Responsible tourism: Tribal festival holiday in India
The North-East is the land of green belt of India, of forests and tribal people. The entire north-east region is rich in its natural resources-oil, natural gas, minerals and most importantly valuable forests. Though the North-East is an industrially backward region, the existing industries, deforestation and flood are causing serious problem to the environment in the region.
For our wildlife tours we have wildlife experts, who are themselves involved in conservation efforts. Hence, while our clientsí visit to the wildlife parks bring a positive economic benefit by way of entrance fees paid, our guides adhere to a number of strict guidelines not to in anyway disturb the delicate natural environments with safety of the clients being paramount.
Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park is the safest way to see the endangered One horned Rhino and the other wild animals including the tiger. These wild animals do not feel threatened by the approach of an elephant and therefore one can get close to these animals. The rides are regulated by the forest department and could be cancelled if the weather is bad. There are only minimum number of rides and not more than 5 people on one elephant. The duration of these elephant rides is between 1-2 hrs. The fees charged for the elephant rides goes towards the maintenance and conservation efforts of the park.
In spite of the existence of several forest laws and regulation the forest cover of the region is fast depleting to logging, deforestation and plundering by the insurgents. Flood causes severe damage to ecology, environment and hundreds of wildlife including the one horned rhinos perish in the annual floods in the region. The river island 'Majuli' is losing several hectares of land to Brahmaputra every year, thus the very existence of the island is under threat.
As a tour and travel organisation we realise that rampant tourism can also be a burden on the environment. We therefore, strive to reduce any negative impact to the best possible extant.
We use small vehicles accommodating 4-5 passengers in a trip. We use our own cars or hired cars that conform to emission standards and are regularly checked both for carbon emissions.
In places where there is scarcity of water and energy, we inform our travellers about the limited use of these resources.
North East India, is located in one corner and attached to the rest of India by a narrow 20 km wide land passage and shares a border area of over 2000 km with neighbouring countries Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The region is known to be one of the ethnically and linguistically most diverse regions of South Asia- with each of the states having its distinct cultures and traditions. Since time immemorial, the region has been the assembly point of myriad communities, faiths and cultures. It is home to more than 220 different tribes speaking a wide range of languages.
North east India is a biodiversity hotspot with a rich tribal culture and heritage with over 200 different languages spoken. It is home to some of the indigenous tribal communities belonging to the Austro- Asiatic linguistic family. Various tribal communities of the region have very distinct culture and traditions which they follow strictly.
Our efforts are directed at developing positive attitudes between the tourists and the hosts by learning about the cultures and traditions of each other, reducing negative perceptions and stereotypes, developing pride, appreciation, understanding and respect and tolerance for each otherís culture. The locals are educated about what to expect with the arrival of tourists, while taking care that it is not at all intrusive and only where the locals agree to participate. Likewise, tourists are briefed about the people and local cultures and traditions. This in a way also helps preserve the local traditions and handicrafts, which would over a period of time be extinct.