All stakeholders in the tourism sector in the country have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India.
The agreement was made at a recently held Workshop on Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India in New Delhi by Ministry of Tourism (MoT) on the behest of Kumari Selja, Union Minister of Tourism.
Internationally renowned experts were also present including Dr Stefanos Fotiou, Regional Coordinator of Resource Efficiency and Sustainable, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).
The criteria were developed on the basis of existing ‘Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria’ (GSTC). Since the GSTC had codes for only hotel and tour operator sectors the stakeholders at the conference have decided to extend it to other sectors of tourism industry and a steering committee has been constituted to evolve the Sustainable Tourism criteria for India, which will be formally adopted and has representation of major stakeholders.
For evolving Sustainable Tourism criteria and development of various indicators subsequently it was suggested at the conference that India could consider global Sustainable Tourism criteria developed by Tourism Sustainability Council and other best practices around the world. Once adopted, the criteria will help MoT in formulating policies that encourage Sustainable Tourism while underlining creation of environmental, social, economic and climate responsiveness.
Selja said, “Environmental integrity, social justice and economic development are the three pillars of sustainable development. India has invented thousands of years of culture and heritage, which we all need to consciously strive to preserve and cherish. This workshop organised by MoT is the first such step in the right direction.”
Said Gopinath Parayil, founder of The Blue Yonder and global responsible tourism networker: “This is a good news for a country like India where main stream travel industry is still not active in Sustainable / Responsible tourism space.”
“The fact that MOT has taken the initiative to engage sustainable tourism practitioners is a positive sign, that has to be lauded.”
“However, the problem with our country is not any lack of initiatives, but lack of energy and will power by stake holders to see it go full length. It’s high time that main stream travel industry adopt sustainable tourism practices. What will also be important is to see how representative the steering committee is going to be”.
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Valere Tjolle is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suitewww.travelmole.com/stories/1143624.php
This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’