1) SUSTAINABLE TOURISM - CONSERVATION & RESEARCH :
a) Green Hiker Campaign :
The Green Hiker Campaign is WWF’s initiative to encourage tourists and tour operators in the Himalayan region to opt for sustainable and responsible tourism. Covering almost the entire Himalayan region, WWF aims at reducing the baggage of tourism while inviting tourists to enjoy the Himalayas in its pristine form.
Website : www.wwfindia.org/greenhiker
b) Himalyan High Altitude Wetland Conservation :
WWF’s Regional Initiative, ‘Saving Wetlands Sky-High!’ is working with its country offices in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and China to mobilise governments, communities and local stakeholders towards conservation of the Himalayan High Altitude Wetlands which find themselves beyond national and political boundaries.
Website : http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/critical_regions/high_altitude_wetlands/
c) Centre for Environment Education :
It is a Centre of Excellency supported by the ministry of Environment & Forests , Government of India.It is committed to ensuring that due recognition is given to the role of EE in the promotion of sustainable development. CEE develops innovative programmes and educational material, and builds capacity in the field of education and communication for sustainable development. It undertakes demonstration projects in education, communication and development that endorse attitudes, strategies and technologies that are environmentally sustainable.
Website : http://www.ceeindia.org/cee/experiencing_nature.html
d) ECOSS (Ecotourism Society of Sikkim) :
It is a non-governmental Organization working to accomplish a mission of sustainability and conservation is the state of Sikkim. ECOSS has been involved in establishing the Sikkim Himalyan Homestays with support from UNESCO.
Website : http://sikkimhomestay.com/aboutus.htm
e) Himalyan Environment Trust :
Their aim is to mobilize support from mountaineers, trekkers,alpine clubs,adventure tour operators and Himalyan region governments,to protect the himalyan environment,its flora , fauna and natural resources as well as protect the customs and interests of local people , to evolve a code of conduct & ethics that’ll be followed by all visitors to himalyan region and to spread awareness worldwide through programmes and conferences.
Website : http://www.himalayanenvironment.org/index.php
f) ECOSH (Ecotourism Society of Himachal Pradesh) :
The society is an autonomous and independent body, with its main aim being to preserve and protect the natural, historical and cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh; in order that it acts as a preferred destination for visitors and provides opportunities to promote Community Based Ecotourism (CBET) in Himachal Pradesh, particularly using latest approaches of Participatory Forestry Management, for sustainable development of the forests, thereby generating revenue for the State.
Website : http://www.himachalecotourism.nic.in/ecosoc.html
g) Travel Operators For Tigers ( TOFT) :
The Travel Operators for Tigers is a 'supply chain' pressure campaign initiative aimed at a Global collective and inclusive Travel trade response to the tiger crisis in India, and by association, all the forests and wildlife being affected in the Indian subcontinent . Their main aim is to become India’s premier voice in advocating well conceived and well managed responsible nature tourism as a critical and sustainable conservation tool.
h) EQUATIONS :
Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) is a research, campaign and advocacy organisation. They study the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of tourism on local communities believe that tourism should be non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable.
Website : http://www.equitabletourism.org/
i) BAIF Development & Research Foundation:
It is a reputed voluntary organisation established in 1967 by Dr. Manibhai Desai, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, at Urulikanchan, near Pune to promote sustainable livelihood in Rural India. BAIF is committed to provide sustainable livelihood to the rural poor through management of natural resources and promotion of livestock development, watershed development and agri-horti-forestry as major income generation activities. BAIF has developed the Village Cluster Development Approach to reach the poorest of the poor. This approach is a unique approach to identify the problems and needs of poor families and introduce appropriate technologies and services to solve them. To ensure sustainability, self help groups of men and women of homogeneous socio-economic status have been promoted, who have identified their needs and initiated various income generation activities and community development initiatives with facilitation from BAIF.
Website : http://www.baif.org.in/about_us_about_baif.asp
a) World Travel & Tourism Council :
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry. It works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, supporting 255 million jobs and generating 9 per cent of world GDP. WTTC advocates partnership between the public and private sectors, delivering results that match the needs of economies, local and regional authorities and local communities with those of business.
Website : http://www.wttc.org/our-mission/strategic-priorities/tourism-tomorrow/
b) Global Sustainable Tourism Council :
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices around the world. Momentum around this movement is growing. The GSTC is currently active in all UNWTO regions, including Africa, The Americas, East Asia and the Pacific, South Asia, Europe and Middle East. The GSTC Criteria are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. Focusing on social and environmental responsibility, as well as the positive and negative economic and cultural impacts of tourism, the criteria are organized into four topics viz-a-vis Sustainable management , Socio-economic impact, Cultural impact and environmental impacts.
Website : http://new.gstcouncil.org/resource-center/gstc-criteria
c) Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST) :
also known as Centre for Ecotourism & Sustainable development is a non-profit research institution with offices in Washington , DC , and at Stranford University , whose mission is to promote responsible tourism policies and practices globally so that the local communities my thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity.
Website : http://www.responsibletravel.org/home/index.html
2) RESPONSIBLE INITIATIVES IN ACCOMODATION SECTOR :
a) ITC Hotels group :
ITC Hotels is actively committed to the environment. WelcomEnviron is a multi-faceted programme started by them in order to propagate environmental causes in the cities where their Hotels are located. The guiding principle is 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle'. Each hotel has its own programme, encompassing local participation, creating awareness among employees and internal conservation through energy-saving gadgets and environment-friendly materials.
Website : http://www.itchotels.in/environ/Environ.html
b) CGH Hotels :
CGH (Casino Group of Hotels) develops and operates travel experiences in multiple locations. Their structures become a part of the lndscape , using natural as well as modern materials to blend in. It rests on a set on non-negotiable values such as Environmental Stability , Including & benefitting the local community and adopting local ethos.
Website : http://www.cghearth.com/cgh-earth/ecotourism
c) Sarai at Toria :
The Sarai at Toria’s uniquely designed accomodation is situated on a beautiful riverside site, close to khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a luxurious but an earth friendly retreat playing a positive role in economic and social development of the local area. It is also known to act as a base for various conservation activities and for wildlife & climate change research programs.
Website : http://www.saraiattoria.com/
d) Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd. :
They are commited to the concept of Responsible Tourism through which it seeks to enhance the social, economic and environmental well being of the host community , apart from incentivizing the retention and regeneration of their unique culture. They are commited to employing the best in “environmental & ecological practices” in technology , equipment and operational processes.
Website : http://www.orangecounty.in/responsible_tourism_landing.php
e) INDeco Hotels :
This unique heritage hotel , an 1896 villa is set in an ancient village amidst culture,tradition and arts and is the only winner of Global eco Tourism Award. The hotel radiates and depicts South Indian Lifestyle. The hotel also houses a mueseum titled “Mueseum of Tamil Lifestyle,heritage,beliefs & practices”.
Website : http://www.indecohotels.com/
f) Singinawa Jungle Lodge :
Located in the tiger heartland of the world, Singinawa Jungle Lodge offers a unique experience of the jungles of central India with all the comforts of a world class lodge. The lodge offers the chance to not only learn about the tiger and its habitat but to also experience ecologically responsible tourism and see conservation at work benefitting local communities and the Tiger Reserve.
Website : http://www.singinawa.in/responsible%20tourisam.html
g) Agri –Tourism , Baramati :
Agri-Tourism is the practice of attracting travelers or visitors to an area or areas used primarily for agricultural purposes. It is small-scale, low-impact, and, in most cases, education-focused. Agricultural Tourism is the Holidays concept of Visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural, or agribusiness operations for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation. Agri Tourism India (ATDC) gets the year 2008-2009 NATIONAL TOURISM AWARD as the Most Innovative and unique tourism Product.
Link : http://www.agritourism.in/about%20agro.htm
a) Six Senses – Resorts & Spas :
Six Senses Social and Environment Sustainability Policy commits to sustainable development, with environmental responsibility being a core value and fundamental to our business. Through this commitment our mission is to reduce the impact of our businesses, on the environment at both development stage andoperational stage.
Website : http://www.sixsenses.com/Environment/
b) Guludo beach Lodges:
Our Model encompasses a commercial enterprise (Guludo Beach Lodge), which operates using fair trade principles and a charity (Nema Foundation), which partners with 16 local communities to implement projects. The lodge stimulates the local economy and develops skills while the charity tackles the root causes of poverty and environmental devastation, which are funded by donations from the lodge, its guests and our charity partners.
Link : http://www.guludo.com/content/fair-trade-tourism
c) Inkaterra, Peru:
Founded in 1975, Inkaterra has grown into a renowned biodiversity research and conservation tourism company operating five hotels in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Madre de Dios area of the Amazon rainforest. With the establishment of The Inkaterra Association (ITA), focused solely on scientific research, they continue to demonstrate their leadership in the conservation of Peru's original forest, committing to a 100% carbon neutral hotel stay for every guest. Their science and conservation center in the Amazon, Casa ITA, provides a dedicated facility to house researchers, students and volunteers and they have expanded their conservation stewardship to include 38,800 acres of rainforest in the Amazon basin and 25 acres of cloud forest within the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary.
They have received award under Tourism for tomorrow for “conservation” by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), 2012.
d) Saunder’s Hotel Group:
The Saunders Hotel Group has been at the forefront of environmental advances in the hospitality industry for over fifteen years. The Boston based family business, which owns and operates The Lenox and Copley Square Hotels as well as the Comfort Inn & Suites Boston/Airport, has instituted more than 90 innovative, eco-friendly programs company wide. Their pioneering efforts have demonstrated for hotels worldwide how environmental measures can build customer loyalty and employee productivity while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Saunders Hotel Group has received prestigious awards for their leadership including a Gold Medal from former President Bush and has been named America’s Environmental Hotel of The Year three separate times. They have also been featured in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and on CNN for their industry leading examples. They have also been awarded with the Tourism for tomorrow – Community Benefit Award by WTTC.
3) NATURAL & BUILT HERITAGE CONSERVATION :
a) INTACH :
The Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is a non-profit organization set up in 1984 to involve its members in protecting and conserving India’s vast natural, built and cultural heritage.
Website : http://www.intach.org/
b) Nature Conservation Foundation :
Their goal is to contribute towards Knowledge and conservation of India’s unique wildlife heritage with innovative research and imaginative solutions. This organization works with a highly qualified and motivated team of conservation scientists working in the range of wildlife habitat, from coral reefs and tropical rainforests to the high mountains of himalyas.
Website : http://ncf-india.org/about-us.php
c) TRAFFIC – India :
TRAFFIC has an enviable reputation as a reliable and impartial organization, a leader in the field of conservation as it relates to wildlife trade.Their vision is of a world in which trade in wild plants and animals is managed at sustainable levels without damaging the integrity of ecological systems and in such a manner that it makes a significant contribution to human needs, supports local and national economies and helps to motivate commitments to the conservation of wild species and their habitats.
Website : http://www.traffic.org/
d) Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra :
Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) is a leading non-government organization (NGO) in India, engaged in conservation of, education about and research on nature. In the year 1992, SNM started its work in the pristine region of Konkan on the western coast of Maharashtra state in India. SNM has successfully organized various projects in nature conservation, protection and education with its limited resources.
Link : http://www.snmcpn.in/index.php
4) RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL :
a) IBEX Expeditions :
Ibex has been a leader in adventure travel, off-the-beaten-path holidays, wildlife safaris, special interest vacations and deluxe escorted journeys in luxury hotels & camps or quaint lodges. Ibex arranges authentic, culturally immersive journeys; be it camping in the Himalaya or fine dining at a Maharaja's palace. Their endeavor is ensure that their trips benefit the environment and local communities. Ibex Expeditions was honoured by the President of India at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, on 29th February 2012 as the 'Most Innovative Tour Operator' of India.
Website : http://www.ibexexpeditions.com/index.htm
a) Wilderness Safaris :
It is a responsible ecotourism and conservation company. They protect pristine wilderness areas and the flora and fauna. They believe that in protecting these areas, and including the local communities in this process, they’ll make a difference to Africa and ultimately the world. Through thier safari operations and private access to nearly three million hectares of southern Africa's finest wildlife areas, they offer their guests a unique and life-changing experience.
Website : http://www.wilderness-safaris.com
b) Intrepid Travels :
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. According to them, with people’s participation they can help conserve the areas they visit and bring positive benefits to their host communities. With a huge variety of tours available, Intrepid travellers explore the world's most amazing places - from the back streets of Asia, to the wilds of Africa, the colourful landscapes of Latin America, the picturesque National Parks of North America, the delicacies of Europe & ancient cultures of Australasia.
Link : http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/index.php
5) AWARDS FOR PRACTISING RESPONSIBLE TOURISM:
a) National Tourism Awards:
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India presents National Tourism Awards to various segments of the travel and tourism industry every year. These awards are presented to State Governments / Union Territories, classified hotels, heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators and tourist transport operators, individuals and other private organizations in recognition of their performances in their respective fields and also to encourage healthy competition with an aim to promote tourism. The award categories concerned with responsible tourism include:
· Best Eco Friendly Hotel
· Rural Tourism Project
· Responsible Tourism Project
The entries open usually in the month of December and continue for one month. Selected candidates and organisations are felicitated with awards in the month of April.
a) WTTC Awards for practicing Responsible Tourism:
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are presented annually to tourism organisations that are demonstrating best practices including helping to improve the livelihoods of communities and supporting the protection of natural and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism development. The Awards are given in four different categories addressing all sectors of the Travel & Tourism industry such as:
· Destination Stewardship Award
· Conservation Award
· Community Benefit Award
· Global Tourism Business Award
The information about the winners and finalists of this award from 2005 onwards can be obtained from the link given below:
b) Wild Asia – Responsible Tourism Initiative:
Wild Asia developed the unique Responsible Tourism Initiative (RTI) focused solely on Asian tourism operators. RTI’s aim is to engage and encourage tourism operators in the region to do more for their own destinations. As part of this effort, we introduced our annual Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA) as part of our ongoing effort to identify and encourage leaders in sustainable tourism. The Awards checklist is aligned to the United Nation's World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and acts as a showcase for exemplary resorts and as an inspiration to others. The information about the winners and finalists of this award from 2006 onwards can be obtained from the link given below:
c) Skål International – Ecotourism Awards
Skål International, following the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, launched the Ecotourism Awards in the same year, to highlight and acknowledge best practices around the globe.
Skål, as an international organisation of industry leaders, is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel.
The awards presented on these grounds, while highlighting best practices in tourism around the world, also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environments, the traveller’s responsibility and the need for active community participation in Ecotourism.
d) World Tourism Market Awards for Responsible Tourism Initiatives:
The Responsible Tourism Awards are organised by founder responsibletravel.com, with support from media partners Metro, Geographical Magazine (the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society), and World Travel Market, where the Awards are given out. The judging process is designed and organised in partnership with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and Virgin Holidays have supported the Awards as headline sponsor since 2007. The information about the winners and finalists of this award from 2004 onwards can be obtained from the link given below: