Shri Vinod Zutshi, Secretary Ministry of Tourism, launched the Implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) in association with Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) yesterday. He recalled the MOU signed in March 2016 between ESOI and Government of India to launch the STCI programme across India. Shri Zutshi indicated the importance given to sustainable tourism in the National Tourism Policy that is to be released soon.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Steve Borgia, the President of ESOI hailed the commitment shown by Ministry of Tourism. India is one of the few countries in the world to have a criteria of its own. Mr C.B.Ramkumar, Board member ,Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) presented the global picture and also suggested the direction which India could go in this regard. His address also gave a clear picture the way GSTC operates .
The Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) had been developed for the accommodation, tour operators and beaches, backwaters and lakes sectors of the tourism industry after thorough discussions with the stakeholders. The STCI follow the guidelines set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) that has been evolved under the guidance of the United Nations’ agencies viz. UNEP and UNWTO. The STCI were developed with the need for developing criteria for sustainable tourism specific to India given the specific environment that India’s tourism industry operates in and drawing inspiration from India’s attainments in sustainability. After much deliberations, the STCI were defined finally launched on 26th August 2014 by the then Minister of Tourism in Hyderabad in association with the leading Travel Trade Associations.