Through Village Ways we aim to develop a sustainable form of tourism that builds on local resources, which will provide demonstrable, practical and positive economic and social uplift for the participating communities and will raise their awareness of environmental and social issues, at the same time benefitting tourists by introducing them to local people, culture, walks and wildlife.
We will help sustain rural village communities by encouraging and building on the use of their deep local knowledge and their traditional skills to create economic opportunity, and thus make it possible for villagers to remain within their communities rather than migrate to towns in search of employment. We will ensure that wherever possible all necessary work is undertaken by the villagers themselves, and that supplies (food, building materials, furnishings etc) are sourced locally.
We will ensure that the villages are full partners in the business and participate in all matters relating to them and Village Ways. We have already enabled the formation of responsible tourism committees in each village: we will continue to support the committees by attending meetings, and acting in an advisory capacity. We will arrange for further training for committee members in tourism business skills and environmental awareness as well as practical training including health and safety, catering and guiding, as required.
We will continue to encourage and develop the use of local skills, already deployed in the building of guesthouses (funded by grants and loans from Village Ways), for maintenance and management of the guesthouses, and for providing hospitality and food for the guests. We will promote the development of villagers' craft skills, providing training where necessary and guidance in selling craft products.
We will encourage respect for and raise awareness of the local environment among both villagers and tourists, by providing training, information and interaction. The training and role of guides will be instrumental, and all guides will be sufficiently fluent in English to be able to communicate their knowledge to tourist guests. We aim to make environmental considerations a critical element of all economic decisions at all levels of Village Ways. Through the village tourism committees we will educate on such vital matters as pollution (especially litter), energy saving and water collection.
We will encourage guests to respect the traditions and beliefs of their host villagers, and to participate in local activities where possible.