Why join the TOFTigers PUG Eco-rating?
The Indian sub continent’s wildlife tourism sector has boomed over the last few years, with many positive benefits to local communities and the Tiger parks themselves. The 2014 Indian Tiger census and the Nepalese conservation success, establishes the fact that nature tourism today is helping ensuring parks can be better conserved, by offering extraordinary economic benefits both to providers, but more critically to park management and to local villagers and their communities, who now can value wildlife more alive than dead.
Download a detailed PDF here on the PUG rating certification
However, as the nature tourism sector expands at a rapid rate it also has many downsides which we are all aware of. For businesses it means stiff competition, new and constantly changing rules, greater enforcement and carrying capacities issues to confront. It also means greater demands from your visitors for responsible tourism, expanding expectations, and more accountability from governments, industry bodies, NGO’s and the media.
The sector is rapidly coming under greater scrutiny by governments, the global and local media and advocacy from the NGO sector, as well as the global issues of Climate change, environmental degradation, and collapsing biodiversity. In India, the tourism sector has be accused of ‘killing tigers’, blocking corridors, offering poor local employment opportunities, poor planning and training and regularly breaking the law.
TOFTigers believes good quality, well-conceived, well planned and responsibly derived tourism can save the Bengal tigers’ forests – and therefore its wildlife – but the industry needs to ensure this happens collectively and individually. The wildlife tourism sector needs to operate its businesses to the high standards of economical, environmental and social practices to ensure long term sustainability for you and for the environment. International visitors now demand responsible practices (see report link here) and increasingly domestic visitors do too – and the Government will soon enforce new standards, with the recent introduction of the Indian Sustainable Tourism Criteria (ISTC) by the Indian Ministry of Tourism in late 2014.
- In enhanced marketing opportunities and networks through the TOFTigers and Sanctuary Asia magazine (Link to Sanctuary Asia Page) websites and social media, business to business events, media events and TOFTigers Biannual Wildlife Tourism Award programme.
- Offers your services a ‘unique selling point’ and competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace, with clients proven to be more likely to book your services over other similar services.
- Saving costs through better, more considered and considerate operating practices
- Enriching your visitors’ experiences and helping satisfy their expectations as well as gaining more repeat or referral business by highlighting your credentials.
- Helps lessen or mitigating your many business risks – including competition, regulation, consumer and legislative demands etc etc
- Highlighting and demanding better environmental and social standards ensures better staff motivation, better retention and better service, helping you to do better business
- Lastly TOFTigers offers catalytic funding sources to develop cooperative projects that benefit conservation and community enterprises with your neighbours.
”PUG” is an acronym to Practices Under Guidelines. It represents a system of green labelling, examining your operating practices, and thereby allowing International and National buyers, suppliers and visitors to make better purchasing decisions on which lodge or resort to choose to send their clients or stay at. PUG therefore focuses on enhancing your operations triple bottom line’; economic profitability, respect for the environment in and social responsibility. TOFTigers’s PUG certification is an endorsement of your efforts and something you can be justly proud of holding.
Download a detailed PDF here for full details on Applying for TOFTigers PUG certification
To get on Board contact our Green team now.