About Us

TOFT India is a collective action campaign; a global alliance to help drive nature stewardship across South Asia and beyond.

From the start of a traveller’s journey, via the supply chain through to the nature destination, TOFT India helps businesses large and small – wherever they are on this path – along their sustainability journey.

Follow the PUG is just one part of the commitments we ask to help businesses drive their ‘triple bottom line’ – and succeed beyond their wildest dreams – and our mission of saving and supporting wilderness and its wildlife better.


ANNUAL RETURN 2020-21


OUR TEAM

VISHAL SINGH 
DIRECTOR

Vishal Singh is a founding member and the Executive Director of TOFT India. He is passionate about travel and conservation and has a wealth of local contacts and regional knowledge. His childhood was spent in tea estates on the fringes of Kaziranga National Park, where he experienced man-animal conflicts and degradation of forest cover first-hand. He completed his schooling from Mayo College and graduated from Welcome Graduate School of Hotel Management. He worked with Sheraton in Mumbai and Delhi before completing his MBA in IMI and establishing his own travel company, Royal Expeditions, in 1995, in which he remains CEO.


DEEPIKA CHOWDHRY 
DIRECTOR

Deepika Chowdhry runs the TOFT India office in New Delhi. She is a reputed professional from the services and concepts industry. With more than 24 years’ experience of National & International Sales & Marketing under her belt, she is well-connected with MICE, leisure, wildlife, adventure and travel agent communities in India and overseas.

She uses her business administration skills with panache, towards the successful culmination of ventures undertaken. She is a true veteran with expertise in marketing, events (conferences, workshops, seminars, road-shows, galas, professional forums, speaker tours, etc.), communication, hospitality, tourism and PR.

Her extensive experience includes roles with renowned international exhibitions such as IMEX- Frankfurt and IMEX America- Las Vegas, ILTM- Cannes, ILTM Asia- Shanghai, AIME- Melbourne, Luxperience- Sydney and IT&MA- Bangkok as well as Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart in Bhopal.

She remains the Founder CEO of Candid India, a tourism & hospitality representation company based in New Delhi.


RITU MAKHIJA
SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER – GREEN TEAM

Ritu Makhija is TOFT India Campaign Manager. She is a qualified sustainable tourism expert with GSTC certification to her credit. Prior to joining TOFT India she has spent a number of years with The British School, Delhi coordinating travel programmes, organising events and conferences.

She also helped with sales of exhibition space for Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart, an event organised by MPTB.

She has over 15 years of work experience in organization management & 7 years in the service industry. She has been handling corporate clients & individuals independently in a customer oriented environment acquiring the sensitivity to the clients and good analytical skills. She possesses the ability to prioritize, project management with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Her focus is on developing the PUG and Footprint certification schemes, and driving its use within the travel trade and as a buyer’s tool for consumers, while training and networking within the travel trade membership.


SHIELA CHOPRA
ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

Sheila Chopra has been very efficiently managing administrative services at TOFT India for the last eight years. She is involved in the day-to-day communication among TOFT India numerous members.

Her role is to develop membership, communication with members, managing meetings, website as well as handling TOFT India’s prestigious Wildlife and Tourism Awards programme.

Shiela is a tireless and efficient professional with a keenness to learn new things.


Our Mission

To improve the ecological and economic sustainability of the wildlands and wildlife across South Asia.

Our Role

To work as a changemaker with governments, communities, and the private sector, to advocate, plan, support, and fund the protection, conservation, and rewilding of natural wilderness and their wild inhabitants, especially tiger habitat, to realise positive and sustainable outcomes for everyone.

Our Belief

Within a number of the United Nations Millennium goals, as well as ongoing research from credible conservation agencies including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and IUCN, is the recognition that well-conceived, well planned and well managed tourism is a critical tool today in wildlife protection and conservation, rural and community development, poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.

LOOK FOR THE PUG - BEFORE YOU BOOK


TOFT PUG Certification


SOME STATISTICS ABOUT TOFT INDIA WILDLIFE ASSOCIATION
300 +
DMC MEMBERS
250 +
LODGE MEMBERS
22 +
PARKS COVERED
20
TEAM MEMBERS
It’s an amazing industry

YOUR SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY

The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries, contributing hugely to many nations economic health and development. It’s also powerful as a job creator, a nature conservation tool, as a community development tool and to help poverty reduction across the world. It has recognised cross cultural benefits, as well as, educational health and human well-being benefits.

Most agree that it’s helped ensure peace and stability amongst nations and towards neighbours. The travel and tourism sector accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and 7% of its exports. It is responsible for one in 10 jobs globally and is the main source of foreign exchange in one-third of developing countries.

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?


Our Eco – based Certification systems or ‘Kitemarks ‘, assures all travellers, their agents and operators, and all those involved in operating, planning or managing nature-based tourism, that certified providers have been thoroughly examined and have reached or exceeded a minimal standard of commitment to sustainable practices in providing eco-friendly nature-based tourism experiences, be they luxury lodges, family resorts, tented camps or simple homestays.
Our PUG and Footprint Certification Programme is the first and only system that has been specially developed to address the need to identify and encourage genuine environmentally focused or ecotourism based, accommodation providers in the Indian subcontinent.

The PUG certification is aimed solely at nature focused accommodation and lodge providers who seek to provide their visitors with a principally nature based travel experiences, and their operations have a very direct bearing on the nature destination itself, on its flora and fauna and with its neighbouring communities.

Contact us to know how you can gain certification

The Footprint certification is aimed at all accommodation and lodging providers whose client base is not wholly nature focused, but enjoying leisure, family or corporate time within any destination, be it in a natural, rural or an urban landscape.

Contact us to know how you can gain Footprint certification


TRAINING OPTIONS

As part of TOFT India commitment to support the integration of wildlife conservation with building sustainable tourism, ensuring destination management and land use planning and enhanced visitor experiences and guiding, so we have committed over the last fifteen years to a host of training programmes.

TOFT India runs a variety of training courses and workshops for both private, non-government and government sectors involved in lodge management, wildlife guiding, nature destination sustainability and sustainable tourism planning and provision in both protected and non-protected areas.

They can be sponsored by the Private Sector, funded directly by TOFT India, sponsored by travel businesses or as part of a Government supported training programme.

These have included for example:

Park Guide Training:
For Example: Over 40 of the best of Madhya Pradesh’s park guides, whose job is to show visitors around parks including Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench have been given up to two month’s intensive training on field guiding, visitor interpretation and nature education, through IIFM in Bhopal.
Park Drivers
For Example:  Over 600 of Madhya Pradesh’s drivers, who drive visitors and VIP’s in all of Madhya Pradesh’s best-known parks, have been given an intensive two-day training course in 4×4 driving, interpretation and visitor interaction over the last couple of years.
Field Directors and Tourism authorities:
For Example: An intensive three-day workshop, attended by all the Field staff of 6 of Maharashtra Tiger reserves, together with 20 staff of the Maharashtra Tourism Board were trained in recognising and implementing sustainable tourism, to pass the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Sustainable Tourism Awareness course.

For the Lodge Community
TOFT India runs a host of Lodging workshops to highlight and encourage Wilderness Lodging Best Practice. For example 25 of Corbett’s best known lodges and resorts participated in a ‘Best Practice’ workshop over a whole day, hosted by a lodge that is an Outstanding PUG certified lodge.

workshop over a whole day, hosted by a lodge that is an Outstanding PUG certified lodge.

For the Indian Travel Community
TOFT India runs a host of half day Training programmes to the DMC community, informing their management and staff on Best Practice in Travel and Tourism, and their role within it, conducted by our Management team.


Requests for training, training courses, sustainability-based workshops for the industry and for Governments continue to be run as needed, planned or requested.

As part of our commitment to educating the Travel Community and visitors with regards to nature travel and responsible tourism, our  Training Staff are available for specific lectures, presentations and workshops.


JOIN US – AND HELP DRIVE SUSTAINABILITY

HERE’S WHY

Consumer awareness and demand for environmentally and socially responsible goods and services like travel and tourism are at an all-time high. Nature based or ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the market and forecast to grow as visitors increasingly seek authentic, experiential nature based experiences around the globe.

‘In an increasingly digitally-connected, work-centric, and material world, travellers are seeking opportunities to reconnect with nature, other people, and a sense of individual meaning. Both the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations have shown inclinations to pay a premium for authentic and meaningful travel.’ CREST Centre for Responsible Travel

According to an AIG Travel Survey conducted in 2016 which explores consumer perceptions of sustainable travel movement, a mere 4 percent of the industry is practicing some form of sustainability. Of those who want to travel sustainably, more than one third (35 per cent) found it difficult, and half didn’t know how to do it. TOFT India aims to change that.

If you are in the travel and tourism business working within or operating from outside the Indian subcontinent, you will have the opportunity to highlights your commitments and actions to sustainability by using and promoting our TOFT India logo, using our globally recognised Certification kitemark as a promotional or purchasing tool of renowned integrity, gaining both industry and consumer trust with your own commitments to your corporate sustainability efforts.


So now it’s your time to join TOFT India – and play your part in driving sustainability

CONTACT US NOW!


Certification

WHAT IS CERTIFICATION? Our Eco – based Certification systems or ‘Kitemarks ‘, assures all travellers, their agents, and operators, and all those involved in operating, planning, or managing nature-based tourism, …