In search of increasingly sustainable suppliers

Relevant SDGs


Type of entity: Large Company

Since: 2013

The activity of Viajes El Corte Inglés (VECI) has always been linked to a constant search for local suppliers with a desire to serve and to innovate in the activities at the destination. This long-term, stable relationship has assisted the local development of the supplier by contributing economic sustainability to the activity, greater support for local culture and the dissemination of this culture to the traveller.

Being integrated into society is not an objective—it is a way of understanding business management. Respect for the environment and for the people living in it is a value to be borne in mind when deciding who to contract. This measure is applied equally when contracting products and services locally for corporate customers, whose needs are different to those of holiday travellers, but who also contribute with their business activity in the destination by fostering local development.

After joining the Global Compact in 2003, a new way of understanding the relationships between suppliers and their social values was established in the El Corte Inglés corporate group. For this reason, Viajes El Corte Inglés values the Social Responsibility of its suppliers and has sent them a letter with our operational principles, requesting them, in addition, to formally state that they accept and share the operational principles of Viajes El Corte Inglés.

In addition, these principles have been included as a common, cross-cutting concept in the training of the agents, an activity which involves more than 600 training events each year.

One value to be borne in mind when deciding about contracts is the contribution of donations to the local communities to support the population or contribute to protecting the habitat. The multiplier effect of tourism makes these organizations become stronger each day and permit better protective measures to be proposed.

While we know that travelling is the best of experiences, it can also damage the ecosystem or heritage if we engage in it without taking into account several simple tips. Viajes El Corte Inglés has therefore prepared a ten-step guide so that our travellers act as responsibly as possible when travelling and enjoy their environment in a respectful manner so that following generations can also enjoy it. This guide is on display in the training rooms so that they become internalized and disseminated to a greater extent.

At the same time, and by way of supporting this attitude, Viajes El Corte Inglés has established numerous national and international cooperation relationships with the Tourism Offices of the main destinations requested by our customers. This activity is essential for developing and promoting the destinations’ natural and cultural heritage.


Ten-step guide for the responsible traveller         

Travelling is the best of experiences but it can also damage the ecosystem or the local heritage if we travel without bearing in mind some simple tips. We shall enjoy the environment respectfully so that the following generations can also enjoy it.

  1. Discover with curiosity. Dip into our brochures or ask us: every place has its history, culture, traditions and values. Getting informed beforehand allows us to behave ourselves without having a detrimental effect on these. Discover the sublime heritage of many different places, feel like just any other person and treat it with the greatest respect in order to be able enjoy the best of experiences.
  1. Enjoy the local beauty. Leaving an impression does not include leaving graffiti or waste. Bring home a better experience instead.
  1. Discover and protect local wildlife. Watch without disturbing it. Do not pull up the flowers or plants or purchase souvenirs or products made out of endangered species. If you dive, do not pull out the coral so that we can continue to enjoy their beauty. Finding out about local species will also allow you to discover possible natural hazards and prevent them.
  1. Enjoy the silence. In some places it is very important and even sacred. In natural parks, the silence will enable you to enjoy the sound of nature and not affect the animals.
  1. Get lost on purpose. Take the opportunity to walk or ride a bike or horse. Try not to erode the soil and pollute the environment. Taking collective transport is preferable and by doing so, you are more likely to discover places you would never have visited on your own account.
  1. Pay it back. The money you spend when travelling is the only thing that makes you truly rich, because travelling makes you wiser and happier, so try to give something back if you have the opportunity: volunteering, donations, NGO stores and restaurants, purchasing local crafts or fair-trade products, etc. There are a thousand opportunities to give a little back of all what a place and its people gave you.
  1. Discover the local flavour. Eat the freshest local products; you can even head straight to the markets or farms. Soak up the local cuisine and in this way you will also contribute to tourism in the area and to the sustainable development of the community.
  1. Fire is not a plaything. Be very careful with fire as it can cause great damage to the environment and to you if you light a fire anywhere with no fire prevention in place. Keep your surroundings clean and do not abandon rubbish just anywhere to get rid of it. Waste can also cause fires and unhygienic surroundings.
  1. Consume natural resources in moderation. Water and gas, for example are scarce resources for the planet and a luxury in some places. Many accommodation suppliers already incorporate practices for sustainable consumption. Collaborate with them.
  1. Adapt and discover local friendliness. Approach people with respect and healthy curiosity. When we travel to exotic spots, everything seems extraordinary and worth being recorded, but be careful: people are not part of the backdrop. Ask their permission to photograph them and enjoy a smile from end to end!

By sending out the principles that govern the relations between our company and the suppliers, we are obtaining a very positive response, as the agreement is accepted by the vast majority of suppliers while the rest are either in the process of doing so or have already signed up to another series of codes of ethics which are comparable to ours, sharing in full their sense and goals.

At Viajes El Corte Inglés we have introduced a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to measure customer satisfaction, in which the agent contacts the customer directly upon their return from their trip to ask them about their experience. The questions of the after-sales protocol include an attempt to assess the sustainability of the destination and the trip’s cultural and social impact. Number of after-sales surveys performed in the last half: 19,797. (The surveys are conducted on customers who have purchased a combined trip.)

In the last financial year, Viajes El Corte Inglés undertook 610 classroom-based training events and 125 online courses for the entire workforce, with an average of 9 training events per employee.

Our results are viewed with a high degree of satisfaction of our customers with the product, enabling their loyalty to our brand to grow.

At Viajes El Corte Inglés, we wish to emphasize and highlight that the central role of tourism in the development of cities is unquestionable. Therefore, from all the areas of our sector, we have the great responsibility of positively influencing this contribution to growth and dynamization so that it occurs in a sustainable and planned manner that respects and preserves the local character and cultural and natural heritage.

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Viajes El Corte Inglés – Europamundo Vacaciones

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