A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the union tourism ministry and Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the country, an official statement said on Tuesday.
The ESOI will prepare a 10 - year road map for advocacy and certification under the sustainable tourism criteria after consultations with various stakeholders at the grassroots level, said the statement.
The tourism ministry and the ESOI published the 'Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India' two years ago and carried it to the grassroots through advocacy workshops.
"ESOI will formulate classification guidelines for certification of tour/travel operators within STCI guidelines and later develop standards for destinations which will also be in sync with internationally accepted global sustainable tourism criteria, " the release said.
The ESOI was established in 2008 at the behest of the tourism ministry as a non - profit organisation to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in tourism.
The ministry has officially declared the ESOI as its partner in developing policy guidelines, code of conduct and ethical practices for sustainable tourism.
The ESOI has over the past eight years attempted to spread awareness and educate tourism service providers as well as local government officials on the need to ensure sustainable tourism practices, the release said.