Mr. AK Varma, Chairperson, NCCF-SDG, Ecotourism addresses IUCN’s webinar on “Role of Cultural and Natural Heritage in Tourism based Economy” on 1st July 2020

Mr. AK Varma, Chairperson, NCCF-SDG, Ecotourism ( Former PCCF&HoFF, Karnataka ) addressed the webinar on Role of cultural and Natural Heritage in Tourism based Economy, held by IUCN, on 1st July 2020 . He had highlighted the need for certification standards in promoting and sustaining heritage based tourism while focusing on   its impact on heritage based tourism post pandemic.

Certification in tourism has been debated for quite some time. Though there are many certification systems available in the world like Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and Sustainable Tourism Criteria of India (STCI), not many tourism industry suppliers are certified. Ecotourism certification gives the customer a well informed choice to visit true eco-practiced destinations, besides pushing the management to achieve minimum level of sustainability, economic viability and social needs and commitments. Role of certification standards in Cultural and Heritage tourism are equally relevant and very much required.

NCCF has taken the initiative of developing Ecotourism standard, through a multi-stakeholder Standard Development Group that will be country specific and internationally benchmarked and will promote sustainability of natural  destinations, particularly in and around protected areas. IUCN, eminent panelists and the participants appreciated the NCCF’s initiative and wanted to know more details about advantages of ecotourism certification and how the NCCF Standard will help in achieving the objectives of Certification.

The text of Mr Avani Varma’s statement in the IUCN webinar