Mumbai, India, 2022-Aug-22— /Travel PR News/ — Hill stations of India have become highly popular tourist attractions and this has resulted in haphazard development of these destinations. Therefore, implementation of sustainability criteria and practices by the destination management and its stakeholders is inherent for the rejuvenation of the tourism centres. Sensing the need for sustainability assessment, Green Destinations, the Netherlands based accredited certifier is launching its certification program for hill stations this year. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the year 2022 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development’. The year also marks the 20th anniversary of the first International Year of Mountains and the ‘Mountain Partnership’.
This is the first of its kind certification in India and Nepal. The pilot certification has commenced in Himalayan destinations in Nepal, while in India the initial focus is on peninsular hill stations. The assessment and audit for ‘Good Travel Program’ certification will be initially implemented in the micro attractions of Meghamalai, Mannavannur and Baralikkadu in Tamil Nadu, Matheran and Garudmaachi in Maharashtra and Saputara in Gujarat. The attraction cluster certification for major mountain destinations will be implemented first in The Nilgiris which is celebrating its bicentenary followed by Kodaikanal, Munnar, Wayanad and Coorg in future. Himalayan destinations in India and Bhutan will be selected for certification in the next phase. Best performing destinations can move to the main GSTC accredited certification program of ‘Green Destinations’. This program has been conceptualized as part of international events which form part of Mountain Partnership and Mountain Research Initiative. The organization is planning to rope in Tourism Boards and other partners for the smooth implementation of the program.