It’s unbelievable, the interest in green travel we are seeing across the world. Our last post covering I Like Local spelt out how travel can be used as a vital tool in emerging markets to aid the local population. Today we look at Asia centric – Contes Asia. Based in India, this team of passionate travel experts believes traveling and learning should go hand in hand. Keeping in mind the local customs and traditions, there focus for trips here is on ensuring guests and hosts be respectful towards each other. The team believes green travel is a shared responsibility amongst all stakeholders within the travel sector. They pride themselves in having built customized tours which can help one experience the authentic side to destinations within South East Asia.
Read on as founder and director, Sabi Khan shares his motivations behind setting up a sustainable travel agency. Look out for his recommendations on how you could make a trip to India memorable and authentic.
Why see Asia Sustainably
The tourism industry is vital for people all over the Earth. At Contes Asia, we believe that responsible tourism development is a shared responsibility for the benefit of all tourism industry players, including tourists.
Responsible travel is a shared responsibility with shared benefits
We are convinced that if we take collective responsibility for ensuring that tourism development is sustainable, then it will lead to a better travel experience for visitors and a better life for the people living in the areas we visit.
We believe that traveling and learning should go hand in hand. Therefore, we attach importance to provide as complete and as accurate a picture as possible of the areas we encourage people to visit. We endeavour that the meeting between guests and hosts be respectful and mutually beneficial. We think that this particular dialogue is important for both guests and hosts to learn something during the visits.
How Contes Asia ensures green trips
In order to ensure a good travel experience along with improved living conditions for the local population, we have set the following targets:
– We contribute actively to the sustainable responsibility of the tourism industry and ensure it is a concerted effort involving all stakeholders
– We aim for long-term cooperation with our partners in order to create mutual benefits and take joint responsibility
– We strive to deliver high quality customer service and to respect and safeguard our clients’ rights.
– We treat our employees with respect and want to offer satisfying and mutually beneficial employment and working conditions.
Featured trips for OPR users to experience India
1. Golden Triangle with Varanasi
The tour basically covers three of India’s most vibrant, beautiful and amazing cities. Delhi, the country’s capital over decades, Agra, the seat of power during much of Mughal rule and home to the spectacular Taj Mahal, and Jaipur, the Rajasthan capital with its traditions of chivalry and valour.
2. Cultural Rajasthan
This 14-day tour is comprehensively designed keeping in mind the diversity of cultures prevent in various parts of Rajasthan. It brings the ethnic blending of Marwar and Mewar region Of Rajasthan. This tour also aims to explore the topographical distinctions ranging from sand dunes to fresh water lakes.
3. Discover Kerala
During the tour, visitors get a chance to visit some very popular places within Kerala such as Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, where they can enjoy a stay in the houseboat, amongst others. And also get to explore Cochin.
How sustainable travel is evolving in India
Not all tourism in India is sustainable, and certain tourist hot spots like Goa have been damaged by irresponsible and mass tourism.
Sustainable tourism is growing in India across certain niche sections and that is great – village home stays, wildlife ecotourism, tribal tourism. There is definitely a growing trend of responsible tour operators who are committed to sustainable and responsible travel.
The impacts of responsible tourism are varied through three main form as social, economic and natural impacts on local community and nature. From our experience with the local community,
- Locals respect travellers who buy locally. Thus, they feel part of the tourism industry and economically too benefit with a growing share from tourism industry.
- Locals respect traveller who are volunteering in local non-profit organization. This experience helps both locals and the travellers to understand each other and have a totally different, authentic and real perspective.
Tips for people to indulge themselves in green travel
Buy Local- This is one of the most important part of travelling in a responsible manner. If you can, buy locally as much as possible.
Respect customs and law – Respecting local custom and law makes you a responsible traveller. Follow the rules and customs in religious places specially. Ensure you are dressed appropriately.
Respect Animal and Nature- Lot of people have elephant riding in their bucket list but as a responsible traveller it’s time to take that out. Lot of elephants in Asia are being abused to carry tourists. Volunteer instead in local animal non-profit organizations for a newer experience.
South East Asia is still struggling with population and waste management. So as a responsible traveller, try to do your part in these travels. A small thing like a steel bottle during your trips and avoiding as much as plastic can go a long way. Carry a fabric bag, so you can also avoid plastic bags.
Image courtesy: Contes Asia Facebook