- Actively reduces consumption
- Sustainable build
- Solar powered or renewable energy
- Employs local people
- Promotes local businesses
- Local or organic food
- Preservation of cultural heritage
- Community led or owned
- Community based
- Respect for culture
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Village Ways is an award-winning rural enterprise that gives visitors the chance to experience a more traditional rural Indian way of life. Tours run in four areas of India; the Himalayas, Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka, with a range of hiking routes for a range of abilities offered through the Himalayan mountains. Tours are led by local guides and guests are hosted by the whole community in village-owned guesthouses, can enjoy local meals and gain an insight into a slower, rural way of living. All routes can be tailored to requirements. Village Ways also offers a small range of group holidays in north and south India plus one to two night short stay trips, with activities planning for the day.
Village Ways have won numerous awards for their unique approach to responsible tourism. Positive, sustainable tourism is in their DNA. Guest visits leave our communities better off, both economically and socially. Village Ways limits environmental impacts at every stage. They use local materials, and local labour, in the construction of new buildings, or refurbishment of existing buildings. They employ low-usage water systems in areas (like the Himalayas) increasingly vulnerable to water shortages, and use solar power for water heatings and lamps in communities that remain ‘off grid’. They encourage crop diversification so that communities grow crops for guests, at a time when failure of traditional crops due to drought is an increasing issue. Importantly, Village Ways works at a local and regional level to help communities find solutions to problems that are already happening due to the climate crisis. They use, wherever possible, rail travel rather than cars or internal flights, for guests, and Indian trains are very much a part of the overall holiday experience!
They provide ongoing training for everyone involved in the tourism enterprises, and also arrange visits to other partner communities – often, the first time villagers have traveled away from their local areas. Village Ways encourages gender equality, and the representation of minority castes and peoples on the committees that manage the enterprises.