Established in 1997 and formerly known as HG Travel, ASIA DMC is headquartered in Vietnam and amongst the leading destination management companies in all of Southeast Asia, predominantly focused on B2B trade.
On September 11th, about 300 staff and guests joined our ceremony in Shanghai Mansions, Bangkok, to celebrate ASIA DMC’s 20th anniversary. Coinciding with the anniversary celebration, ASIA DMC Vietnam was awarded Partner status with global sustainable accreditation leader, Travelife. This demonstrates the company’s on-going commitment to environmental and social sustainability across our business.
On this special occasion, we interviewed Mr. Naut Kusters, Travelife’s General Manager about the meaning of Travelife partnership status towards tourism organizations:
Q. In a few words, what does Travelife mean for a tourism organization?
Naut Kusters: Travelife supports travel companies to implement and comply with international CSR and sustainability standards. Through the Travelife training and online platform, companies are provided with knowledge and tools such as policies, code of conduct and lists of (more) sustainable suppliers. Travelife shares best practices from other companies and creates a level playing field by setting widely supported standards for travel companies and their suppliers.
Q. What does it mean for ASIA DMC to reach Travelife partner status?
Naut Kusters: By reaching Travelife Partner level, ASIA DMC Vietnam has demonstrated a clear commitment towards sustainability. Through Travelife’s online platform and training programs, ASIA DMC will be provided with the best possible support as it advances its CSR efforts.
Q. What have been the steps taken so far to reach this status?
Naut Kusters: ASIA DMC has put the relevant policies in place, such as a preferential policy for more sustainable suppliers. ASIA DMC has also taken the first steps specifically inside the office by, for example, reducing energy use, purchasing environmentally friendly paper and by eliminating plastic bottles and foam lunch boxes from the office. They have also implemented a child save and animal welfare policy.
Q. What does ASIA DMC need to do to continue its commitment to Travelife and sustainable tourism?
Naut Kusters: Sustainability is a step-by-step approach. As a nextstepASIA DMC could work to introduce the policies at a group level. Recently, ASIA DMC Myanmar also joined ASIA DMC Vietnam as a certified Travelife Partner. They could become leaders in sustainability in Asia by complying with internationally recognized CSR criteria. Based on an independent onsite audit the Travelife certified award could be reached. By that ASIA DMC would comply with internationally supported sustainability standards.
ASIA DMC's Group Managing DIrector, Mr. Linh Le, and ASIA DMC Thailand's Country Manager, Mr. Andree van de Marck with Travelife's General Manager, Mr. Naut Kusters
At the event, Mr. Linh Le, Group Managing Director of ASIA DMC, also shared with us the significance of receiving the coveted Travelife partnership status on the 20th anniversary:
Q. Today, on the occasion of ASIA DMC's 20th anniversary, the company is rewarded with Travelife partnership status. What does it mean to the company and what message does it send to the world of tourism?
Linh Le: Every day we see our social media feeds filled with messages about the rapidly changing world. It’s important for us to lead by example and set an educated and responsible pace—to achieve this upon our anniversary has been a major goal, now greatly realized.
Q. Travelife is the biggest CSR project undertaken by the company and the HG Foundation. What are the other projects that have been realized by the company thatmakeASIA DMC a proud leader in sustainable tourism?
Linh Le: Just last month, in August, we participated with our sister company Bhaya Cruises in the 3rd edition of “Action for a Green Ha Long”. Earlier this year, in March 2017, we launched a ‘Roots and Fruits’ tree-planting campaign across the nine countries in Asia where the company currently operates. It is also part of a carbon-offset programme we will be announcing for leisure guests by the end of this year which coincides with our target to achieve carbon neutral status by 2020. Furthermore, we are committed to socially responsible operations in at least 20 areas throughout the region.
Q. Although this award is an achievement in itself and a testament to the hard work of every member of ASIA DMC, we understand that this is just the beginning for the company and HG Foundation’s plans. Please detail your future plans, objectives and goals.
Linh Le: Overall, we want to be a service provider who adds value to our trade partners by further educating them on sustainable practices and ethical travel. We cannot wait to pass on the knowledge of our trade partners to our clients so everyone can enjoy responsible, sustainable and educated experiences while traveling that allow for cultural and environmental conservation and rejuvenation.