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.
Gitanjali Farm – this homestay with a delightful family is just 5 km from Mysore city centre at the foot of Chamundi Hill (and near the Lalitha Mahal – which was the Maharaja of Mysore’s summer palace, now a hotel). The family are originally from Coorg so offer traditional Kodava food as well as Indian and Western cuisine (the homemade marmalade is very popular). The 4 guest rooms are independent of the main house giving visitors some independence and privacy. The family are very keen to promote responsible tourism – they practice rain water harvesting, use solar power to heat the water, segregate their waste and minimise the use of plastics. They do not use any pesticides in their garden, which has encouraged bird and insect life. Cultural events (Kodava dancers and Indian music) are arranged on request.
Orange County – Kabini & Hampi. These resorts are owned by the Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd. This group has a comprehensive list of responsible tourism initiatives. All their resorts aim to create local employment, promote local products, minimise consumption of water and energy etc. The group own a windmill which produces so much electricity that after they have taken what they need to run their resorts they have some left over to sell to the grid. To prevent the use of plastic water bottles they provide a Reverse Osmosis machine in every room. Their policy also includes a wide range of initiatives to help the local economy, society and environment as well as a fair trade policy and a ‘conservation through education programme’.
Bel Home - is a home stay is situated in central Coorg and offers visitors the opportunity to see the area and experience the hospitality of the people. The house is surrounded by nature and accommodation is offered in two guest rooms within the house and two Swiss style tents with en-suite facilities. Home cooked, local food is another speciality of this homestay and cookery lessons are available on request.
It also includes an overnight train which reduces your carbon footprint.
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).
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 the guides we use are local.
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.