Abstract: Ecotourism, a niche tourism sector globally is preferred by the visitors to travel to destinations that provide for nature-based tourism (NBT) products. Around Ecotourism, the nuances of Sustainability, Responsible Tourism, Community Based Ecotourism (CBE) have made a mark. Climate Change, disasters, bring in an element of how to manage fragile destinations that come under the umbrella of Ecotourism. The facet of quality has been in currency when it comes to hospitality and transport; Ecotourism has joined the bandwagon. How to consider a Ecotourism destination sustainable, ensuring zero impacts on the environment, helping to preserve and conserve the ecology, how to support the local community have become important measures in the world of tourism today. Thence, the finer aspects of assessments, accreditations, certifications, will become standards that will enable Ecotourism destinations and standalone resorts and properties to invite the visitor to experience nature. Though few in number assessing, accreditating and certifying agencies the world over, are making the best of efforts to assuage the finest of sustainable elements, but also provide important marketing tools for the end users. It is pertinent, that opportunities are provided both to the user and the visitor to get the best of the Ecotourism site. The research study undertaken is a work in progress, which will enable the reader, academia and practitioner to understand at what stage we are in India in regards to assessments, accreditations and certification. The role played by the Government machinery which owns the base product of Ecotourism, the forests and the private and Global players. The Ecotourism canvas of India is still foraying into the assessment, accreditation and certification domain and a world leader like Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has important role to play. The concentration of the current agencies who are focussing only on the environmental aspect; whilst the GSTC certification mechanisms is focussing on Social-economic, cultural and Environmental.

Keywords: Ecotourism, Accreditation, Assessment, Certification, SDGs

PDF | DOI: 10.17148/IARJSET.2021.8891

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