Waking up with the locals, adapting to their daily routine, visiting their farms, or forests with them, helping them out with their work on the farm or plantation, and becoming one with their life can prove to be an exhilarating experience than you might imagine.
Who doesn’t want a fancy luxurious trip to the Himalayas and Gulmarg, sipping juice from the outdoor pool while watching a glorious sunset? Everyone does. But, these experiences come with a cost, in fact, a huge one. Also, most of the hotels in the luxury segment offer a similar range of services, to appease their well-paying customers. However, there is a flip side to this. In this article, we are going to look at how we, as a community can help promote sustainable luxury travel and at the same time, help the local economy thrive.
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The reality of luxury travel
Be it high atop snow-capped mountains, in the valleys, or in the grasslands, big brands have a way of setting up fabulous luxury hotels by scraping and altering the landscape of the place. Since luxury hotels come with a set of standards they have to meet, businesses end up altering, or even exploiting the region to provide the infrastructure to their customers. This is more so in the case of setting up swimming pools where finding water is a hassle, or when a place known for the beauty of its mountains is littered with hotels, that it almost diminishes the view of the mountains. When looked at from a bird’s eye view, luxury hotels end up giving the same experiences irrespective of the place, especially if you decided to stay in only.
What if we told you, we could change the notion of luxury travel itself, so as to make it more sustainable and still maintain its exotic flavour of it?
A different place to stay
With all safety and hygiene requirements taken care of, eco-lodges, or near-native accommodation facilities can be arranged for the tourists, which can include a dip by the lake or river, if it is permitted in the area, instead of bathing in a swimming pool. The uniqueness of the place needs to be absorbed, which is the main reason for tourists choose the destination in the first place.
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Experience the life of the place
Waking up with the locals, adapting to their daily routine, visiting their farms, or forests with them, helping them out with their work on the farm or plantation, and becoming one with their life can prove to be an exhilarating experience than you might imagine. Kamana Gautam, a sustainable living enthusiast, advocates green travel and experiencing the life of the locals so that we appreciate the deeper meaning of life. People in every part of the country have their own unique rituals and customs to follow. By closely following their footsteps, engaging with the community, and taking part in their dance, music, food and animal rearing during the time of your stay, you are creating memorable experiences that will stick to your heart, than will a calm peaceful day at a resort.
Explore a different side of yourself
Luxury travel, in this sense, will be your spending your money on local accommodation, unique eco-friendly experiences, making charitable donations if you deem appropriate and contributing to the local economy directly by making local purchases. You will walk back home with more than just local souvenirs, your hearts will sing the countless songs you heard and repeated during your stay. Instead of repeating the same lifestyle, sustainable luxury tourism will bring you out of your comfort zone and give you a wholesome memory for a lifetime.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)