Certification Programs

The sustainable tourism criteria for India

The STCI
STCI for Tour Operators
STCI for Accomodation Sector

01

Drafting STCI.

02

Stakeholder Consultation.

03

Pilot Testing of draft STCI principle.

04

Developing scheme related documents.

05

Revising draft STCI principle & criteria based on pilot testing reports.

06

Certification against revised STCI principle & criteria.

07

Promotional activities – Training, capacity building, workshops.

08

First Revision after 3rd Year.

A pilot test is a study, for testing a draft standard prior to the finalization and execution of the STCI standard. The benefits of this exercise are to gain better understanding of the applicability and impacts of the STCI standards at an early stage of the development and before final execution to ensure that standards requirements are fine-tuned, if required, for better execution.

The objectives of pilot testing are:

  • To undertake a possible practical test of the STCI standard on the Tourism Industry (Accommodation sector and Tour Operators).
  • To gain feedback from tourism business on the practical applicability of the STCI standard.
  • To receive recommendations to address identified issues during the process.

01

Site Selection and initial liasioing

02

Document review and information collection

03

Site visit

04

Assessment against STCI indicators

05

Gap identification, if any

06

Report generation and submission to ESOI

Document review and Information collection: The team of assessors will be in contact with key personnel to obtain management planning and other pertinent documents to the operations – back and front house, F&B, engineering operations, customer feedback etc. The team of assessors will schedule the time and place for the initial meeting.

Site Visit: It would include witnessing ongoing operations of the selected industry: Tour Operator/ Accommodation- which includes visiting front and back of the house, witnessing types of room and services, property management system, observing compliance with national regulations, interview with the support staff (engineers, ground keepers, HR, sales and marketing managers etc.), communities involved, locals etc.

Report generation: The assessors will submit a draft report containing findings and a criterion-by-criterion discussion of the observed preparedness of the defined tourism industry – Tour Operator/ Accommodation relative to the applicable standard within three weeks of the completion of the field visit.

Tourism businesses are highly recommended to refer the STCI standard for their industry (Accommodations and Tour operators) to understand the requirements and possible verifiers that pilot testing team can ask for during the site visit.

For further assistance contact:

Dr. Anjuna Dhir, Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI)
anjunadhir@ecotourismsocietyofindia.org
T: +91- 9811031980

Ms. Taruna, GICIA India Pvt. Ltd. (GIPL)
taruna@gicia.org
T: +91-9716786623

01

Application Process
  • Application submission & Screening
  • Review

02

Audit Preparedness
  • Sharing of guidance documents on compliance
  • Existing case studies of standard implementation

03

Desk Review
  • Collection of baseline information
  • Assessment on desk review of documents

04

On-site Audit

On site visit by trained auditors

05

Report
  • Details results of evaluations
  • Listing of shortcomings and “Non-Conformities”(Major & Minor)
    • Major – Violation of National Law, Non-payment of taxes
    • Results – Scores (Based on Conformances)

06

Certification Decision
  • Issuance
  • Rejection

07

Surveillance Audit
  • Annual assessment of implementation of standard
  • Evaluations of shortcoming identified in last assessment
  • Actions taken on suggestions/observation

08

Re-Certification

Re-audit after completion of 3 years

Benefits

Benefits of STCI to the Tourism Industry

  1. Tourism Industry (Hotels/Accommodation and Tour Operators) undergoing pilot testing will gain early experience in the implementation of STCI scheme.
  2. An early access to use of the Logos and mark of sustainability for marketing activities.
  3. Industry can assist STCI standard development committee to better adapt standards to their respective industry’s systems, needs and management practices.
  4. If any Tourism business can comply with the more than 75% requirements of the STCI standard, it may result in issue of the provisional- certificate permitting use of scheme logo for promotional activities. However, note that certificate issuance will be subject to approval from the standard development committee and no major change in the criteria and indicators.
  5. It ensures improved industry’s environmental, social, and economic performance – by protecting and safeguarding the environment, respecting local culture and communities and managing tourism operations as per sustainability management plan.
  6. It provides various tangible and intangible benefits to: Businesses (business reputation, brand value etc.), consumers, governments, environment and local communities.
  7. It helps to distinguish genuine claims and check “greenwashing”.
  8. Certification provides tourists with environmentally and socially responsible choices while increasing public awareness about responsible business practices.
  9. Certified businesses tend to offer better quality service.

RTSOI Certification