Myanmar Upper Land | culture & travel (MUL) is committed to promoting sustainable accommodation according to the Travelife’s International Guidelines
Sustainability of an accommodation establishment is of crucial importance, as it enables MUL to extend sustainability practice throughout a core element in our tours/supply chain. In most cases, we do not select accommodation for our clients. In such a case, it is our policy to recommend our clients the most sustainable accommodation options within their budget range. When we do have a chance to select the accommodation, we will give strong preference to establishments that follow sustainable practices throughout all aspects of their operation.
This policy will be part of MUL’s main Sustainability Policy
. The procedure applies to the selection of accommodation suppliers that MUL collaborates with.This policy is effective immediately after approval by the Managing Director and circulation to staff. The plan will be formally reviewed every two years to ensure its relevancy.
Sustainable Accommodation Principles
In our effort to selecting the most sustainable accommodation providers available, we prefer establishments who follow these core principles:
- The right comfort for the right price
The establishment is hygienic, sanitary, and safe and can offer excellent support and service to the expectation of our clients. Sustainable accommodation practices can be found in all price ranges; hence, we aim to identify the most sustainable options available within the budget of our clients.
- Fair business
The establishment follows reasonable business practices, including transparency and adherence to the law, human rights and economic/social equity, and environmental and animal protection.
- Minimizes impact on the environment and society
The establishment places a high priority on sustainable practices, aiming at reducing its effect on the surrounding environment and society.
General Sustainability Considerations
Internationally certified accommodation currently does exist only a very few numbers in Myanmar. However, some establishments are known for their excellent practices. Sustainable practices can be found in all budget ranges. Hence our company, MUL mainly looks at their practices to identify the more responsible suppliers.Evaluations of the accommodation by MUL can be made in several ways:
- Site visit by our company’s sustainability coordinator/manager
- Observations from our guide
- Client feedback form
The following considerations will be addressed in the evaluation of accommodation establishments and will inform MUL preference:
We aim to work with establishments with sound care for their human resources, which is of crucial importance to the hospitality sector. Hence, we assess if the establishment provides the right labor conditions for their staff (minimum wage, reasonable working times, proper lunch hours, etc.).
No plastic policy
The accommodation minimizes the use of plastic and as a standard practice does not offer plastic water bottles to its guests. Instead, the establishment makes available places where guests can re-fill jugs that are provided in the room and their bottles.
We verify that the accommodation separates at least organic waste for composting and plastic for recycling. Establishments that can go beyond these basic waste management practices will be highly preferred.
The establishment follows energy efficiency practices, such as energy saving light bulbs, and energy efficient equipment. The accommodation provider advises their guests (e.g. through signs in the rooms and hallways) to switch off lights, and electric appliances when not in use or have put in place an overall switch off plan (automated system).
Accommodation efficiently uses water. Places with a water saving system on their ‘western’ toilet and shower will be preferred over others. Places that make use of a bucket flush for the toilet and/or bucket shower also have precise control over the amount used.
The establishment ensures that the rights of children are respected and safeguarded. If the supplier employs children below the age of 14, the business should ensure that there are special working conditions put in place to preserve them (for example, part-time or on an internship basis).
Accommodations are stimulated to purchase and re-sell locally and/or sustainably produced souvenirs and use local food products, which are provided based on fair trade and sustainability principles. (e.g. locally produced goods can stimulate the interest in the existence of old crafts which based on the area’s history and culture)
The accommodation limits their negative effect on local and global biodiversity wherever feasible (e.g. do not offer red-listed species on the menu).
The accommodation building (exterior and/or interior) incorporates elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage.
The establishment respects the intellectual property rights of local communities and contributes to the local community in whichever way they can (e.g. sponsoring of local events, a donation to local heritage sites).
Stimulating enhanced sustainable practice
Myanmar Upper Land | culture & travel
follows a long-term strategy to improve the sustainability of regular accommodation suppliers. Upon request or self-initiative, we support collaborative initiatives with other tour operators and/or stakeholders to promote sustainability among accommodations in our destinations.When possible, we talk to the accommodation owner/manager about their current practices and what they could do to follow more sustainable practices (e.g. by a visit from our manager or through our guides).Besides, we may share best practice standards and guidance to our accommodation suppliers, including:
- Information about hotel certification, such as Travelife for Hotels
- Self-evaluation tools
- Training manuals
If it is revealed that an accommodation supplier acts on unsustainable practices, MUL will give them a notice. If that supplier does not amend its practice, MUL will end any form of collaboration from any further association.
Communication to accommodation providers
Myanmar Upper Land | culture & travel
communicates with accommodation establishments in various ways.
Our most common communication is via email and phone. Particularly when sending emails, we can communicate on some sustainability aspects.
Once our booking is made, we supply the accommodation suppliers with a voucher to claim their payment. With our regular suppliers, we have agreed to send this voucher via email, to avoid paper waste. However, there remain some suppliers in Myanmar that prefer paper proof.
When we sign the future contracts with accommodation suppliers that we work with regularly, and these contracts would include an overview of our codes of conduct and sanctions, which the suppliers read and sign upon agreement.
When we have the opportunity near future, we visit the accommodation supplier in person and talk to them about how they could improve their services and become more sustainable. In many instances, it is our tour guides who deliver these messages.
What we communicate
Myanmar Upper Land | culture & travel
promotes as a mandatory policy:
- Child labor
- Anti-corruption / bribery
- Waste management
- Protection of biodiversity
Incentives Myanmar Upper Land | culture & travel
will give preference to working with those accommodation establishments who can operate sustainably, taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and society. Where we have enough volume, we may offer additional benefits, such as marketing of the hotel on our website or special contract conditions.——Sustainable TeamMyanmar Upper Land
|culture & travel(Last updated on July – 2019)