How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Gift a Tour Program: To support people with disabilities who want to travel like everyone else but unfortunately cannot support their travels financially, so someone else pays for them. There are different models to it in which a more fortunate traveller can sponsor the travel of another person. One can sponsor one personís travel per month or contribute some money every month or sponsor for multiple people one time. Why should money be a factor when we have the whole planet available for us to explore.
Engaging the Corporate: We are also working towards engaging corporate companies through their employee engagement programs wherein they travel as travel buddies with the members of a non profit organization working with people with disabilities. They travel with them for a unique experience and sensitization and Gift The Tour to them under their CSR.
Working with local communities: At all our travel destinations we work with local people for the very reason that they know their habitat the best and we do not want them to move to bigger cities in search for employment. We employ for our tourism projects and train them as per global service standards so that they have a source of income at their native place itself. And India being such a diverse country and every state having a totally different language and culture and tradition, it makes perfect sense to work with the people who are natives as they would be able to provide the most authentic experiences.
No plastic: Where ever its possible we use refillable bottles for water consumption. We make sure the water is filtered except that it comes in Big Refillable Cans.
No litter: Whenever we are out in nature, we make sure that all our waste is collected and processed through appropriate channels.
No animal rides: We do not promote or sell animal rides like elephant rides, camel or horse rides. We instead take our travellers to an elephant rescue centre or a bear rescue centre to spread awareness about the cruelty that exists against animals and their wonderful rescue stories.
We always make sure to benefit the local communities through our travels. Whether its offering unique experiences to the travellers by taking them to local artisans and witness the art forms being made and getting the artisans paid for showcasing their work. This helps the artisans not to abandon their native villages/towns and art forms and stay and practice the same. Or else these art forms would be lost somewhere in history.
This conservation of art forms plays a big role in our responsible tourism practices because every state in India has a different culture, tradition and innumerable art forms and languages which would go obsolete if we donít preserve it now.
We prefer to use homestays or traditional old houses or bungalows (of course we have to keep accessibility of the place in mind) which imbibe the local culture of the destination and often are family run. This helps in heritage and cultural conservation at the bottom line.
Amalgamation with local disabled community: We are currently working towards a unique program where we create a day spend with the local disabled community for the group. So that each side can understand the challenges and benefits of living in each culture. A mutual experience sharing session for people with disabilities.
Training for hospitality industry: Training people with disabilities to be employed in the hospitality industry is something we are working on.