The Folk Tales

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The Folk Tales (Folktales Journeys OPC Pvt. Ltd.) began operations in 2013 as an organization specializing in ‘Responsible Rural Travel’. We provide unique travel experiences in rural India that ‘integrate tourism with Socially and Environmentally responsible initiatives at grass root level (Community Based Tourism)’. Our travel experiences provide a unique exposure to local culture, food, art & craft, music, architecture and natural beauty.
Member since: 01 Nov 2016

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Our community homestay programs are managed by ‘Rotation system’. This is to ensure that each homestay owner gets equal opportunity to benefit from community tourism
There are no hidden costs associated once the price of experience is committed to the guest
 
10% of cost is directly reinvested into community development project like – a. Implementation and designing of best community tourism practices b. Homestay maintenance c. Training of new guides d. Plantation of trees
 
Our guides are identified and trained from local village. Eg. Guides in Sikkim are still completing their education and utilize time to earn extra income. Their standard fee is regulated by local SHG
 
We also give souvenir to our guests. The souvenir is sourced from an artisan family in Odisha. It is cost effective, eco-friendly (made of cardboard), ethnic and provides direct income to the family

Environmental responsibility

The vehicles we use in remote village regions use BS-III emission norms. Vehicles used in cities are BS-IV or CNG powered

The drivers of vehicles are locals and trained. Therefore the vehicles are driven safely and with optimum usage of fuel in mountain terrains

Recyclable carry bags are used on all outdoor activities to collect the trash generated by guests

We don’t use plastic water bottles. Guests are advised to bring their own refillable bottle

The invoices, receipts and internal documentation we generate are electronic. We don’t use print outs. Only contracts are done in print

Guests are advised not to purchase food in plastic packaging while they are at village locations. Eg. Chips and biscuits

On outdoor activities, we advise guests not to pluck flowers or throw stones at animals 8. Water heating in mountains is primarily done by solar power.

Bathing is encouraged rather than taking showers to conserve water

LED lighting is used rather than CFL, tubelights or tungsten bulbs. Handheld lanterns used are powered by solar power and run on LED 10. Guests are given an overview of local medicinal plants to enhance their knowledge and to encourage use of Indian indigenous medicine

We do not do elephant tourism where animals are subjected to cruelty. For leopard sighting tours, we observe them in their natural habitat. We do not provide them bait

Social responsibility

All homestays that we offer to guests are first personally reviewed by our team. Our visits to homestays are anonymous

We ensure that local SHG/ NGO managing group of homestays is contributing towards sustainable development. Eg. The homestay program in Sikkim directly invests 10% of customer fee towards implementing best policies and practices

Our homestays are run by families (with few staff members if needed). The homestays we offer are never run by front desk staff or similar

We also look at how the family is involved in development of local community. Eg. The homestay families in Uttarakhand are involved in lending loans mutually to support development of new homestays

Our village experiences are based on ‘storytelling’ rather than sightseeing. This is to ensure that guests understand local life, their beliefs and history

We encourage participation of women in decision making. Our local guides in Uttarakhand are from a women SHG

We discourage visit to orphanages. Our school visits by guests are limited to volunteering for an activity. We do not encourage building of emotional connection between children and guests

We visit local craft and handloom centers run by SHGs. We facilitate interaction between guests and artisans involved in agrarian businesses to create better cross cultural understanding. We also advise guests to buy products from these centers if they choose to

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