Ecolodge Rating - Rules, Guidelines & Terms (Last update: 28 March 2016)

Background & Principles: - International Ecotourism Club operates a free, ecological, transparent and democratic ecotourism rating system based on our Criteria for an Ecological Tourism. Launched in January 2008, our rating process keeps evolving. 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


Eligibility: Ecolodge Rating is offered free of charge to eligible Accommodation facilities as follows:

Facilities must be:

(a) in one of the following categories: Lodges, Inns, Guesthouses, Homestays, Farmstays, Agritourism facilities, Boutique Hotels.

(b) up to 20 rooms - no room limit if owned by a non-profit, a cooperative, a municipal entreprise or a worker-managed company.

(c) legally licensed as tourism accommodation facilities.

(d) located and operated in accordance with all applicable national & international environmental legislation, human rights treaties and international labour standards.

(e) The following types are not eligible: Self-catering apartments, villas for rent, holiday home developments, golf resorts, facilities owned by hotel chains or business groups, facilities affiliated with religious or political organisations, facilities that display animals or promote hunting, game fishing or fly-fishing.

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

STEP 2: Questionnaire Replies Evaluation
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 accommodation facility an Ecolodge Rating Candidate Status and the Rating procedure will take place as detailed in Step 3. 

STEP 3: Rating Page Preparation & Member Vote
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 Candidate's Rating Page within 30 days and to offer a Rating. We recommend that each Member decides how to vote 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 points should be awarded, when it is almost fully met 4 points, when it is partly met 3 points, when it is not met, but considerable effort is currently being made to meet its 2 points, when it is not met but some effort has been made to meet the specific criterion 1 point and if it is not at all met and no effort has been made no points should be awarded. Members should then add the partial ratings of each criterion and produce a total rating. The average of all ratings received by our Members then becomes the Rating for the Ecolodge. The Team does not take part in the voting. 

STEP 4: Recognition as an Rated Ecolodge
Successful applicants are recognised as an " Rated Ecolodge" and enjoy additional promotion on our portal and social network. Rated Ecolodges are allowed to display a personalised Logo on their website. The Logo should be linked to their Rating Page for verification purposes.

Rating Duration:
An Ecolodge may request a new rating one year after the previous rating.

Important Notes:

1. Applicants do not have the right to veto or to request that their Rating Page is hidden if they find it unfavourable.  All Rating Pages are permanently displayed. When there is a new Rating for a Lodge, the old Rating page 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 Ecolodge Rating Application, to suspend or terminate the Ecolodge Rating 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 Ecolodge, please complete the online application form.