Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Guideline created with very common but very effective tips that can educate larger group of people, especially travelers/tourists who can learn more about cultural and environmental sensibilities. And how can they reduce negative impacts in the region they are visiting and how they can make more positive impact while they are traveling in Kutch, Gujarat or any other parts of India.
To make this happen we printed banners and circulated among local villages, businesses, artisans’ houses and few public places where the number of visitors (tourists / travelers) is highest. These banner (Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Guideline) speaks on behalf of us (People of Kutch) especially those who are benefiting from tourism industry but to sustain the flow of tourists without making adverse effects on local environment, culture and economy. These banners are stressing some very basic but very important tips that many visitors (travelers/tourists) may ignore if not reinforce time to time.
We hope this simple and cost effective initiative will help us shape the Sustainable Tourism.
1- Save money and environment by refilling water bottles during the tour. A little gentle reminder to refill water bottles wherever possible could save hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles which eventually ends up in the landfill.
2- Please don’t take photographs of locals without their consent.
3- In some areas/communities/situations it’s advisable to absorb beauty with eyes rather than taking pictures and spoiling the charm.
4- Do not give sweets/stationery/or anything to children. We advice you to consult parents, teacher, village head or your tour guide first.
Sometimes children could suffer from unintentional discrimination and feel neglected if the little gifts are not received by all of them.
5- Do not accept plastic bags wherever you shop. Carry your Eco friendly fabric bags wherever you travel
6- It’s good practice to buy souvenirs/handicrafts straight from the artisans/craft makers rather than from shops/traders/middlemen. Please don’t buy anything under any obligation. If Guests are like a God they must not be forced to buy under any circumstances.
7- Avoid smoking, swearing or any other behaviors that can be imitated by locals, especially by children.
8- We recommend you to visit least visited villages/artisans/sites to avoid mass tourism and offer equal opportunities to locals. India is so huge and a lot of rural areas are still not enough explored or known among tourists. However accessing some regions/communities require extra care and subject to eco consciousness if you don’t know their culture, customs well enough. That’s why hiring a local and trustworthy Tourist Guides, Tourist Facilitators or any other local experts becomes vital and could give you a best possible cultural exchange.
9- Save money and environment by avoiding repeats in your journey and unnecessary drive by planning the route well ahead. So you save your time and reduce your carbon footprints.
10-Use public transport/shared transport wherever possible.
11- Make sure that your driver or guide have place to sleep wherever you stay, if not, talk to them for other alternatives.
12-We respect your interest in visiting some rare and endangered wildlife spices. WE DO NOT OPERATE or Recommend visiting those areas to minimize impact of tourism to such endangered species and their habitats. Sometimes it’s better to sacrifice your dream, to protect fragile Eco system. Of course there are some well managed National Parks and Forrest reserves which are legally accessible. But make sure you do not disturb them. “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints” 🙂
13-It’s pity to see beggars/poor people (especially children, handicapped and elderly people) begging in some places. Though we think, feeding hungry soul is better option rather than giving them money that you are not sure how they will use it. Regardless we suggest not to judge anyone anywhere. Everyone is dealing with their own survival issues differently. Learn to say “No” politely.
14-Complaining about litter/garbage does not solve the problem but acting consciously does. Support local Authority, NGOs, Volunteers, individuals whichever way you can. (by donating money, educating people, helping them cleaning streets, or public place to set example) or whichever way you think you can be helpful to the place you’re visiting. Many people are victim of ignorance or uninformed choices. That’s why pollution is a massive problem and we must not forget that Few Big Industries are contributing more environmental issues than millions of common men on the ground.
15-Please support Kutch Adventures India or any other Sustainable Tourism Practices across the country and voluntarily accept all or any of the above mentioned tips/guideline while visiting Kutch, Gujarat or other parts of India
Thanks for being Responsible Visitor 🙂 We highly appreciate your contribution to spread message to protect our culture, tradition and environment.
Enjoy your time in Kutch, Gujarat. Namaste!
*Celebrating UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. (2017)