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Published on : Wednesday, March 16, 2016
To develop tourism based on the principles of sustainability, the Union Ministry of Tourism has launched a comprehensive sustainable tourism criteria for India (STCI) for three major segments of the tourism industry — tour operators, accommodation and beaches, backwaters, lakes and rivers. The criteria have been adopted by the stakeholders, an official said.
Further, the ministry has guidelines for approval of hotel projects at the implementation stage and also guidelines for classification or re-classification of operational hotels under various categories. As per these guidelines, hotels at the project stage itself are required to have various eco-friendly measures like sewage treatment plants (STP), a rain water harvesting system, a waste management system, pollution control, introduction of non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) equipment for refrigeration and air-conditioning, measures for energy and water conservation, etc.
The official said that under the guidelines for the project level and classification or 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.
According to the government, tour operators 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 that the present tourism resource requirements optimize both local community benefit and future sustainable uses.