Kerala launched responsible tourism (RT) rating for hotels and resorts, emphasizing environmental conservation and ecological restoration via tourism.
Tourism Minister PA Mohammed stated during the launch of RT classification software and online application portal for standardization schemes, the initiative is a model for the entire country and it is based on sustainable management, socio-cultural, economic, and environmental responsibility.
According to the minister, hotels and resorts have been classed into RT Diamond, RT Gold, and RT Silver categories based on their ratings on the stipulated environmental characteristics.
“Properties earning more than 80% score in environmental responsibility criteria will receive the RT Green classification. With the launch of the online portal, all processes will be eased and there will not be any delay in providing services,” Riyas said.
“Accreditation for homestays, service villas, Ayurveda centers and resorts, adventure tourism service providers, amusement parks, heritage homes conservation project Grihastali, and licenses for tour guides will now be available online”, he said.
The Kerala tourist department will work with the transport department to establish ‘Foodie Wheels’ at 20 important tourism spots to introduce visitors to local food. There are also plans to collaborate with the public works department to provide facilities for the public to enjoy local food on ancient and underused bridges that have been certified as stable.
The classification under the RT scheme will be implemented by the state RT Mission. The parameters emphasize ecological conservation, local economic development, experiential tourism, preservation of arts and culture, and sustainable growth in the tourism sector.
The RT classification, which is valid for three years, will be awarded following the inspection by a panel comprising the tourism director as chairman, state RT Mission coordinator as convener, and other industry experts.