Maharashtra 3 day tour, India

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
On this tour, we make an effort to minimise our carbon footprint by avoiding fights. We use train travel on this trip. We also use local rikshaws on this trip. For 2 rides we need to use local car transfer on this trip. Our accommodation partner in this tour supports the green initiative (Ellora Heritage Resort).

We also provide reusable, refillable bottles to each guest and we encourage them to refill at filter water stations in Hotels/Homestays/Restaurants.

We partner with hotels which have green initiatives, the Ellora Heritage Resort for example is moving towards becoming carbon neutral with the installation of solar panels, hybrid cars, water filters, growing its own food to ensure a farm to table approach in the restaurant - they've planted hundreds of trees. They also have plans in the works to install a permaculture food forest as well as a bamboo thicket for making biochar.

Additionally, our company uses 100% recycled paper for all our print products. This does not only include brochures, hand-outs and feedback forms but also envelopes and carry bags. We have recently transitioned from using paper feedback forms after our tours to an online form. Guests fill it out using their own electronic devices.

Online through our NGO's website, we offer merchandise products after the tour that represent an upcoming green and fair-trade movement in India. For example, we sell shirts from 'No Nasties', a t-shirt label that provides 100% fair-trade and 100% organic cotton t-shirts.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

A key feature of this tour is connecting with and understanding the local communities that you visit. Visiting a place with the intention of listening and learning is a key aspect of responsible travel in our opinion and we encourage and facilitate this as much as possible throughout the tour.

We use local small businesses and transport providers on this trip. We also use local government approved tour guides for local monuments to support the local economy. We also encourage our guests to eat, shop in small local businesses/Handicrafts to support the local economy.

The hotels we partner with on this tour have the community at their heart, for example - the Ellora Heritage Resort puts treatment of staff at its centre, with family rooms, and a programme for supporting local hotel management students.

We use 80% of the profits from this tour to support our NGO, Reality Gives. Currently, profits generated from the tours enable Reality Gives to run programs for the Dharavi (Mumbai) and Sanjay Colony (New Delhi) communities. Reality Gives is currently developing and testing several high-quality curricula and teacher training modules that we plan to make widely available for other NGOs to use. We plan to use resource sharing like this as a way to support local NGOs in a sustainable and helpful manner.

Reality Gives provides high-quality English, Computer and Life Skills classes/syllabus for vulnerable individuals, prominently young people. We also run a Teachers Training Course to ensure that not only we have the high-quality syllabus, but quality teachers (in India there is a shortfall of 600,000 teachers, and the present ones are not of good quality). In addition to this, we provide Community Centres as hubs for young people to express their creativity through a wide range of inspiring activities that children from low-income communities too often do not have access to (drama classes, dance classes, sport, for example). Our syllabi, as well as teachers training, will be available to other NGOs to use.

Since 2009, the profits from our tours have enabled Reality Gives to work with more than 8,000 young people from Dharavi and Sanjay Colony.

Climate

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