By supporting locally owned hotels and homestays we are helping to provide employment for local communities. All of the hotels on this tour are extremely proud of their strong policies regarding the environment and ecotourism. CGH Earth Group who own Coconut Lagoon, Spice Village and Marari Beach have evolved over four decades into a chain that specialises in remaining true to the environment – one of their mottos is "Nature remains the Chief Architect". While staying at their resorts the staff will be happy to show you around their various environmental projects including water harvesting and water re-cycling, organic farming, biogas facility, composting etc.
The Malabar House hospitality team (which includes Malabar House Hotel in Cochin as well as Serenity) is committed to sustainability and social and environmental responsibility. They are the only operation (at the time of writing) in India that is certified by Green Globe 21, the worldwide environmental certification program for sustainable travel and tourism. The houseboat is locally made using traditional methods and natural materials and owned by a local company. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.
This tour includes a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a protected area, is committed to conserving the numbers of tigers and elephants within the reserve and practices community based ecotourism.
The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work). All of the guides we use are local.
Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks.
Diana and her husband Trevor first travelled to Kerala, South India in the late 80s and fell in love with the place and the people. They kept returning and couldn’t understand why so many people visiting India either went to the North for the culture or Goa for the beaches when South India had both. So in 1998 they set up a company specialising in tailor-made holidays to Kerala and South India – at that time no other UK operator did this. Working with local people, offering accommodation beyond the ‘brand’ hotels, taking their customers off the beaten track and a fair trade policy was their ethos from the start. This company is considered the pioneer of travel to Kerala and is much respected there.
You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.