July 7, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the TOFTigers Initiative’s Pug mark Eco Certification program has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status. The awarded status affirms TOFTigers Initiative’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.
Started in 2008, the PUG certification is a credible eco-label that highlights the very best wildlife accommodation providers in the booming nature tourism market in India, Nepal and South Asia. In cooperation with over 150 of the world’s best known inbound Tour operators to India, together with DMC’s and agents and over 70 certified lodges in 20 of the finest wilderness destinations in India and Nepal, operators and travelers can use our TOFTigers PUG kitemark to ensure an eco-friendly visit to some of India and Nepal’s finest tiger reserves and sanctuaries. Along with the achievement of GSTC recognition, TOFTigers is celebrating their 10th anniversary.
“We are delighted to have GSTC recognition, as it will help us to drive the sustainable agenda in nature tourism across India, South Asia and other Tiger range states, and ensure the very best providers can thrive and contribute much to conservation, sustainable development and rural livelihoods in the coming years.” Says Julian Matthews, Founder of TOFTigers.
GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel in order to be deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to recognize and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
“TOFTigers has joined the ever-increasing number of reputable standards for sustainability that have chosen to provide more evidence of their quality to global markets by gaining the GSTC mark for Recognition, indicating that their standards meet or exceed our global baseline standards. We’re confident that this step will help them expand their markets for their sustainably certified products” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband.
To date, 23 standards have achieved GSTC Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that these national standards adhere to international norms.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition, Approval & Accreditation of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Approved standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process in order to achieve improvements in their sustainability frameworks, further distinction amongst other certification programs, and receive increased market benefits.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org.
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