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ecoDestinations - India
Visiting India Responsibly - Tips for Travelers
"Travel is a passage through other people’s lives and other people's places." - Ecotourism Society of India
The Traveler's Code (Source: Ecotourism Society of India)
- Be flexible: Are you prepared to accept cultures and practices that are different from your own?
- Choose responsibly: Support businesses that actively address the cultural and environmental issues.
- Do your homework: Learn about the people and places you're visiting: e.g. basic manners, local phrases.
- Be aware: Be informed of local holidays, holy days, and religious and social customs.
- Support local economy: Purchase from local-run businesses and buy from local artisans.
- Be respectful: Respect local laws that may include restrictions on purchases or access.
Responsible Travel Resources
TraveltoCare.com is an online guide to responsible hotels and holidays in India, Bangladesh and Nepal that are committed to preserving the environment and supporting their local communities. Connecting travelers directly with local hotels and tour operators, TraveltoCare.com promotes best practices in responsible tourism and share inspiring stories and personal insights.
Diverse Country, Diverse Peoples
"Tourism has the potential of being a sustainable income provider and creating a major opportunity to position the Indian tourism experience as a unique visitor takeaway in rural, low-impact settings." - Explore Rural India
"From the eternal snows of the Himalayas to the cultivated peninsula of far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills, Indian lifestyles clearly glorify the geography... Ethnically Indians speak different languages, follow different religions, eat the most diverse varieties of food all of which add to the rich Indian culture. The beauty of the Indian people lies in the spirit of tolerance, give-and-take and a composition of cultures that can be compared to a garden of flowers of various colours and shades of which, while maintaining their own entity, lend harmony and beauty to the garden - India!" (Source: Incredible India)
Grass Routes (Orissa, India)
"Festivals are a fantastic way to experience cultures – and have the time of your life doing so! Full moons, harvest cycles andreligious festivals are all celebrated with gusto." (Grass Routes - Inspirations/Cultures)
Hiliya Resort (Wayanad, Kerala, India)
"Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art of Kerala, is believed by many histories and scholars as one of the oldest systems of martial training existing in the world today, and truly deserves the title of the forerunner of all martial arts." (Hiliya Resort - Wayanad/Cultural Activities)
Experiencing & Protecting India's Wild Places
"Don't be tempted to touch wildlife and disturb habitats whether on land, at the coast or under water." - WWF India Green Living Tips
Extraordinary Nature: India is among the 17 mega-diverse countries that are custodians of 70 percent of the world’s biodiversity. India is home to three of the world’s 34 "global biodiversity hotspots" - biologically rich areas facing severe conservation threats. (Western Ghats and Sri Lanka | Himalaya | Indo-Burma)
Protecting the Value of Biodiversity: Home to an exceptionally high level of biodiversity, and to nearly one-fifth of the world’s human population, India is in a unique position to contribute to the global efforts to protect biodiversity and its economic, ecological, social and cultural value. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the ecosystem services from the forested watersheds of two major mountain chains in India, the Himalayas and the Western Ghats, indirectly support several million people, and the non-timber forest products alone have been estimated to be worth $200 million per year. (Source: CBD)
Elephants & Tigers: Indian Elephant, with only 591 individuals recorded in the Indo Burma region, is among the species under most threat due to habitat fragmentation and encroachment from settlements. At the turn of the 20th century, India had 40,000 tigers in the wild. Today there are only about 1,400 left. Iconic symbols of wildlife conservation, these magestic animals play an important ecological and cultural role in India and Asia. Learn more: World Land Trust Indian Elephant Project | WWF India FAQs on Tiger