The Latin American Travel Association (Lata) has unveiled a sustainability charter which encourages members to adopt a number of ecotourism standards.

The charter provides benchmarks for environmental impact, staffing conditions and distributing economic benefits of tourism to local communities across its supplier members including tourist boards, airlines, hotels and DMCs.

The aim is to create more consistency and help agents find and book with more suppliers implementing sustainable strategies.

The organisation is creating a ‘sustainability toolkit’ which includes case studies, video tutorials, tips, standards and certification bodies, and will be available on the Lata website.

The charter was launched at trade show Experience Latin America in London last week.

Belize Tourism Board, Belize Hotel Association, Revealed Travel, Select Latin America, St Helena Tourism, the Brazilian tourism board and Muda! Brazilian Collective for Responsible Tourism have signed up so far.

Lata treasurer Quinn Meyer said: “There are over 200 existing certifications and frameworks globally, so it’s very confusing. We’re going to distil that down.

“It gives consistency for UK travel agents and tour operators, and improved quality of service. It allows [agents] to sell a package of people who are all operating at the same level.

“We are confident that Latin America is heading to becoming the world’s premier sustainable destination.”

Details of participating members’ sustainable initiatives will be published in Lata newsletters and in a dedicated section of its website by the end of the year.

“We’re going to try to work with everybody – group them together in smaller working groups to begin to build small alliances within travel and tourism,” Meyer added. “It isn’t just about getting everybody to do it, it’s about getting them to do it together.

“This is the only way to bridge the gap all the way to the end consumer.”