Background & Principles: - International Ecotourism Club operates an ecological and transparent ecotourism rating system based on our Criteria for an Ecological & Equitable Tourism. Launched in January 2008, our rating process keeps evolving and is an integral part of Ecolodge Membership. We minimise our rating systems impact on the environment: no flashy brochures & gimmicks, no travel involved, the whole process is completed online and ratings are determined in a transparent and democratic manner. To see the current Rated Ecolodges click here. Rating - Rules, Guidelines & Terms (Last update: 20 July 2015) Rating is offered to eligible Accommodation facilities as detailed in our Ecolodge Membership Page.

STEP 1: Applicant completes the Rating Questionnaire
Eligible Applicants will be asked to complete the Rating Questionnaire and explain in detail, providing pictorial and/or video evidence on how they meet each one of our five criteria.

STEP 2: Questionnaire replies are evaluated and if satisfactory Membership is granted
The Team will then evaluate the Questionnaire Replies and may ask for additional information, clarifications or evidence. When we feel that the questionnaire has been fully and satisfactorily replied we will grant your Lodge Ecolodge Membership and the Rating procedure will take place.

STEP 3: Rating takes place
The Team uses the Questionnaire Replies to prepare a Rating Page for the Ecolodge. We reserve the right to edit application text and images for clarity & space, to meet maximum allowed word counts, and so as to remove non-relevant, non-informative & brochure-type data. We then ask our active Members to review the Ecolodges' Rating Page within 30 days or longer to receive a minimum of at least 20 ratings from our Members. We rate the Ecolodge using the following method: each criterion section in the Rating Questionnaire is of equal weight. The maximum rating score that can be awarded in each section is 5, and the minimum 0; when a criterion is fully met, 5 stars should be awarded, when it is nearly met 4 stars, when it is partly met 3 stars, when it is not at all met but considerable effort is currently being made to meet it 2 stars, when it is not at all met but some effort has been made to meet the specific criterion 1 star and if it is not at all met and no effort has been made no stars (0) should be awarded. We then add the partial ratings of each criteria to produce the overall Rating based on the average of all ratings received. 

How the Rating is displayed & updated:
The rating is displayed next to each rated lodge's listing in our Ecolodge and Country Directories. 

Recognition as Ecolodge Member:
Rated Lodges are recognised as "Ecolodge Members", are entitled to display a personalised "Ecolodge Member" Logo and enjoy additional promotion on our website.

Displaying the Rating Logo:
Ecolodge Members are allowed to display a personalised Ecolodge Member Logo and/or a personalised Rating Logo (available upon request) on their website. The Logo(s) should be linked to their Rating Page for verification purposes.

Rating Validity:
The Rating is valid for one year or more as long as the Ecolodge continues to operate under the same ownership and the designated representative continues to be an Ecolodge Member of The Rating Page and the Rating cannot be amended before one year has passed from online publication. After one year, the Applicant may request a new Rating. However, even before one year has passed, if solid evidence emerges that there is a significant deterioration in circumstances, conditions and effects related to the Lodge's operation, reserves the right to post this evidence, or a relevant statement in the Lodge's Rating page.

Important Notes:
1. Applicants do not have the right to veto or 'hide' a rating, if they find it unfavourable or if Ecolodge Membership was not granted.  All Ratings are permanently displayed. When there is a new rating for a Lodge, or the Lodge ceases to be a Member, the old rating may be moved to a publicly accessible online Archive with a link from the new rating page or index of ratings.

2. We reserve the right not to accept any Rating Application, to suspend or terminate the Rating Application process at any time and for any reason, to withdraw a rating if credible evidence which contradict claims in the rating application emerges, if there is a significant change in the facility details or surrounding area circumstances (e.g. war, civil unrest or violence), if the Ecolodge ceases to operate or is under new ownership.

How to Proceed:
To request a rating for your Lodge please review the Ecolodge Membership Benefits & Obligations.