Kerala with Responsible Tourism classification system
Kerala is becoming the centre of attraction for tourists to experience wide range of physiography, climate, topography and popular in its own scenic beauties which is uncomparable to the rest of the world. For the smooth and proper functioning of Responsible tourism initiatives, the State Government has given approval for a Responsible Tourism classification system.
The new system envisaged by Kerala Tourism is based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria of the UN. For implementing the system, a Responsible Tourism Classification Committee with the Secretary of Tourism as chairman and the Director of Kerala Tourism as convener has been constituted. The new classification will be based on a grading system in the areas of sustainable management, socio-cultural responsibility, economic responsibility and environmental responsibility. Tourism properties will have to achieve a minimum score in each area to qualify for the classification. Properties with scores between 750 and 1,000, 600 and 749, and 500 and 599 will be classified into platinum, gold and silver respectively. The criteria for each grading system have been specified.
The sustainable management criterion includes approval and classification from the Tourism Ministry and department, customer satisfaction, realistic promotional materials and service delivery and management. Under the socio-cultural responsibility criterion, policy against child abuse, equity in hiring women, promotion of local art and culture, land procurement and impact on local community, support to community development initiatives and a code of conduct for management, staff, and visitors will be considered. In economic responsibility criterion, the efforts of the property in contributing towards the economic benefit of the local community, including employment, support of local small entrepreneurs and economic contributions to the protection of natural and cultural environment will be analysed. Environment responsibility will be judged on energy and water conservation aspects and waste management. Kerala Tourism, the nodal agency, has been asked to organise training programmes regularly and to award certificates titled Responsible Tourism Captains.