Responsible tourism: India walking and cultural tour
As a company we are committed to running our tours in responsible manner as highlighted below:
Group size: we only travel with small groups. Our tours have a maximum of 12 in any one group, to help minimise the impact on the villages and environment that we travel through.
Sustainable stays: We work in remote places where too often people have to leave their homes and villages and head into the cities to find work and so villages become abandoned. Working in partnership with the villagers, means that villages can offer our guests a local stay in their guesthouse, which encourages low-key tourism which runs alongside, but does not displace, traditional livelihoods.
Environmental initiatives: This walking experience has been, specifically designed so you can walk between villages, eliminating any need for vehicles. Our local partner works to raise environmental awareness among its participating villages, to nurture the traditions and local knowledge that have long allowed them to live in balance with their surroundings, and to develop understanding of the changes (positive and negative) that the modern world can bring.
Our Guides are trained to value and share their knowledge of local flora and fauna; local craftsmen use traditional skills and materials to build or restore guesthouses and at the same time incorporate energy-saving technology such as solar panels for lighting and heating water.
To make sure our Community Immersion Tours benefit the local economy and community as much as possible we:
Help to sustain rural village communities by encouraging and building on the use of their deep local knowledge and their traditional skills to create economic opportunity, and thus make it possible for villagers to remain within their communities rather than migrate to towns in search of employment. We ensure that wherever possible all necessary work is undertaken by the villagers themselves, and that supplies (food, building materials, furnishings etc) are sourced locally.
All participating communities and villages in the partnership of responsible tourism, share in the work, the pleasure and the profit that these successful tourism experiences create. Working through local committees and taking a full share of the responsibilities that tourism involves, the villages develop economic and social strengths – while their guests, warmly welcomed, find themselves on a voyage of discovery of wonderful remote places and deeply rooted rural lives. The guest-houses are managed by the Village Tourism Committees, who have received training in hygiene, house management, hospitality and cooking but are not professional hoteliers. Their welcome will be genuine and their hospitality often overwhelming. The houses are furnished attractively and simply, with local materials wherever possible, so you'll be able to relax and enjoy a good night's sleep after a day in the open. Delicious food, often vegetarian, is prepared in the dedicated kitchens over open fires, with most of the produce coming from the farms in the village.
Beyond this, we also support The Charitable Trust initiative which was established to enable a wider spread of benefits to communities beyond those already directly gaining from the operations of our Village Walks. Since its foundation in January 2008, the Trust has assisted villagers in training, in facilitating income-generating projects and assisting in social improvement projects. Projects have included tailoring, soap making, handicrafts, used cooking oil reprocessed for making fuel, revived traditional method of weaving palm, as well as facilitating contracts and marketing links for the sale of ‘Village made’ products. Each traveller will contribute $200 AUD per person towards this sustainable initiative.