TOFTigers, India’s best known eco-travel campaign, and certification body has launched South Asia’s first ‘eco-certification’ for accommodation providers across the lodge and resort segment of the market, which is compliant with the Indian Ministry of Tourism’s Indian Sustainable Tourism Criteria, or ISTC.

Adding to their existing PUG certification programme, now operated by some of India and Nepal’s finest wildlife and wilderness accommodation providers, including the Oberoi, Tajsafaris, and Pug Dundee safaris, the Footprint will seek to help drive up standards of sustainable ‘ecofriendly’ accommodation provision across the Indian Subcontinent.

Launching the certification at a gathering of TOFTigers members at the Ecopark Golf Club in Chanakya Puri, New Delhi, last Thursday, the Chairman, Julian Matthews, highlighted the real need for such a monitoring tool for providers.

‘India is presently at the very bottom of the league table for travel and tourism sustainability, ranked 132 of 136 countries in the world in the latest World Economic Forum report. This is not a place it should be with a country that is the 6th most biodiverse country in the world. Its poor regulatory framework for monitoring sustainability has meant a need to developed this tool to allow accommodation operators a chance to improve their eco efficiencies, reduce waste, save water, mitigate climate change and drive the change needed to improve their business and profitability.’

With urgent action now being demanded by consumers across the globe to mitigate climate change and avoid pending environmental collapse, such monitoring tools should be mandatory for all accommodation providers on the subcontinent, says TOFTigers.