Kerala and Sri Lanka holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made to suit your dates and requirements.
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

The tour operator offering this holiday is a British company with an intimate knowledge of the destination. All their holidays are tailor made which means that they can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. They offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible they use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips. They are licenced to sell flights from the UK and will search for the best airfare for your dates. If you book flights with them, then the whole holiday will be protected by ATOL. This tour operator is also a member of ABTA this means that all their holidays adhere to the ABTA Code of Conduct, their finances, insurances etc are checked regularly and if you have a complaint that cannot be resolved there is an arbitration scheme available to you.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala and Sri Lanka holiday

This holiday is brought to you by two specialist tour operators working together. Both are specialists in their areas Sri Lanka and Kerala. Through our tailor made holidays we actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel. Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals.

Sri Lanka:
By working on our Sri Lanka holidays closely with our associate company in Sri Lanka and other partner organisations, we are endeavouring to promote cultural exchange, social awareness, self-employment and self-development. We only employ English-speaking Sri Lankan chauffeur guides who are all licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Experienced guides for trekking, safaris and other specialist activities are hired locally and have extensive knowledge of their chosen area of expertise. We actively promote small family-run guesthouses that employ local workers, or in the case of larger hotels, locally owned establishments. We encourage travellers to eat at traditional restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls in order for them to enjoy and experience authentic Sri Lankan food.

Sri Lanka community-led projects: The Asian Tsunami highlighted the plight of coastal communities in Sri Lanka and our initial projects were targeted at Sri Lankan individuals and communities devastated by the tsunami (please ask us for details). However, many other communities away from the coast also lack essential materials and services and our objective is to offer long-term support to such Sri Lankan individuals and communities. By channelling all donations received by Forgotten Village Sri Lanka (a charitable organisation currently applying for charitable status with the Charity Commission) into community-based projects on the island, we hope to provide sustained assistance to these communities in their endeavour to improve their lives. We make a contribution to Forgotten Village Sri Lanka for every holiday booked.

By supporting locally owned hotels we are helping to provide employment for local communities. All of the accommodation owners on this tour are extremely proud of their strong policies regarding the environment and ecotourism. All the hotels on this tour are privately owned by local people. Malabar House is a 200 year old heritage building converted into a wonderful 'boutique' hotel. Cardamom Club has just six rooms set in a forest location. Punnamada has traditional villas and is committed to preserving the local environment and supporting the local community. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.

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.

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.

We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).

Reviews of Kerala and Sri Lanka holiday

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The blue train ride, Ooty/Coonor. This was made more enjoyable as it was my birthday- another couple who had also had the delightful driver, Jess and so all drivers, and visitors met up like old friends! Day finished with my driver presenting me with a jasmine and rose garland and a big cake decorated with happy birthday Ann!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Refer to the individual booklet with helpful information, eg on tipping etc.
Unless you really like to travel solo, much enhanced trip if you can share with another/ others. Meals were lonely affairs , maybe as end of season and quite quiet. Not sure how it can be addressed- but two stays were slightly marred because I felt uncomfortable with the attitude towards staff/drivers. Beautiful accommodation but felt awkward re attitudes to workers.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, benefitted locals as aware of large groups on package tours who went by coach etc and didn't use local drivers or guides. Refilled bottles of water provided helped environmentally by not buying more water in plastic bottles. Dholes den was energy efficient with solar, own water etc but didn't really see impact of this and limited sockets that actually able to use.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really well planned and organised and tailor made as to my requests. Would stay in home stays in future. Not travelling alone for so long ..... For meals especially.

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