Responsible Tourism with Edge of India Cooperatives Uttarakhand
Edge of India Co-Operatives Uttarakhand is a network of rural communities in remote parts of India, offering homestays in villages ‘off the beaten track’ which have extraordinary cultural and natural heritages. The network builds local capacity through training and marketing activities, using the co-operative model. Each district owns its own locally managed tourism co-operative society which is led by a team of local co-ordinators. This ensures benefits remain in the community and that every visitor has the best possible and most authentic visitor experience.
The goal of Edge of India Co-Operatives Uttarakhand is to provide sustainable livelihoods for members of the communities which make up the Edge of India tourism co-operatives. Working together, they built up the knowledge to be able to provide great experiences for guests without having a detrimental impact on the environment which attracts travellers in the first place. Preserving these beautiful places so that others can continue to enjoy them relies not only on the hosts, but also on visitors being responsible.
What is responsible tourism for the Edge of India Cooperatives? Responsible tourism means ensuring the wellbeing of local communities, respecting their cultures as well as wildlife conservation and the environment.
What does this mean in practice for the Edge of India Cooperatives?
- all staff employed are local residents, from co-ordinators, to guides and drivers
- services and goods are locally sourced as much as possible, (including local, mostly organic food), ensuring local benefits and reduced environmental impact through transportation
- supporting community cooperation, initiatives and development, helping families and benefitting the wider community
- local people are involved in decision-making
- opportunities for local entrepreneurs to develop and sell local food produce, handicrafts and performance arts
- skills development through training workshops in destination management, marketing, communication skills, health and safety
- more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful exchanges with local people
- activities encourage cultural sensitivity, engendering respect between tourists and hosts, without jeopardising the provision of basic services or access to local livelihoods
- activities encourage environmental and ecological sensitivity
Please Read the Edge of India co-operative principles
Know before you go! Please read the Edge of India Code of Conduct (also available in Hindi and Bengali)