Gujarat Subsidizes Tour Operators Certification to the GSTC Criteria
The Gujarat government its Gujarat Tourism Policy 2021-2025
“While the global travel and tourism industry contributes to 10% of the global GDP, valuing close to USD 9 trillion, it contributes to around 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. Various aspects such as transport, lodging, construction, food and beverages and such tourism-related activities contribute to tourism’s carbon footprint. As per the estimates by the UNWTO, transport-related emissions from tourism are expected to account fr 5.3% of all man-made CO2 emissions by 2030. India’s tourism sector’s carbon footprint is the fourth largest in the world and with the growth of the sector, shifting gears to encourage investments in green (energy efficient) buildings, low carbon transport systems and such sustainable measures is the need of the hour.”
“Gujarat has already taken a step towards sustainability by adopting the “Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India” laid down by the Ministry of Tourism of India, and undertaking concerted activities under “Swachh Bharat” and “Swachh Gujarat”. Taking further, the Gujarat Tourism Policy 2021-2025 now encourages and incentivizes:
Adoption of E-Vehicles by tourism service providers.
Projects obtaining Green Building or Sustainability Certification under IGBC or GRIH or LEED or any such international accreditation/certification as identified by SLEC from time to time.
“Reimbursement of 50% of the certification fees paid, up to ₹ 500,000 to Tour Operators for obtaining GSTC certification through GSTC accredited agencies.”
Such policies to support sustainable tourism in Gujarat, India, will increase the number of certified sustainable tour operators in Gujarat.
Sustainability certification (what some call eco-label) is a voluntary, third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tour operator for conformity to a sustainable tourism standard. GSTC does not conduct certification. Certification is conducted by relevant Certification Bodies throughout the world. GSTC accredits those that certify. Those tour operators certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body can use the GSTC logo along with the Certification Body’s mark.