will comply with our company preference:
- Human Care: We aim to work with excursion suppliers with sound care for their human resources, which is paramount to the tourism sector.
- No Plastic Policy: The excursion providers take steps to reduce their reliance on plastic and have made it a standard practice not to provide plastic water bottles to their guests.
- Waste Management: We verify that the excursion provider separates at least organic waste for composting and plastic for recycling where possible.
- Energy Efficiency: The excursion providers follow energy efficiency practices, such as energy-saving light bulbs and energy-efficient equipment. The supplier advises their clients (e.g., through signs and verbal communication) to switch off lights and electric appliances when not in use or has put an overall switch-off plan (automated system) in place.
- Child Protection: The excursion supplier ensures children's rights are respected and safeguarded. If the supplier employs children under 14, the business must ensure that special working conditions are in place to safeguard them (for example, part-time or on an internship basis).
- Local Suppliers: We encourage excursion suppliers to purchase and use local food products, which are produced based on fair trade and sustainability principles.
- Biodiversity care: The excursion suppliers limit their negative effect on local and global biodiversity wherever feasible (e.g. do not offer red-listed species on the menu).
- Authentic charm: The excursion suppliers' building (exterior and/or interior) incorporates local art, architecture, or cultural heritage elements.
- Community value: The excursion suppliers respect the intellectual property rights of local communities and contribute to the local community whichever way they can (e.g. sponsoring local events, donating to local heritage sites).
Download our List of Forbidden Souvenirs here
Tour East Mobile PWA: Exciting news! Tour East goes digital and paperless in 2022. We are delighted to inform you that we have now moved from a mobile app to a Progressive Web Application (PWA). This change means that our app is independent of any platform, allowing us the ability to develop useful new features at a much faster pace. The PWA will be rolled out on 1st January 2022 and first be made available by our Singapore, Thailand, and Bali offices. Of course, we will add more countries over time to enhance Tour East’s destination offering.
Tour East prides itself on being eco-friendly, so eliminating the need to cut down trees to print customer itineraries and welcome letters is part of our commitment to sustainability.
Goals and Action Plan
"Sustainability-mindedness is no longer an option for any business, particularly one with the global reach and leadership responsibilities of the JTB Group. To this end, our theme for this special 110th Anniversary year is Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow."
Eijiro Yamakita – President & CEO, JTB Corp.
Our primary objective is to educate our employees and colleagues about sustainability and ecotourism. We offer our staff and colleagues free education and training programs to promote sustainability and ecotourism. Through the Travelife online learning platform, we have access to a range of thematic training sessions. We aim for 20% of our team to complete at least one Travelife online course and receive a personal certificate by the end of the year.
We are committed to promoting diversity among our employees and ensuring that everyone has access to equal opportunities. We continuously try to create a welcoming and inclusive work environment for all.
Our goal is to decrease paper usage by 80% by the end of this year as part of our effort to reduce our carbon footprint. We aspire to achieve a paperless environment, and our newly developed PWA system is one of the digital tools we use to help us attain this goal. We are committed to being eco-friendly and take pride in our efforts to protect the environment.
We have taken our sustainability efforts to the next level by implementing the No Plastic Day initiative. We aim to have a NO PLASTIC DAY each month, on the last Friday. By abstaining from using plastic products for just one day during our daily interactions and operations, we can save approximately 1-5kg of plastic items per month per office. We have introduced countermeasures to avoid plastic usage, particularly single-use plastic.
By shifting our operations and adding sustainable elements to our services (Day Tours, Transfers, Souvenirs, Accommodations, F&B options), we aim to directly support the local communities, protect heritage sites, reduce waste & pollution, protect the environment and wildlife while complying the SDG. As part of our company's KPI, we offer SDG programs directly to our customers.
We do not tolerate any corruption or bribery. Our company cultivates transparency when dealing with its customers and suppliers and supports international/national anticorruption and bribery standards. Bribery and corruption include using one's power, offering, giving, promising, asking, agreeing, receiving, or soliciting something of value to influence an action.