Rural communities in remote places often struggle to survive – and as they lose economic viability and their young people head for the cities, so too they lose traditional knowledge and skills.
Village Ways, right from its start in the foothills of the Himalayas, determined that sustainability is key to the survival of rural villages, that economic opportunity is best achieved by encouraging and building on the villagers’ own strengths, skills and knowledge to develop enterprise.
As active partners with Village Ways in the business of sustainable tourism, the communities share in the work, the pleasure and the profit that a successful tourism venture creates.
Participating villages work with the support of the Village Ways network in attracting visitors to come and share in the beauty of their surroundings and the fascination of their traditional lifestyles. Working through local committees and taking a full share of the responsibilities that tourism involves, the villages develop economic and social strengths – while their guests, warmly welcomed, find themselves on a voyage of discovery of wonderful remote places and deeply rooted rural lives.
The guest-houses are managed by the Village Tourism Committees, who have received training in hygiene, house management, hospitality and cooking but are not professional hoteliers. Their welcome will be genuine and their hospitality often overwhelming. The houses are furnished attractively and simply, with local materials wherever possible, so you'll be able to relax and enjoy a good night's sleep after a day in the open. Delicious food, often vegetarian, is prepared in the dedicated kitchens over open fires, with most of the produce coming from the farms in the village.
It is important that the income created through tourism is supplementary to traditional livelihoods, without displacing it or creating dependency.
Village Ways works with the Responsible Tourism Partnership to monitor the local economic impact of the tourism we bring to these villages. We have provided data for our partner villages in Binsar, where we generate 14% of the income to these villages. To view the infographic for Binsar, click here.
We will be providing similar data across our other Village Tourism Enterprises using the same Binsar model.