ecoDestinations - India

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 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, 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

Latest News and Articles on India

Greener Pastures, a sustainable travel company based in Northeast India, has successfully concluded its first responsible tourism project, a fundraiser to assist the forest man of India in planting trees. Jadav Payeng, a milkman in the state of Assam in Northeastern India, has for most parts of his life lived solitarily, along with a wife and later, two children, to accompany him in a life in an island in the Brahmaputra River. His mission was and continues to be to grow trees. So, for the past 3 decades, Jadav has been growing trees, and his efforts have resulted today in a marvelous...
Muba Resorts Kanha Honoured as a Top Performing JUNGLE RESORTS as Reviewed by Travellers on the World's Largest Travel Site   NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 15, 2013 – Muba Resorts Kanha has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.   To...
By Sayoni Bhaduri   In a series of workshops organised by the Ecotourism Society of India, the effort has been to create awareness and preserve the fast vanishing natural heritage that the country has. The 11th ESOI workshop, held at Aurangabad, Maharashtra brought together the fraternity from the town and surrounding areas to discuss issues, challenges and the way forward.   >> View original article on Aligning natural heritage with tourism Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) workshops have been designed to bring together different stake...
The National Tourism Awards of the Ministry of Tourism serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the Indian travel and tourism industry. Ibex Expeditions was honoured by the President of India in New Delhi, on 29th February 2012 as the 'Most Innovative Tour Operator' of India.   Co-Founded in 1979 by Mountaineer, Explorer and Environmentalist, Mandip Singh Soin, the focus of Ibex Expeditions since inception has been of designing inspirational travel experiences for customers, moving beyond the ordinary to seeking new areas, avenues, ideas...
By Amy McLoughlin   In the beautiful region of Wayanad in Kerala, India, where dense jungle carpets rolling mountains in the Western Ghats, lies a magical hidden gem. The quiet village of Thrikkaipetta in the heart of this breathtaking region is a beacon for community spirit and an inspiration for ethical tourism.   Rural Wayanad's delightful climate and rich biodiversity makes it a vastly agricultural population (almost 50% of the inhabitants rely on farming for income). Like many places across the globe, farming here has been hit by financial strain due to...
The Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 2005 in a remote jungle area of granite hills, savanna and forest, is the first and only privately owned and operated wildlife sanctuary in India. The sanctuary’s mission is to balance the needs of locals and wildlife by combining conservation and ecotourism.   The idea to create a new wildlife refuge in Jalore was first born out of discussions among a group of friends and family - Gajendra Singh Chouhan, a patron of the arts from Jodhpur, and his friends Shanane Davis and Ravindra Singh Chouhan from Kaniwara, a village near...
Grass Routes Journeys is founded on a philosophy of respect for the environment, the culture and the community, and through authentic stories and hands-on experiences, helps bridge boundaries and open up possibilities. It is apparent from the company's people-focused grassroots approaches to travel that respectful interactions with Indigenous communities and their cultural heritage is an integral part of what defines Grass Routes' natural and cultural tourism experiences. TIES asked Claire Prest, co-founder of Grass Routes, to share an insider's view of visitors'...
For children with no home, life is a fast train to nowhere. Salaam Baalak Trust works to restore them to the world of childhood, take them from a lonely dead-end to bonding, learning and the joy of a professional life. Celebrating the Spirit of Survival In the last twenty years, the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) has helped thousands of children come off the streets and into a safe and nurturing environment. SBT has five 24-hour shelters (one devoted to girls), with 50 to 55 children visiting each. The Trust provides a holistic safety net of services catering to the individual needs of...
Chilika Lake, Asia's largest estuarine lagoon hosts over a million birds every winter. Migratory waterfowl wing in from places as far away as Siberia to jostle resident species over freshwater wetland. Water lilies open with the rising sun and a symphony of bird calls flutter to our ears.   We are perched on the northern edge of Chilika Lake overlooking the 1100 square kilometre expanse of waters as it stretches seaward toward the Bay of Bengal. Here, a small but remarkable village has come full circle to protect a vital wetland area of international importance.  ...


About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




> The International Ecotourism Society 



The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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