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Ministry of Tourism launches Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India

The Ministry of Tourism has launched a Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for three major segments of tourism industry, namely tour operators, accommodation and beaches, backwaters, lakes and rivers sectors during the sensitisation workshop on Sustainable Tourism for stakeholders organised in August 2014. The criterion has been adopted by the stakeholders. Further, the Ministry has guidelines for approval of hotel projects at the implementation stage and also guidelines for classification/re-classification of operational hotels under various categories. As per these guidelines, hotels at the project stage itself are required to incorporate various eco-friendly measures like Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Rain Water Harvesting System, waste management system, pollution control, introduction of non-Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) equipment for refrigeration and air conditioning, measures for energy and water conservation etc.

Under the guidelines for project level and classification/re-classification of operational hotels, it has been prescribed that the architecture of the hotel buildings in hilly and ecologically fragile areas should be sustainable and energy efficient and as far as possible be in conformity with the local ethos and make use of local designs and material. The tour operators approved by Ministry of Tourism have to sign a pledge for commitment towards safe and honourable tourism and sustainable Tourism to fully implement sustainable tourism practices, consistent with the best environment and heritage protection standards, such that the present tourism resource requirements optimise both local community benefit and future sustainable uses.