I like to thanks Kuoni Ackademy for providing me opportunity & platform to do this project, Special thanks to Rahulsir for inspiring & guiding me to complete this task, & my friends of KUONI who has always motivated me to do better & providing support as and when needed. Sources from where data is collected


The images of tourism and traveling around the world are of beautiful beaches, native rainforests, smiling locals, clear skies, sunny days and hundreds more images you can come up with. These are the images the tourism companies and tourism boards of countries show us to attract our money. Many times these images are a reality, but just inside the tourist enclaves these companies and boards have created. Outside the walls the reality is another one, and that is many times kept away from our sight. Our “responsibility” as tourists could be to look above those walls and hence become the travelers we want to be, to explore the reality of the places we have decided to visit. It is difficult for a tourist to be conscious of the negative impacts one can have on the destination visited. The whole tourism experience in hotels and tours is in a way designed to separate us from the natural, social, cultural and economic contexts. On the natural context we do not see where the waste we generate goes to, where does the water of the pools we use come from, how is the electricity for air conditioning generated, what is the amount of pollution our airplane produces. On the social side sometimes we do not even cross steps with the “locals”. Only as a customer – employee relationship, were the locals are employed to clean the rooms, cook the food and serve the drinks. Talking about the cultural context we sometimes buy the local handicrafts and are presented with “cultural” shows. We never meet the producers and never have the reassurance that our money went straight to the producer instead of all the intermediaries. This is related to the economic context and its relationship with tourism. In response to this reality of negative impact of tourism in the destination tourists have become aware of this and want something different. Also tourism companies are becoming aware that not taking care of the environment, supporting the local communities, respecting the host culture and benefiting the local economy is bad business in the long term. “Responsible Tourism” is a recent buzzword that is permeating the tourism sector. Travelers are demanding authentic experiences, direct contact with the local communities, environmentally friendly tours and accommodation. Travelers want to be responsible travelers. In response to this demand companies are understanding, at last, that they must be truly responsible on the above mentioned contexts of the destinations they work in.


Responsible Tourism: Definition Responsible Tourism – The Concept The concept of Responsible Tourism originated in the work of Jost Krippendorf in the 1980’s and in particular his experience of the impact of tourism in the alpine plateaus of Switzerland where tourism has had significant negative impacts on the environment and communities. Krippendorf in The Holiday Makers (1987) called for “rebellious tourists and rebellious locals” to create new forms of tourism. His vision was “to develop and promote new forms of tourism, which will bring the greatest possible benefit to all the participants travellers, the host population and the tourist business, without causing intolerable ecological and social damage.” Responsible tourism can be defined as " tourism which creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit". Some of the main objectives of Responsible tourism are as follows: 1.To respect local cultures - traditions, religions and built heritage. 2. To protect the environment - its flora, fauna and landscapes. 3. To conserve natural resources - from source to destination. 4. To benefit local communities - both economically and socially. 5. To minimize pollution - through noise, waste disposal and congestion. The 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations defines Responsible Tourism as follows: “Responsible Tourism is tourism which: • minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well being of host communities • improves working conditions and access to the industry • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues • provides access for physically challenged people • is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence” The main spheres covered by these principles are the same we have mentioned before and which are mentioned in most tourism literature related to tourism impacts: • Destination Ecosystems (Natural) • Local Communities (Social and Cultural) • Economic Benefits (Economic) • Democratic Movements. In a nut shell, Responsible tourism is that form of tourism in which initiatives and responsibilities are taken by the tourists, travel agencies & local community to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative impacts on environment, 4

traditions and cultural heritage of the region. Things that Responsible Tourism is not Responsible Tourism is not a product; it is an approach and one which can be adopted by travellers and holidaymakers, tour operators, accommodation and transport providers, visitor attraction managers, planning authorities, national, regional/provincial and local governments. An integrated approach is required, involving many stakeholders in any place or space which attracts tourists. Responsible Tourism is not another form of ‘niche tourism’ – Responsible Tourism is about the legacy and the consequences of tourism – for the environment, local people and local economies. Responsible Tourism does not only take place in protected natural environments – Any tourism business, whether located in a thriving metropolis, a desert, rural village, sub-tropical island, medieval town – can be a Responsible Tourism operation. How Responsible Tourism differs from Sustainable Tourism & Eco tourism Responsible Tourism is a concept closely related to the idea of Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism. All above have Identical goals however there is very thin line of difference exist between them. First we should have a look at the definitions The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines cotourism as: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. The World Tourism Organisation has defined Eco tourism as “All forms of activity in natural surroundings with prime objective of observing & appreciating natural & related cultural features with a strong conservation & environmental components” Sustainable tourism “ It is tourism developed & maintained in an area(community, environment) in such a manner and at such a pace that it remain viable over an indefinite period & does not degrade or alter the environment (human or physical) in any way that might prohibit the successful development and well being of other activities & process. Eco tourism Related to travel to natural surroundings, with strong focus on conservation of the same Related with use of resources(natural, Man made) for development at a pace that it can be passed on to next coming generations Involves individuals(tourist, local people), organizations(hotels, Transportation) and businesses(tour operators) with taking responsibility for their actions and impacts of their actions for tourism & passing on maximum benefits to local people. 5

Sustainable tourism

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism, Sustainable tourism & Eco torism have an identical goal, that of sustainable development with conservation of Nature & culture. The pillars of responsible tourism are therefore the same as those of sustainable & Eco Tourism – environmental integrity, social justice and maximising local economic benefit. The major difference between the three is that, in responsible tourism, individuals, organisations and businesses are asked to take responsibility for their actions and the impacts of their actions. This shift in emphasis has taken place because not much progress has been made on realising sustainable tourism since the Earth Summit in Rio. This is partly because everyone has been expecting others to behave in a sustainable way. The emphasis on responsibility in responsible tourism means that everyone involved in tourism – government, product owners and operators, transport operators, community services, NGO’s and CBO’s, tourists, local communities, industry associations – are responsible for achieving the goals of responsible tourism. Other difference is responsible behavior adopted by Tourist itself, here tourist play major role in choosing responsible holiday which will benefit the local community he is visiting & also choosing other components (transportation, Accommodation, sightseeing) which will have low impact on environment.

Why Responsible Tourism Other than the fact that Responsible Tourism is the right thing to do, the following reasons should motivate tourism destinations businesses to adopt responsible tourism practices. Planet Panic Globally, concerns about global warming, destruction of the environment, erosion of cultures and lifestyles, and millions of people still living in poverty, are increasing. The number of initiatives aimed at saving some part of the environment, or improving the living conditions for the world’s vulnerable people, increases by the day. This heightened awareness of the earth’s crisis is spilling over into the way people behave in their homes, how they spend their money and the way businesses are run. Driven by changing personal ethics, individuals contribute financially or otherwise to environmental and humanitarian initiatives. They are also changing their buying patterns. There is a major upswing in responsible or ethical consumerism in the UK and in other major European markets. In the UK, the market share for ethical products grew by 22% between 1999 and 2004. Ethical travel Increasing numbers of consumers are looking at the reputation and responsibility of the companies they buy from; they want to have “guilt free” holidays. This affects their direct purchases from companies in tourism destinations and it influences the choices of source market companies too. UK and other European and Australian companies and increasingly American companies are asking about the responsibility of their suppliers and introducing check lists which rate the sustainability of their practices. 6

Closely experience local culture A significant, and growing, number of tourists are looking for a better experience, a better quality product. They are looking for experiences which enable them to get closer to the “real” living culture of countries and to experience our diverse natural and cultural heritage. This is a global trend in the established markets as consumer expectations of their holidays change,It is a market trend that any tourism business cannot ignore. At the same time the responsible traveller understands that some cultural experiences are best kept private, and that their visit would be an intrusion. They believe that travelling with respect earns them respect. Global warming Most of things that we do in our lives contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Air travel - although currently a relatively small contributor (less than 5%) - is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions. We must all take action to reduce our CO2 emissions across our entire lives, and this includes accepting that we must fly significantly less than we do now. When we do fly on holiday its even more important than our holiday is a responsible one. Like choosing transportation which is less polluting, choosing accommodation like Ecotel which uses less of electricity Getting more out of your holiday Responsible travel is about bringing you closer to local cultures and environments by involving local people in tourism. It's about doing this in a fair way that helps ensure that they will give you an even warmer welcome. For example, a local guide from the destination will open your eyes to their cultures and ways of life far better than an expert guide could ever do – they will also earn a much needed income from you. The responsible travellers wants to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveller values authenticity – experiences integral to local people's traditions, cultures and rituals - rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism. Rediscovering nature Responsible travel is about re-discovering how to experience nature and to be in it, feeling it, smelling it and learning about it rather than just looking at it. Through this they replenish their souls. They would rather get out on foot than sit in a big bus, and are determined to leave no physical evidence of their visit but their footprints. The responsible traveller understands local peoples relationship with environments, and that income from tourism can be a powerful incentive for conservation. The responsible traveler values diversity – diversity of people, cultures and environments. They believe that they can grow as individuals through these experiences, and that their trip can make a positive contribution towards conserving global diversity. Decrease conflict between local people & tourist Responsible tourism is all about passing maximum benefits to local stakeholders, so 7

local people also get more benefits from tourism & it also build up the trust & confidence between tourist & local community, like hotel or resort purchasing vegetables & food from local market, & employing local people in hotels.


Responsible tourism India Responsible Tourism is rapidly growing global trend. Some of the nations like South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States, the Gambia, Sri Lanka and India are already practicing Responsible Tourism and gradually other nations are also following the ideologies of these countries. India has an abundant scope to emerge as a Responsible tourism destination. Indian tourism industry has grown immensely in the last five years and it is for sure that in the upcoming years India will become a hot tourist destination of South East Asia. To sustain this growth process it is necessary that all the stakeholders of the Indian tourism industry ie tour operators, government agencies and NGO's must work in cohesion. They must protect the heritage of our country which in turn will benefit both the local communities and the tourists. Live issues with India Taj Mahal, Agra World heritage monument Taj Mahal attracts large number of visitors but the benefit to the local community is marginal. The reason being we have not evolved a Tool Kit which has all the elements of responsible tourism. Manali Manali is an important tourist des, and a long time favorite with domestic and international tourists. For the past six years, the hill resort has been subjected to unregulated urban expansion which has resulted in the mushrooming of numerous multi-storied buildings around the town. The hotels have been discharging sewage into the Beas River causing water pollution. The green area of this township has diminished rapidly, thereby, destroying the natural landscape, and the pedestrian path has become a regular vehicular road causing air and noise pollution and inconvenience to users. To develop India as a Responsible tourism destination, ICRT India which stands for International Centre For Resposible Tourism works in collaboration with private sector, government and local communities. It is a Bangolore based non-profit organization, establishes in 2006, whose main objective is to "take responsibility for achieving sustainable tourism, and to create better places for people to live in and for people to visit." It provides policy advice, research and consultation on developing Responsible Tourism in India. Among all Indian states, Kerala has pioneered in practicing innovative tourism ideas. It is a state which is rich in traditions and culture. It has started Responsible tourism in the state to create awareness among all stakeholders for a better environment to live and visit. Kerala has organized the second International Responsible tourism conference from 21st March to 24th March, 2008. Some of the successful Responsible tourism projects of India are "Sunderban Jungle Camp" initiated by Help Tourism group to connect the heritage sites and protected areas of Sunderban with the livelihood of the local communities through community-based, environmentally and socially responsible tourism. "Awake and shine" is another successful Responsible Tourism project. This project was started by Retired Indian Army General "Jimmy" Singh in May 2006 to develop the Samthar Plateau near Kalimpong(40km) as a tourist destination depending on the homestay holidays, local handicrafts and other products. This project has helped the 9

local community to improve their life style and the region to make its mark on the Indian tourist map. Another the Responsible Tourism project of India is in the Anakkara Spice Tourism village in Idukki district of Kerala. This project was started in October 2004 by Women in Agriculture (WIA), a group of women who has joined hands to preserve nature, share benefits of tourism among the local populace and boost the local economy. This project has enable these ladies to improve their standard of living by providing their share of income in the well being of their family.

Kerala Example Kerala has emerged as one of the prime tourism destinations on the national and international map and is considered as the tourism trendsetter in the country. The availability of plenty of natural resources, skilled manpower, supportive entrepreneurial community, strong local-self-governments, civil society organizations, multitude of micro enterprises, streams of professionals and academicians, responsible media and responsive tourism industry, provide the state an ideal setting to implement and practice 'Responsible Tourism.'

The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala organized a state-level consultation on responsible tourism in association with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism - India (ICRT India) and EQUATIONS (Equitable Tourism Options) at Thiruvanathapuram on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2007. The two-day workshop was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from government, local-self-governments, tourism industry, civil society organizations, academicians, media and also members of the Legislative Assembly. At the end of the workshop, a state-level committee was constituted, namely, State Level Responsible Tourism Committee (SLRTC) with representatives from various sectors to take forward the discussions that emerged during the workshop and to move towards a responsible tourism destination. Responsible Tourism Initiative at Kumarakom Responsible Tourism initiatives at Kumarakom came up with outstanding results and emerged as the model destination in the implementation of responsible tourism. In 10

addition to this, the programme bagged different national and international recognitions. The process of Responsible Tourism implementation in Kumarakom started with a stakeholder workshop held at Kumarakom on 16th May 2007. The objective of the workshop was to create a broad consensus on adoption of responsible tourism practices by all stakeholders and the workshop was attended by wide range of stakeholders including people's representatives, representatives from government, local-self-governments, tourism industry, civil society organizations, academicians and media. The workshop discussed on the economical, social and environmental aspects of Responsible Tourism and formulated action plans in each area. Dept. of tourism decided to appointment a Kudumbashree consultant for Responsible Tourism on field. Panchayat and Kudumbashree consultant started the fieldwork for effective implementation of RT in Kumarakom destination. Consultant conducted a demand analysis survey in hotel industry and prepared an agriculture calendar for the supply of vegetables to the hotels and resorts without any break. Panchayat decided to implement economic responsibility as a tool to revive agriculture sector. Each Kudumbashree units formed an activity group containing five members each for each vegetable crop. In such a way 180 groups (900 women) started vegetable cultivation in Kumarakom. Panchayat arranged land for cultivation and supplied fertilizers & seeds worth Rs.1,50,000/ to these groups. As part of the economic responsibility, Department of Tourism developed different micro enterprises, souvenir units, art and cultural groups in the destination. Among this, a local procurement supply unit named Samrudhi led by Kudumbashree was the key player. The economic responsibility activities generated an income of Rs. 45,76,343 (from March 2008-June 2010) to the local people. Some of the major achievements and interventions by the responsible tourism initiative in Kumarakom are shown below: Fallow land cultivation and enhanced agricultural production The resource mapping carried out through household surveys and physical reconnaissance of the project area identified large chunks of un-cultivated land in the villages. These were left fallow either because of low yield, low demand for agricultural produces or because of spiraling prices of non-agricultural land induced by the development of tourism. The RT Cell, however, was able to mobilize Kudumbashree volunteers to take up paddy cultivation in 55 acres of land and Grama Panchayat to introduce vegetable cultivation in another 30 acres of land. In addition 612 homestead farmers were motivated to take up vegetable cultivation to enhance vegetable supplies to local hotels. It greatly improved the level of supply of agricultural products to hotel industry apart from securing additional income to the farmers. On the whole, about one-third of the population in the Panchayat is presently involved in the production and sale of agricultural products to tourism industry.


Fish Farms and Lotus Cultivation The resource mapping exercise identified as many as twenty-six un-used ponds with reasonable water levels throughout the year. The RT Cell took up the cleaning of these ponds and promoted fish cultivation in twenty ponds and lotus cultivation in six ponds by the local community. The tourism industry provided a ready market for the produce of the fish farms and lotuses. It thus had a positive impact on improving the living conditions of the local community. Establishing linkages with hotel industry and enhancing demand for local produces. The RT Cell identified the items of purchase for the hotel industry and initiated a dialogue to encourage them to resort to local purchases to the maximum possible. The apprehensions of the industry regarding regularity of supplies, quality of products and competitive prices were progressively removed by developing institutional mechanisms to address those issues. With the establishment of an assured market, the community was also encouraged to enhance production and to adopt organic farming practices. Initially, the local purchase of hotel industry was confined to eleven items of agricultural produces. Later it got expanded progressively and by 2010 it became 45 items including some of the agro-based industrial products. The establishment of such an economic linkage fostered a win-win partnership between the community and the industry by removing all kinds of miss-trusts and conflicts. The immense economic gains of the community through the process included (i) assured market and reasonable prices for the local produce, (ii) enhanced production and the consequent employment generation (iii) minimization of leakages from tourism receipts. Development of Souvenir Industry Tourists visiting any particular destination, usually like to carry with them small items typically produced in the place of visit, as mementoes of their visit. Kumarakom can now boast of its own symbolic souvenir item and a growing souvenir industry largely due to RT Initiative. A local craftsman who was struggling to survive in conditions of extreme poverty was assisted in making models of boats and houseboats, which are typical tourist attractions. These mementoes are crafted by using screw pines which are locally available in plenty. The production of these souvenirs by the local craftsman attracted the attention of the hotel industry and contracted exclusive marketing rights through their outlets. It has led to accelerated growth of souvenir 12

industry and the consequent benefits to the craftsman, which pushed him above the poverty line during a short period.

Community-based Tourism Products In order to provide a village experience to tourists by guiding them through real life situations in hinterlands and thereby distributing economic benefits of tourism directly to the community, the RT Cell developed two tour packages at Kumarakom. The first package is titled - Village Life Experience at Kumarakom and the second - A day with Farmers. The first package is a half-day tour starting from the RT Cell location at Attamangalam in the afternoon. The guests are taken to the canal side through a small pathway and then board a boat. The group is accompanied by an experienced guide / interpreter. The ride through the backwaters takes the group to Kandan Kavu area of the village for exposure to the bio-diversity and the teeming life of the people. The experiences and interactions in store for the tourists include an Anganwadi; a fish farm, demonstration of traditional fish catching with the aid of bows and arrows; a home garden; coconut leaf weaving by a housewife; traditional craft activity at a household using screw pines; a broom making unit; a Karimeen processing unit; a plantain orchard and a toddy tapper. The guests are given an opportunity at every site to interact with the persons involved in the activity and to try themselves the activities. The package – A Day with Farmers consists of multiple modes for giving an opportunity to the guests to experience village life in the midst of authentic cultural and natural settings. The journey, which starts from Kavanattikara at about 9.00 a.m., takes the guests through a variety of experiences. The first stop is at an 'antique shop' run by an ebullient entrepreneur. From there, it is cycle ride through some of the most beautiful stretches of Kumarakom covering rice fields, coconut orchards etc. During the ride, the tourists may come across some of the water birds like Indian shag, cormorants, pond herons, egrets, Whistling Ducks, Cotton Teals, Garganey Teals etc. The first leg of cycling ends at a duck-rearing enterprise at Kaipuzhamuttu bridge and the nearby Mercy's coir making centre to know and participate in both the activities. The second phase of the journey is by autorikshaw through narrow village roads to the house of Mohanan to see plantations and fish culturing. The vast agricultural field is a complete organic farm cultivating several vegetables. The fish farm of Mohanan consists of artificial fish ponds growing variety of fishes. A little ahead the tourists can see the cumbersome process of toddy tapping. Following the trail, the tourists can see traditional fish catching technique using nets. They can choose the fishes that they want to have cooked and have them served on plantain leaves. The journey then continues through paddy fields by foot for a grand experience of watching teeming bird life. The tourists are then taken to a big farm house at Chakrampadi characterized 13

by mixed cultivation of crops. The interactions with the farmers will imprint lasting memories of farming operations. On way, yet another farm house of Sebastian is visited, where different methods of cultivating vegetables and plantains, as well as rearing of fishes, cows and goats are explained. The techniques of climbing the coconut trees are also demonstrated on the site. It is followed by a boat ride through the backwaters and the tourists can see another traditional fish catching method popularly known as Vella Veeshal. And finally the tourists are taken to the Don Bosco Home to have a closer look at the art of gift making. The above packages are popular among tourists and the hotel industry is promoting these as add-on experiences. The members of the community participating in the package by showing / demonstrating their activities receive fixed amounts from the package-price realized. There is also close interaction between the community and the visitors through these packages.

Promotion of Local Art Forms and Culture Kumarakom has a rich cultural heritage with many art forms and cultural troupes. A professional Sinkari Melam Group of Children and Women was formed under the banner of responsible tourism and it became the first such cultural group in Kerala. Yet another cultural group formed is the Suvarna Cultural Group. Performance of these groups are organised in hotels and other places to enrich the experience of tourists.

Promotion of Cultural Tourism and Ethnic Cuisine The people of Kumarakam celebrate several fairs and festivals, some of which are of regional and local importance. These events form part of their social life and reflect their cultural identity. The colour and splendor with which these festivals are celebrated is a source of great amazement and attraction. The potential tourists to Kumarakom are, however, not aware of such festivals and the exact dates of celebrations. In order to remove this information gap the RT Cell prepared a calendar of such festivals and made it available to tourism industry partners for the promotion of such events as added tourist attractions. 14

Tourists interested in experiencing local culture are also usually interested in enjoying local ethnic cuisine. However, they are often not aware of the existence of such cuisine and its availability. The RT Cell, therefore, documented such ethnic items and made them available to the tourism industry and promotion agencies. Social Awareness and Tourist Management The local community has been made aware of adverse impacts of tourism including child labour, exploitation, prostitution, etc. and the importance of tourist management to avoid such ill-effects. The community has thus taken a lead role in identifying and preventing such instances, so as to create an image of clean tourism.

Protection of Environment The environmental initiative of responsible tourism succeeded in declaring the bird sanctuary as a plastic-free zone, promoting bicycle journey around hotels and resorts, promotion of organic farming, mangrove protection and control of backwater pollution with the help of the community. A survey of plastic use by sales outlets in the area was conducted and promoted the manufacture and use of eco-friendly carry bags by the establishments. Due to the intervention of destination cell, the bird sanctuary at Kumarakom was declared as a plastic-free zone. In addition to this, a massive mangrove regeneration campaign was organized by the destination team.

Energy Saving Measures A survey of energy and water use as well as the generation and disposal of waste by the hotels was undertaken to assess the extent of green practices by the industry. The data collected was used for developing environmental criteria for granting green certificates. A separate survey on energy consumption of streetlights made the Panchayat to replace a large number of bulbs. Comprehensive Resource mapping 15

Responsible Tourism cell at Kumarakom has conducted a grassroots-level resource mapping in Kumarakom Panchayath which covered different aspects like art, culture, profile, resources, manpower etc. This rich data is useful not only for reference but for various other purposes. Destination Labor Directory Destination labor directory is another innovative idea developed by Kumarakom destination team. A detailed study was conducted in the destination, which is to identify personnel who are associated with different skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs. This vital detail was constituted to form the labor directory and it is a ready reference to the industry partners when skill is in need. As the best way to maximize the positive impacts of tourism and minimize the negative ones, Responsible Tourism (RT) is gaining wide acceptance across the world today. Pioneering the concept of RT in India is Kerala. Kumarakom, in the State, has the pride of being the first place on the country to have successfully implemented RT. This holistic form of tourism is helping travelers, the host population and the trade derives the greatest possible benefits from tourism, without causing any ecological or social damage. What is perhaps more remarkable is the fact that RT is providing better living conditions for the local community. Following the success of Kumarakom, RT is today being implemented in other tourist destinations across the State. Example Gujarat Hodka Village Designed in local style, and exquisitely decorated with mirror work, textiles and native crafts, this community-owned, built, and run resort in the desert village of Hodka, is an ideal location from which to discover the captivating lands and culture of Kachchh, in north-west India. This Rural Resort is one 36 “Endogenous Tourism Projects” being launched throughout India by the Government of India – Ministry of Tourism and the United Nations Development Program. The purpose of these 36 projects is to create community-run models of tourism that are culturally and ecologically sensitive, promote local heritage and art/craft, and generate employment opportunities for local communities vis-à-vis eco-tourism. Your hosts will be the Hodka community who set up this resort with the support of a local women's group (Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan). Hodka Village is comprised of 11 hamlets, where both Muslims (Halepotra) and Hindus (Meghwals) live and work amicably together. The Resort was built and is owned and managed by the village of Hodka. Profits from the Resort are reinvested in social development projects though the Panchayat – the locally elected governing body. Accommodation is comfortable, simple and clean, designed to showcase local style and decorated with a collection of crafts from the area creating an authentic atmosphere. There are 6 tents (sleeping 2 persons each), 2 family tents (sleeping 4 persons each) and 3 Bhungas (sleeping 2 persons each), with a maximum capacity of 26 persons. Extra beds are available on request. The lovely Bhungas, (circular mud huts with sloping grass roofs, typical of the Banni region), have a private open space with arm chairs, an ideal place to relax or watch the perfect Kachchhi sunrise. 16

How this holiday makes a difference Hodka is one of 31 Indian villages hosting a new tourism experience, the endogenous tourism concept, and it is part of a project which seeks to promote local culture and craft based tourism for sustainable livelihoods and integrated rural development. Endogenous or "transformative" tourism means travel not for pleasure alone, but also for broadening the traveller's horizon. It seeks to transform attitudes and mindsets, by promoting a mutual understanding between the local community and the visitors. The resort is 100% owned by the local community. The resort is built, owned, and run by the people of Hodka with the support of a federation of local women's groups, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan. It is jointly promoted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The resort only employs people from the village who are trained and paid a salary. Profit is distributed among the community members and the community government committee for village improvements. The members of the community also benefit from visitors, by selling the crafts they produce. An environmental project to replant 12 acres of land belonging to the resort with local varieties of trees, bushes and grasses over the next three years, is taking place. This year the first five acres will be planted. The land will remain accessible to the village community who will own and control it. The region is famous for its grasslands, which have been severely affected by the spread of the weed prosopis juliflora. A proposal is being prepared to revive the grasslands around the village in about one hundred hectares. This holiday is part of the and Conservation International Community Based Tourism Programme to support and promote community based tourism ventures that offer significant conservation and development benefits to local communities.

Voluntourism Giving Back to the Community while on Vacation 17

It Is travel which includes volunteering for a charitable cause. Voluntourism is the practice of individuals going on a nonpaid working holiday for the purpose of volunteering themselves to worthy causes. The industry has experienced enormous growth in the number of companies operating, volunteers travelling and, projects and regions available. Voluntourism gives you the joy of being a responsible traveler as well as being instrumental in development of a community, part of society. It often involves extended stays in remote destinations. In recent years, "bite-sized" volunteer vacations have grown in popularity. The types of volunteer vacations are diverse, from low-skill work cleaning up local wildlife areas to providing high-skill medical aid in a foreign country. Volunteer vacations participants are diverse but typically share a desire to “do something good” while also experiencing new places and challenges in locales they might not otherwise visit. Voluntourism also gives opportunity that engage people with scientific research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Participants cover a fee that would include expenses on the different sites worldwide, and engage in projects according to their interest or location Why you should become a VolunTourist VolunTourism offers benefits not only to each individual but also to organizations and destinations. As a VolunTourist you… will experience a sense of social responsibility. You will not only travel as a tourist but will also have the opportunity to contribute in a positive way

will learn how to travel in a different way. This way will not only explore a destination, people or the prevailing environment but will give you the opportunity of enhancing the lives of the local residents. will experience and explore a country and the local community in a unique way which is not easily accessible to ordinary tourists. will have the opportunity to interact with a different culture and gain a new perspective of the world, deepening your understanding of humanity. will feel the possibility of a sense of purpose in connection with your leisure activities.

• • •



Homestays way of Responsible tourism A Homestay combines the comfort and distinction of a boutique hotel with the personal hospitality, informality and local knowledge enjoyed when staying with family friends. A Homestay offers an insight into the culture, traditions, history and everyday life of an Indian family. What’s more, guests get the chance to enjoy authentic Indian food at its very best - home cooked. India is renowned for being incredibly diverse. With literally hundreds of different languages, everything from style of dress to architecture changes from state to state and town to town, a local insight is not just a luxury, it is essential to getting the most out of this extraordinary country. That is what makes a Homestay so ideal for tourists: the sights, smells, tastes and traditions of India are experienced rather than just watched, lived rather than observed. A Homestay isn’t simply somewhere to stay; many Homestays offer a range of activities which give guests the unique opportunity to experience the specific culture of the area. With everything that Homestays have to offer, they aren’t just a base from which to spend a few days exploring the local area, they are a holiday destination in themselves. Activities will differ from home to home and depending on the location. For instance, in the backwaters of Kerala, many Homestays offer backwater cruises in houseboats and trips down the narrow canals in canoes. In Rajasthan some Homestays arrange safaris by jeep or horseback into the countryside, to visit tribal villages and spot wildlife. In plantation and hill stations, hosts can take guests trekking and arrange guided walks through spice gardens and forests. Depending on the family, many hosts will offer to take guests round the sights of their town or village, sharing local insights and an experience far removed from the usual tourist trudge. Hosts are always happy to inform a guest of neighborhood walks where they can get a feel for the district and even meet some locals. Several Homestays can arrange activities for wellbeing activities such as yoga, ayurvedic treatments and massage. It is recommended that guests experience a few meals of local cuisine cooked by the family, as there is nothing better than homecooked food; most hosts also offer cooking classes to guests if they are interested. Depending on the location, Homestays can offer anything from adventure pursuits, artistic activities and experiencing local culture such as dance and music. You will find that your hosts are dedicated to making sure you enjoy everything that the region has to offer, not least family hospitality!


The hosts pride themselves on the individual attention they can give their guests, whether for comfort, food, or just an interesting chat. The Homestays are generally houses typical to the region with at most around six guest bedrooms. They have none of the aloof detachment typical to hotels, yet this doesn’t mean that guests and family are living on top of each other. Some Homestays have rooms for guests in separate “cottages”, others offer rooms within the house. In any case, guests can have as much privacy as they require; as much familiarity with the family as they like. Guests are invited to feel at home and there really is no hospitality like Indian hospitality. Homestays act as a base from which to explore the region, but simply staying in them is an experience leagues ahead of alternative accommodation on the tourist trail. It takes the detachment away from tourism, makes the guide book redundant and gives you a unique and unforgettable experience of the intricacies of Indian life and culture.

MAHINDRA HOMESTAYS Mahindra Homestays is an effort by Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited to organize the growing Homestay industry in India and market it under a strong brand. Mahindra Homestays has set up a pan-India network of homes that delivers the real India through an enriching host- guest interaction. A Homestay is accommodation provided in a private home, with no more than 8 rooms available for guests, run by the homeowner. Mahindra Homestays has implemented a stringent quality inspection system to ensure that the affiliated homes provide services and amenities that meet the expectations of the discerning traveler. The Mahindra Homestays are situated in cities and tourist destinations across India and offer good value-for-money accommodation and a unique experience.

To encourage responsible tourism in India, Mahindra Homestays has initiated many programs that a large number of homestays have incorporated. Through their teachings and methods homestays and travellers can have positive and lasting impact on the environment while boosting the regional socio-economic conditions. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS Most homestays in India have lush gardens, which are made without artificial landscaping and maintained using organic fertilizers. Native plants adaptable to the natural environment are planted. Often biogas plans are part of the homestay, 21

particularly those which are large in size. Biodegradable waste such as leaves are made into compost and not burned and alternative energy sources like solar power are tapped by homestays. When exploring the surrounding areas guests are encouraged to opt for village walks, cycling and canoe rides. For cooking, many homestays use organic farm products from the garden or from local farmers. To reduce the electricity consumption homestays use CFL Lamps and well maintained home appliances.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES All employees at homestays are locals. Even people who aren’t directly employed by homestays like youth who serve as guides and taxi drivers receive a healthy supplement to their income. Seasonal employment is also catapulted by homestays that usually double their staff during peak seasons. The homestay kitchen requirements are fulfilled by the local market or by the homestay itself. SOCIAL IMPACT Activities such as dance recitals, canoe rides, clam picking are offered to guests. These activities not only generate extra income for locals but also help them showcase their traditional skills and knowledge. Many dying art forms and traditions have found a new lease on life through tourism. Local artists get the chance to enhance their skills and make them more global by interacting with artists from other countries.

Responsible Tourism Planning for Tour Operators 22

The Responsible Tourism encourage tourism operators to grow their businesses whilst providing social and economic benefits to local communities and respecting the environment.

Economic Responsibility
What Is The Issue? From how you recruit and pay employees, to your purchasing behaviour and business relationships, your economic practices will have a substantial impact on the local economy. As a responsible tourism operator, you should try to minimise the revenue that “leaks” out of your local area. Employing and purchasing locally and setting up business relationships with local people will help to create employment, stimulate entrepreneurial activity, increase investment in infrastructure and boost the overall standard of living in your region. Local communities who have a vested interest in a tourism operation will actively seek to sustain it and contribute to a positive tourism experience. Supporting local economic growth is therefore key to long-term success.

• Set targets to increase the number of local people you employ and the percentage of your wage bill going to local residents (e.g. 50% of the wage bill going to people living within 50 km of your enterprise, with a 5% increase per annum). • Draw up a community labour agreement with local representatives, setting out targets for employment and skills training. • Pay above the minimum wages for your area and link wages to positions and experience. Purchasing • Set targets for the percentage of services and products you buy from local enterprises (e.g. 15% of services and products sourced from enterprises located within 50km, increasing by 5% per year for 3 years). • Set a target for the proportion of locally made furniture, crafts, clothing and other goods that you buy. Assist local producers to achieve the quality and quantity you need. • Encourage guests to buy locally made goods. Set up a craft sales area, which showcases local products. • Create contracts with local entrepreneurs who provide good service. • Buy your basic supplies locally or enable local store owners to buy products for you. Encourage local suppliers to provide handcrafted packaging for soaps, menus, courtesy gifts etc. • Pay fair prices for goods and services sourced locally. Try to establish the time taken and the cost of materials to help local entrepreneurs arrive at a price, which exceeds their costs.


Product Development • Provide visits to local places of interest, such as shebeens, restaurants and homes. Market local festivals and visits to nearby markets. Offer guests traditional food, cultural events and opportunities to buy locally made arts and crafts. • Help local enterprises source credit and seed capital by putting them in touch with SMME support agencies. Consider providing micro-loans to local enterprises you work with. • Let local craft producers know about the range, size, weight and style of crafts that would be attractive to your visitors. Provide craft suppliers with feedback from clients. • Market local products in your brochures and on your website. Put tour operators and foreign businesses in direct contact with local producers. Linkages and Partnerships Joint ventures, partnerships and other business linkages can be used to promote community-based tourism initiatives.Whether you engage in formal contractual partnerships or more simple operating business agreements, the principle is to pool skills and resources.

Community Training and Capacity Building • Assist local entrepreneurs to prepare business plans and funding proposals. • Link local communities or entrepreneurs with SMME support agencies that can help with skills training and capacity building. • Help coordinate or fund training programmes to develop local business skills.

Social Responsibility
Respect for local culture and support for social development are integral to responsible tourism practice, considering the impacts tourism can have on local communities. Whilst tourism can improve local living standards, uncontrolled development can destabilise whole communities. Negative impacts can range from increased tension as a result of unequal benefits to crime, prostitution, begging, alcohol and drug abuse. Tourism operators should be sensitive to potential impacts, such as loss of privacy, prevention of access to culturally significant places, invasion 24

of sacred sites or the demeaning of cultural ceremonies, which can result from tourism. By setting up genuine cooperative structures with staff and local people and involving them in planning and decision making, trust and mutual cooperation can be built. Providing support with education and health care and contributing to social infrastructure also promotes goodwill and helps to improve local quality of life, ultimately leading to mutual benefits. Promote a Local Tourism Culture • Offer to provide tourism lectures at local schools. • Invite local school children to visit your tourism operation. Support Local Development and Education • Ask local staff and community representatives about their immediate development needs. • Jointly identify community projects for improvements, e.g. a local school, clinic or sports team. You may wish to ‘adopt a school’, provide bursaries to local school children, or support promising young sports stars. Record how many projects you support and where the funds come from. • Address health education for staff and local people, e.g. how to combat HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. • Facilitate literacy and other education programmes for staff and local people. • Link staff and local people with support agencies that will assist them with community development programmes.

Respect Local Culture • Negotiate with host communities the notice required for tourist visits, what activities are acceptable and what size groups are suitable. Ask whether it is appropriate for tourists to visit people’s homes. • Treat cultural heritage with dignity and respect. Inform guests about local customs and traditions and appropriate behaviour. Ensure that tourists ask permission to take photographs or to videotape people. 25

• Ensure that clients do not damage or remove religious or cultural artefacts.

Environmental Responsibility
Tourism developments worldwide have had a substantial impact on the natural world. From the visual impact of hotel and resort complexes to noise and air pollution from increased traffic, contamination of water supplies and the loss of natural habitats, tourism has played its role in destroying the natural environment. Tourism establishments that fail to protect their environmental surroundings impact on the very attractions on which most depend for success – clean air, safe water and beautiful surroundings. Nature-based tourism operations have a particular responsibility towards their natural environment in terms of ensuring ecologically sensitive land and habitat management and conserving biodiversity. Tourism establishments that adopt good environmental practices inevitably contribute to the quality of their surroundings, improving the experience for guests and the living standards of local communities. Sound waste management and water treatment create a safer environment for staff and local communities, reducing illness and disease and enhancing quality of life. Moreover, good environmental practice translates into direct cost savings by reducing energy and water bills as well as sewage treatment and waste disposal costs. In terms of the bottom line, good environmental practice makes perfect economic sense. Fauna and Flora Conservation • Support a local wildlife or nature conservation programme by providing funds or volunteers. • If you operate in a wildlife reserve, get experts to advise you on wildlife management e.g. carrying capacity, annual culling programmes, understanding animal behaviour. • Encourage scientific research of fauna and flora on your property.

Natural Resource Use • Get an expert to draw up a sustainable resource use programme for your land – invite local communities to harvest thatching grass, wood etc. accordingly. 26

• Buy crafts that are sustainably produced and avoid curios or furniture made of indigenous hardwoods. • Be responsible in the use of wood for fires e.g. use wood from bush-clearing operations. Education • Build sensitively placed trails and hides, with interpretation material for guests. • Develop a code of conduct for interaction with wildlife and disseminate this to guests. • Ensure that your staff are educated about the importance of conserving biodiversity. Send them on nature conservation courses or invite guest lecturers. • Educate local communities about the importance of sustainable natural resource management.

Reduce, reuse, recycle
Set Targets • Monitor the relationship between the number of tourists and the amount of waste you produce (e.g. 1 full bin per bed night). • Set targets for reducing the amount of waste produced (e.g. reduce by 5% each year). Monitor reductions in the volumes of waste you produce. • Set targets for the recycling and reuse of waste. Waste Reduction • Speak to food suppliers about reducing food packaging. • Buy in bulk and store goods in reusable containers. • Buy biodegradable products. • Use recycled, chlorine-free paper or paper from forests certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. • Maintain a litter-free environment.

Waste Disposal • Have clearly labeled separate bins for wet waste, plastics, glass and tin to help recycling. Set up specialised bins for battery or printer cartridge recycling. • Compost food waste on site and use it to fertilise your grounds. • Ensure that waste oil is returned to your nearest supplier or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. 27

• Store, collect and dispose of hazardous waste safely and according to government regulations. Recycling • Initiate recycling or buy-back programmes for glass bottles, cans, plastic and paper products. Approach manufacturers about collecting used products and encourage local SMMEs to make crafts out of tin or plastic waste. • Set up composting facilities for landscaping, community gardens or agriculture.

Motivating Guests to be Responsible Economic • Provide information about the levels of local poverty and need for development – hence the importance of spending money in the local economy. Social • Showcase local community projects on your notice board. Ask your visitors whether they would support payment towards a community levy or fund. • Inform your clients how to interact with the local community and respect local culture and customs. Encourage clients to buy crafts that are made locally and to bargain responsibly. Environmental • Inform guests how they can help with water conservation (e.g. taking showers instead of baths, having linen and towels cleaned only when dirty). • Provide guests with a list of local natural resources that are being over utilised. Encourage them to buy crafts that are sustainably produced. • Encourage guests to contribute to a local nature conservation programme. • Put separate bins in rooms to encourage guests to separate waste.


The concept of responsible tourism comes naturally to Orange County Resorts. It is, after all, an extension of the vision and philosophy of the House of Ramapuram whose values are broad, contemporary and inclusive. The family, whose fortunes began with plantations almost a century ago, has never seen land or the people who work them as a means to an end. This spirit of responsible stewardship guides the managerial practices of the hospitality sector, which is now a growing arm of the family's commercial expansions. The principal tenets of responsible tourism can be seen and experienced in the day to day life and running of our two resorts at Kabini and Coorg, both of which endeavor to offer more than just luxurious holidays. They aspire to offer experiences that enrich and enlighten our guests - experiences that tell of the fragility of eco systems of which we are all a part and the measures that can be taken consciously to soften our footprints upon a beleaguered environment. Orange County, Coorg adheres to the fundamentals of 'Responsible Tourism' through the following initiatives Environment Water Conservation • Dual flushing cisterns installed. • STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) with stream-water standard output installed. • The treated water used for horticulture. • Foam flow faucets used to reduce water consumption. Solid Waste Management • Bio-gas plant processes kitchen waste • Bio gas sludge used as fertilizer (organic manure) • Piggery set up near the resort to manage food waste • Degradable / Bio degradable waste segregation • Plastic / paper / glass / metals (cans) sent for recycling

Sound Pollution • Acoustic enclosures installed for generators / kitchen exhausts • Continuously working to minimising mechanical noise levels at resort • Electric buggies used to transport guests within resort • Vehicular movement minimized within the resort premises Air Pollution 29

• • • • • • •

Electric buggies used to transport guests within resort Diesel generators with electronic governors to reduce fuel consumption Common transportation provided for staff from town Majority of staff accommodated within property. Hence no transportation required Company owned wind power generator offsets power consumption from government utilities Company owned wind power generators supplying surplus power to government Local trees planted in the resort premises

Energy Conservation • CFL Lamps used • Electronic key tags used • Auto sensors are installed for lights in public wash rooms • Multiple entries discouraged in cold rooms • Electronic governors on Diesel Generators to reduce fuel consumption. • Two separate Diesel Generators with lower and higher capacity installed to reduced fuel consumption during lower occupancy days. • Air conditioners only in the bed rooms Reduced use of plastic • Reverse Osmosis plant in each suite reduces usage of bottled drinking water • Usage of cloth bags & bags made out of news papers is encouraged • Biodegradable bags used in the waste bins Flora & Fauna • Planting of local trees and plants promoted within the resort premises • No exotic fauna within resort premises • Steps taken to minimize formal landscaping Sustainable tourism • Number of guests entering the forest is limited • Construction of rooms is limited to retain the serenity of the environment • Guests' and vehicle intrusion into ecologically sensitive areas minimized Light Pollution • Usage of lights optimized to minimize disturbance to nocturnal wildlife Society • Local cultural shows are organized in the resort to showcase local culture • Local youth encouraged to learn their traditional art forms. (Local dance, traditional welcome, music) • Activities at the resort based on local culture and nature Eg: Plantation Tour, Guided Forest Walk, Coracle ride on Cauvery • Local architecture is showcased in the theme of the resort • Locally available materials used in construction • Local food showcased • Engaging with local village heads in community development programs. 30

Structured Community Development Programs are planned annually Eg: scholarships, toilets in villages, road work, etc

Economy • Currently local employment at the resort is 60%. • Cultural shows are carried out by the locals providing them with a supplementary means of income • Providing supplementary means of income to local boat men, taxi drivers, doctors, and local families • Using bags made of news papers, sourced from local families • Purchase of groceries and vegetables from local markets Conservation through Education • Our web site features our Responsible Tourism Policy and Initiatives • Our brochures carry the information on conservation measures being practiced at our resort • Small message boards are placed in relevant places at the resort to educate the guests on Responsible Tourism • Special booklet describing the local flora, fauna and our Responsible Tourism Initiatives are distributed to guests at the resort Source:

Responsible tourist (Planning for Responsible holiday)
Responsible tourism is the behavior or approach adopted by by all stake holders of tourism, the role of tourist is very important for Responsible Tourism, it is a positive approach adopted by tourist towards the culture and local people by closely observing and participating in local environment of place visited. When place is visited by tourist it creates positive & negative Impact on the environment, Responsible tourism 31

is all about taking responsibility by tourist to minimize the negative Impact by following certain responsible practices some of them are as follows. Economical Responsibility • • • • • Choosing your holiday wisely, chose a tour operator who is following Responsible tourism practices, try to choose the local tour operator of the place to be visited. Try to take services of local transport provider for site seeing, instead of your home town. Chose local homestay as option of accommodation, or Hotel who are employing local people. Purchase souvenir of local culture & Handicrafts. Choose local cuisine for food.

Social Responsibility • • • Participate Local lifestyle & culture with focus on conservation without making your Impact on the same. Try to volunteer some work in your visit like teaching school children, or some Social Work. Respect local culture & Handicraft by participating in Cultural shows, & buying local souvenirs.

Environmental Responsibility • • • • • • • Try to choose transportation which are less polluting, like CNG cars, Bicycle riding. Make optimum use of water & Electricity reduce wastage while stay. Avoid use of plastics use Recycle material. Use dustbin for garbage disposal. Follow all rules & regulation set by local people & Government Support a local wildlife or nature conservation programme by providing funds or volunteers. Before visiting any wildlife or eco system get prior information of Do & Dont’s, so that your visit do not disturb the or make negative impact on the place.

Tourism is the multi facet activity, it involves many services coming together to give better experience to the tourist, because of the same nature of tourism the afterhand result of tourism is also multiplier in effect . Tourism can be called as Double edged sword, which creates both positive & negative effects to environment (Physical, psychological) & culture for eg growth in tourism in a destination creates multiple 32

employment opportunity but excessive tourism activity will harm the environment & local culture. Role of Local community is very important in tourism because maximum Impact of tourism is absorbed by them only. Because if the benefits of tourism is not passed to local community there will be chances conflict between the local community & the visitor, & there should not be negative impact on the local environment so that it become intolerable for them. Biggest challenge for any country is to minimize the negative Impact of tourism to the destination. Because of that concept of Eco tourism & Sustainable tourism is widely accepted & practiced by the nations tourism development authorities, however Eco & Sustainable tourism is Up to bottom approach where most of the guideline is made by rules & regulation by government & it is very hard to make sure same is implemented by the stakeholders, & there is no measure by which we can judge that maximum benefit is going to local community. Responsible Tourism goes extra mile than Eco & Sustainable approach to solve problem of negative impacts of tourism. As best way to resolve the crisis is to take precautions action before it occurs, In Responsible Tourism all the stake holders take the responsible approach towards their action including the tourist himself, this approach bring the positive changes to place & “Create better place to live & VISIT “. Its bottom to top approach of promoting tourism. It not only ensure the growth of tourism in Sustainable way but also solve the problem of poverty, Education, Employment, & upliftment of local culture & society, it creates win-win situation for both host & Visitor & helps in building trust & confidence between local community & Tourist. Kerala is best example of successful implementation of Responsible tourism, same has to be implemented at other state also. Organisation like Orange County has also made initiative towards responsible tourism. Lastly role of Tourist is very important in Responsible tourism, If tourist behave in responsible way than tour operator & other service provider will also start making the product which are more ethical, & responsible towards society & nature. As responsible tourist we should choose domestic tourism more than International tourism as this will help the domestic destination to become self reliant & stop the economic leakage to other countries.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful