Sustainable Tourism Hawai'i
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Sustainable Tourism Association Of Hawaii / Travelife Certification Program

What Is Certification And Why Partner With Travelife?

This certification allows companies to be recognized as operating sustainably. Our partnership with Travelife allows us to gain greater visibility, giving certification a world-wide recognition. We have combined our checklists to allow companies to gain both certifications at the same time.  

Cruise ships, tourism boards, environmental organizations, and customers look for the STAH and Travelife logos when they choose who to trust. It shows that you care for the land, support the community, and respect the Hawaiian culture as an organization. Visitors and other businesses love to support that.

What Are The Investments And Benefits For A Company?

  • Recognition: Use of our certification seal and Travelife Partner or Certified logos, plus mentions in various campaigns and materials submitted to industry and government officials.
  • Trust: Be more authoritative as the seals show your company is transparent and has 3rd-party vouching for their experience.
  • Visibility: Enhanced visibility on and a profile on our website, plus social media shout-outs, as well as inclusion in industry newsletters and promotions. Become a corporate sponsor for even more.
  • Awards: Qualify to nominate your guides, volunteers, and company to be named as Tour Operator and/or Tour Guide of the Year.

What Are The Steps To Get Certified?

  1. Appoint someone to be your Sustainability Coordinator. This can be any manager.
  2. Email us their information and we will create an account for them, so they can login and review the system.
  3. The person completes two training courses to receive their “Sustainability Coordinator” certification.
  4. They begin to review the checklist and fill in the information as best they can.
  5. A coach will be assigned to them and will be available to help guide them through the process and answer specific questions related to points on the certification checklist.
  6. A completed checklist will get a “Desk Audit” by the auditor assigned to the company (not the coach). If they pass, an on-site evaluation is scheduled.
  7. The Auditor will go out on tour and meet with staff at the business operations to review aspects of the checklist and verify the information.
  8. A report is created and if the recommendation in the report is that the company passes certification, they will become certified.
  9. Organizations (HVCB) and other partners are notified of the certification. Certification seals are presented to the company for their use. 
  10. Within 6 months of certification, the company will be subject to a Pono Traveler “secret shop”. If the report corroborates the checklist responses, the company continues to be certified. If issues arise, the company has 6 months to fix the problems.
  11. There is a yearly certification meeting to review previous issues, and to make sure the company continues to follow its yearly guidance and policy.

We look forward to helping you achieve certification. Please contact us to get started now.

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