ECOCLUB - International Ecotourism Club operates a Rating programme based on the four key ECOCLUB Ecological Tourism Criteria, the GSTC Industry Criteria and the collective wisdom of our Members. The ECOCLUB® Ecotourism Rating™ process keeps evolving but from day 1 our aim has been to (a) avoid all conflicts of interest and (b) minimise our rating system's environmental footprint. The whole process is paperless, it is completed online and ratings are determined in a transparent and direct democratic manner: a public vote by ECOCLUB Members. The ECOCLUB Team does not receive a remuneration for the Rating and is not at all involved in determining it.
ECOCLUB® Ecotourism Rating™ is available, free of charge, to small, eco-friendly hotels and other accommodation providers which have been in operation, under the current ownership, for at least one year.
The process is as follows (last update 4 April 2018):
STEP 1: Online Application
STEP 2: Rating Questionnaire
Eligible applicants are asked to complete the ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating Questionnaire to the best of their ability and explain in detail, providing pictorial and video evidence on how they meet each one of our four criteria.
STEP 3: Rating Page Preparation
On receipt of the answers, we use the Questionnaire Replies to prepare the ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating Page. We reserve the right to edit text and images for clarity & space but we will never alter or enhance/improve replies. It is the responsibility of the applicant to collect and present all necessary information and evidence.
STEP 4: Voting
The ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating is determined by a public Member Vote. We ask ECOCLUB Members who have been Members for at least 1 Year to review the ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating Page within 60 days and to offer a Rating. We ask each Member 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 4, and the minimum 0; when a criterion is fully met, 4 points should be awarded, 3 points when it is almost met, 2 points when it is partly met, 1 point when it is not met but an effort is being made, and no points at all if it is not met and no apparent effort is being made made. The average of all ratings received is then calculated and becomes the ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating for this business. The maximum rating is 4 out of 4. The ECOCLUB Team does not vote. ECOCLUB Members who have a conflict of interest (such as a professional or other relationship with the business or the business owners) are not allowed to vote. For extra transparency, we have decided (March 2018) that all votes will be eponymous and public. When the 60 day Rating period has passed and if at least 30 Members have rated (if not it will be extended until at least 30 Members have rated) and if the average rating is at least 2 out of 4 the facility will be recognised as a Genuine Ecolodge™. A personalised Logo will be produced and this should be prominently displayed on the business's own website and linked to the business's ECOCLUB Rating Page for verification purposes.
1. We reserve the right not to accept an ECOCLUB Rating Application for any reason, including if we feel a business or accommodation facility is not compatible with the ECOCLUB philosophy, and/or to withdraw a rating if credible evidence which contradicts claims in the rating application emerges, and/or to suspend the Rating Process if there is a significant change in the business details or surrounding area circumstances (e.g. war, civil unrest or violence), or if the business ceases to operate or is sold to new owners. (The new owners are welcome to start a new rating application).
2. Businesses & Facilities operating, promoting or associated with captive wild animal displays and nature-consumptive leisure activities such as 'recreational' hunting are not eligible.
3. Applicants do not have the right to veto or to request that their ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating Page is hidden if they find it unfavourable. All Rating Pages are permanently displayed. When there is a new ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating for a Business, the old Rating Page will also be displayed for comparison purposes.
4. We reserve the right to suspend or withdraw an ECOCLUB Ecotourism Rating and/or a corresponding listing in our Business Directory if (a) credible evidence which contradicts claims in the rating application emerges, (b) if there is a significant change in the facility details or surrounding area circumstances (e.g. war, civil unrest or violence) (c) if the personalised Rating Logo is not displayed on the business's own website and linked to the corresponding Rating page (d) if the business ceases to operate or (e) it is under new ownership. Applicants may request a new rating two years after the previous Rating completion date.