Ecotourism Society of India—Working Towards Sustainable Tourism


Zanskar Rafting - Ibex Expeditions

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in India. With this pace of rampant growth, there is a need for a set of guiding principles that tour operators and the hotel industries need to be abide by, to be able to grow and prosper sustainably, in an environmentally friendly manner.

Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote and ensure environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The society was formed in 2008  by 13 widely experienced founding members from state government departments of tourism and forests, the tourism industry, wildlife conservation, NGOs and also Members of Parliament. It has been formed under the advice of the Ministry of Tourism. It is the national body for responsible tourism.

The outfit stands on three pillars:

  • Engaging in advocacy
  • Helping create policies and guidelines
  • Helping with certification

In its advocacy role, ESOI has launched national workshops on Environmental Law, Responsible Tourism and Best Practises, in partnership with WWF-India, supported by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments. These workshops allow for knowledge sharing, capacity building and a better understanding of ecotourism and its practical implementation. They also help raise awareness on the implications of unsustainable tourism and the need for green measures.

ESOI has conducted “Best Practice” workshops all over India, and has successfully managed to create state ecotourism societies as well.

The society is open for membership to conscious companies and individuals who wish to walk the sustainable path and lend support to the cause.

Some of the advantages of becoming a member of this important outfit are:

1. Exchange of environmental good practices among members
2. Sharing of best practices on responsible tourism
3. Invitation to training programs, seminars at concessional members rate
4. Use of logo on members website / stationery / publicity material to communicate  organization’s commitment to being eco-friendly organization
5. Certification of tourism enterprises
6. Society shall champion for Member’s issues concerning Ecotourism and take up with the govt. bodies for resolving the same
7. Affiliation with worldwide ecotourism bodies
8. Mention in membership directory and website
9. Visits and invitations to selected ecotourism sites
10. Membership certificate
11. Possibility of becoming an Honorary Ecotourism Warden of the Society

Mandip Singh Soin has been the Founder President, and is the Immediate Past President  of the Ecotourism Society of India. Other founding members include:

1. Dr. Venu, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India;
2. PD Rai, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha;
3. Avay Shukla, (Retd.) Addl, Chief Secy, Forests, Govt of Himachal Pradesh;
4. Rakesh Mathur, Director & Principal Advisor – Zinc Hospitality, Cross Roads Hotels, Speciality Restaurants;
5. Toby Sinclair, wildlife filmmaker
6.  Sudip Sahi, UNDP Consultant
7. Krishna Kumar, former MLA and environmentalist
8. Ravi Singh, CEO, WWF India;
9. Steve Borgia, Chief Managing Director, Indeco Hotels;
10. Sarat Champati, chief naturalist
11. Jose Dominic, MD CGH Earth Hotels;
12. Niranjan Kharti, GM Environment, ITC WelcomGroup Hotels.

The Honorary Members include:

1. Shri Shilabhadra Banerjee IAS 
Former Secretary, Govt.of India, Min. of Tourism;
2. Shri Sujit Banerjee IAS Former Secretary, Govt.of India, Min. of Tourism;
3. Dr. H S Pabla Former PCCF, Madhya Pradesh; Retd. IFS;
4. Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji, The Maharaja of Marwar, Jodhpur;
5. Shri M.P. Bezbaruah, IAS, (Retd.) Honourable Member of North East Council (NEC).

Ibex Expeditions has been associated with ESOI since May 2009, and our association is going strong. We uphold the values of #treadlightly and encourage our travellers to avoid using single-use plastic

We recommend you to become members of this wonderful association as well.