National Consultant - Developing the Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme

Location : Colombo - Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :03-Aug-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :5 Months - Full Time (15 August 2018 to 30 December 2018)
Expected Duration of Assignment :5 Months - Full Time (15 August 2018 to 30 December 2018)

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.



Tourism is an important and rapidly growing sector in Sri Lanka. The country received over 2 million tourist arrivals in 2017. This historic high contributed US$ 3.92 billion in foreign exchange earnings, placing tourism as the country’s third highest foreign exchange earner; after remittances and textiles/garments. In addition to the direct economic impact of tourist spending, the sector stimulates overall economic activity, as it raises skills and employment, opens new markets, attracts foreign investments and enhances infrastructure development as well as promoting inclusive growth.

However, the rapid growth of the industry has begun to have negative environmental and social impacts, resulting in the degradation of vital resources. If tourism is not managed, planned, and fostered in accordance with the natural and human environment, it could lead to conflict, and decline of the industry. Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that delivers positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes with consideration to the needs of the visitor, industry, community, and environment. It is essential to establish a suitable balance between the environmental, socio-cultural, and economic aspects of tourism development, to ensure longevity, productivity, and beneficial tourism development.     

In addition, tourists are becoming increasingly aware and conscious, with eco-friendly travel becoming a new movement. Travelers are choosing to spend on environmentally and culturally sustainable outcomes, over purely “experience” vacations, and travelers are much more likely to stay in “Green” accommodation options. Economically, the sustainable approach is also more profitable in the long term. A 2016 study by the Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research revealed that eco-tourists tend to stay longer, spend more (on local products), and believe they have a responsibility to respect the destination, leading to a more mutually beneficial outcome.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the UNDP, through its Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), plan to establish a Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme for the tourism sector. This would serve to incentivize tourism providers to integrate environmentally and culturally sensitive practices into their business model. This would make the businesses more competitive locally, and internationally, and promote Sri Lanka as a sustainable tourism destination.

Minimizing the negative impacts on the environment and local culture ensures that the country’s resources can be harnessed for generations, while simultaneously generating income,providing skilled employment opportunities, preserving local ecosystems, and creating a positive development experience for local people, tourism companies, and tourists themselves. This maximizes the positive contribution of tourism, including contribution to poverty reduction, training and development opportunities, and empowerment of local communities. Tourism is also a key vehicle in raising awareness and fostering positive behavior change. 

Promoting sustainable tourism is increasingly necessary to balance environmental protection with development, but also enhancing competitiveness of individual tourism businesses, and promoting Sri Lanka as a sustainable tourism destination. The certification scheme will serve to mitigate the negative impacts of tourism, but also incentive tourism businesses to transition toward environmentally responsible business practices. 



The overall objective of the assignment is to set up a framework to create and implement a sustainability certification scheme for tourism establishments. To this end, the SLTDA and the UNDP are seeking to appoint a consultant as the main lead for the implementation of the project. Once a comprehensive team has been recruited by SLTDA and the UNDP, the Consultant will need to coordinate, supervise, and oversee the team.

The National Consultant will play a key role in providing overall technical expertise in developing the Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme in partnership with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and the UNDP. He/she is also expected to provide advisory support to the SLTDA on operationalization of the proposed Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme. Further responsibilities under this consultancy assignment is detailed in Section C (Responsibilities) below of this TOR.



Duties and Responsibilities


Specific responsibilities

i. Establish the Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme

The Consultant will need to assist SLTDA to finalise the criteria for the Certification Scheme and obtain necessary approvals. The Consultant will also need to select a representative sample of service providers in accommodation sector to be included in the Scheme. The Consultant will also assist SLTDA to select an inspection team. Inspection requirements should be identified by the Consultant, and coordinating of inspection visits and reporting is required;

ii. Coordinate, correspond, and collaborate with different stakeholders and departments, to launch and maintain the programme.

The Consultant will need to continuously monitor and evaluate the product, including facilitating an independent review, as well as organize and implement comprehensive training schemes to educate local and international stakeholders to ensure universal awareness of the project, to assure seam-free implementation, and address queries and concerns. The Consultant will be expected to collaborate and engage with stakeholders, including focus group discussions, workshops and meetings;

iii. Organize and implement comprehensive training schemes locally and internationally for SLTDA officers to ensure that the project is implemented in accordance to SLTDA and UNDP best practices;

iv. Establish an inclusive team to drive the routine operations of the initiative, by coordinating and managing their overall daily operations. Assist to set up office space within SLTDA, monitor, and manage equipment;

v. Work closely with UNDP to brand the scheme;

vi. Initiate a promotion campaign for the scheme with the assistance of UNDP;

vii. Coordinate with UNDP to organize the Certificate Awarding Ceremony.


Expected Output/Deliverables

The following results are expected from the Consultancy:

  1. An inception report including a work plan which includes an outline of key deliverables, tasks and timelines for the Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme within one week of signing the contract;
  2. Conduct workshops to obtain a final review from the stakeholders to draft the criteria for the scheme by August 2018;
  3. Conduct a study for recommendations for the certification, and select a representative sample of service providers in the accommodation sector for certification;
  4. Design an application and assessment and formulate the certification procedures by end August 2018;
  5. Work with SLTDA and UNDP to create an end-to-end automated system for obtaining and monitoring the certification process by September 2018;
  6. Brand the scheme, including developing a logo and a theme, by October 2018;
  7. Handle the promotional campaign for the certification scheme, including managing electronic and social media campaigns, oversee the creation of web pages, brochures, handbooks and flyers by early November 2018;
  8. Submit a draft Progress Report for review by 15th of December;
  9. Submit the Final Report to SLTDA and UNDP by 30th of December 2018.



The envisaged time frame of the Consultancy is 5 months starting from 15th August to 30th December 2018.





The prospective Consultant should have the following competencies and qualifications:


a.  Technical competencies

  • Experience and technical knowledge of sustainability accreditation tools and schemes realted to the tourism sector;
  • Strong understanding of private sector issues relating to tourism development and sustainability in both emerging countries, and the global tourism sector;
  • Candidate should have a minimum of 10 years (overall covering above aspects) of professional experience in Tourism and/or environment sector including demonstrated and hands-on experience in legal or policy reform;
  • Experience in baseline assessments of energy sector technology-applications, and M&E of CCM/GHG mitigation programmes and projects;
  • Skills demonstrated in mentoring project stakeholders towards a common objective.

b.  Partnerships

  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national and provincial institutions;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent coordination, training and communication skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize collected data and present findings to stakeholders;
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with colleagues – especially in this case the national level consultants and officials.

c.  Results

  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships.


Required Skills and Experience


a. Education and professional

  • Masters in Law, Sustainability, Tourism Development/ Strategy/ Management, International Relations, or related field will be desirable;
  • The prospective candidate for this post should posses minimum of 10 years of work experience in tourism related legal, or policy reform.

b. Experience

  • Experience in working with governments institutions on policy related matters;
  • Experience working with NGOs, INGOs, and other private sector organizations;
  • At least 5 years work experience in project management. Previous work in donor funded projects will be an added advantage;
  • Working experience with international organizations or similar projects/programme design and implementations;
  • Executing responsibilities of a senior level manager and advocacy for developing national plans / programmes with state sector and non-state sector stakeholder engagement;
  • Demonstrated leadership, facilitation, coordination skills, ability to mentor technical teams;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment, to effectively manage it and to motivate its members and other project counterparts to effectively work towards the project’s objective and expected outcomes;
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written), synthesis, analysis and trouble-shooting skills.

c. Languages/ Other

  • Excellent written and spoken knowledge of English;
  • Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil is an additional requirement;
  • Computer proficiency, especially related to professional office software packages (Microsoft Office).



The application should contain:

  • Cover letter (1 page) explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology (1 page) on how you will approach and conduct the work;
  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR (max 3 pages);
  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP;
  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address:  stating the vacancy number/position  in the subject line.



All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee : LKR


Amount in words:LKR.

Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant.

For an Individual Contractor who is 62 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  Such medical examination costs must be factored in to the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. 



Payment Milestones will be as follows:

  1. On submission of the Inception Report by 20th August 2018 - 20%; 
  2. On creation of an end-to-end automated system for obtaining and monitoring the certification process by September 2018 - 25%;
  3. On completion of branding the scheme, including developing a logo and a theme, by October 2018 - 20%;
  4. On the final Progress Report submitted to the SLTDA and UNDP 35%.

Qualified women are encouraged to apply.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all the requested material.

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