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GSTC Webinar: Unpacking Sustainable Tourism in India through the lens of the GSTC Criteria
The Covid pandemic while bringing travel to a standstill also brought about a shift in the minds of the consumer globally and within the country. Research conducted by Booking.com in 2020 reveals that 96% of Indian travellers identified sustainable travel as important to them, while 76% said they were more determined to make sustainable choices when looking to travel in the future. However, 39% of Indian travellers do not know how or where to find sustainable travel options and 54% think there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.

Sustainable tourism, responsible travel and ecotourism are concepts now many in the tourism sector talk about. These terms are largely misunderstood and interpreted in many different ways. More importantly they are equated to only “being green” and “environmental conscious”. How does the industry, stakeholders in destinations, policy makers and tourists build their understanding on what is sustainable tourism and sustainable travel options?

Already being used in India, the GSTC Criteria serve as the global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The Criteria are used for education and awareness-raising, policy-making for businesses and government agencies and other organization types, measurement and evaluation, and as a basis for certification.

* Mr. Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
* Mr. Randy Durband, CEO, GSTC
* Mr. CB Ramkumar, Board Member & South Asia Director, GSTC

* This is a public webinar for participants from India, organized by the GSTC India Working Group.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) manages the GSTC Criteria, the global baseline standards for sustainable travel and tourism; as well as acts as the international accreditation body for sustainable tourism certification. www.gstcouncil.org

Nov 10, 2021 04:00 PM in India

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Mr. Arvind Singh
Secretary @Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
Mr. Arvind Singh joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1988 after acquiring Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and the Delhi School of Economics. He was first assigned as Assistant Collector at Aurangabad and as Chief Executive Officer of Aurangabad and Nagpur Zilla Parishads. After a stint in the Chief Secretary’s office at Mumbai, he moved to Kolhapur as District Collector. Moving to the Centre in 2001, he worked in various ministries including Commerce and Shipping and as Private Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture. Mr. Arvind Singh has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Tourism in 2021. His previously was the Chairman, Airport Authority of India, M/o Civil Aviation; Additional Chief Secretary (Energy) in Gov’t of Maharashtra; and served at the Embassy of India, Tokyo as Minister (Economic & Commercial) between 2014-17. Mr. Singh has attended training courses at Geneva’s Graduate Institute and Harvard University.
Mr. Randy Durband
Chief Executive Officer @Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
Randy Durband has had two careers in travel and tourism – twenty-plus years in senior leadership positions at some of the finest U.S. tour operators, having served as President for Travcoa, INTRAV, and Clipper Cruise Lines, (brands within TUI Travel plc), plus Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. Following that, in his second travel and tourism career, Randy advanced the work of Sustainable Tourism as an advisor, consultant, and speaker. He brings his knowledge of the business of travel, his global network of travel professionals, and a passion for sustainability to support the GSTC and the general sustainable tourism movement. He has held several board positions and committee memberships in travel and tourism organizations, and is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism issues.
CB (Ram) Ramkumar
Program Director – South Asia @Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
CB Ramkumar is a Member of the GSTC Board of Directors, Chair of the GSTC India Working Group, and was influential in the adoption in 2014 by the government of India of national sustainable tourism standards which drew heavily from the GSTC Criteria. Ram is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, an entrepreneur and an expert in applied sustainability. He developed a model for sustainable living when he built the first 100% eco resort – Our Native Village in Bangalore, India. Over the last decade, he has extended his expertise to sustainable living – sustainable food, sustainable health, sustainable service, marketing & branding. Ram had been an advertising and marketing professional for two decades. His long career in the advertising & marketing took him to global companies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis and Standard Chartered Bank.