For me being a part of Responsible Travel is an emotional experience. Being part of the proud Kodava tribe from southern India, I grew up watching elephants in the wild and, over time, these sociable, intelligent hulks wove their way into my heart. Elephants, like Mother Nature, are kind and gentle, and being a part of the travel industry helps me proudly highlight this aspect of our world to our guests through considerate practices. My idea of Responsible Travel is that it should encompass all types of tourism – not just nature based – and that it should deliver ‘better places to live in and to visit’, with the emphasis first and foremost on creating better places for local people and wildlife, and secondly for visitors.
‘Care and Passion’ is one of the core values of our company. When we initiated our Responsible Tourism practices, I said to myself, I have been with the company for more than a decade and Enchanting Travels has always believed and practiced Responsible Tourism in the way our employees are treated, the itineraries we plan for our guest, and the appreciation and recognition we give to our guides and chauffeurs. As a company, we are already doing all of it! For me, being a Responsible Tourism Champion offers fulfillment in what I do at work by being even more ‘responsible’ in the way we plan our trips and how we choose our partners, hotels and activities. I am really happy to be a part of the cause and make a small difference.
For me, being a Responsible Travel Champion is simply being true to myself. I have been doing my bit for a couple of years, such as supporting CRY for children’s education, making small donations for various causes, and since the last one year, cross country cycling to support NGOs for good causes and to spread awareness. Recently I cycled from Delhi to Anandpur (nearly 400 km) with Khalsa Aid, an international non-profit aid and relief organization founded on the Sikh principles of selfless service and universal love, and later from Delhi to Amritsar (500 km) with United Sikhs | Recognize the Human Race as One. This has been a life changing experience for me.
The day I learned that we have such an opportunity at our workplace I was super excited. For me, this was another way to give back to the society, spread happiness, and make our world a place of harmony. Responsible Tourism is something very close to my heart and I am very involved emotionally. I love my team, colleagues, and would like to see happiness and joy on their faces. We all want to do something for the society but run out of options and blame the lack of time. But truth be told, we all need a push and someone to motivate us – that is exactly what I am hoping to do through my role as a Responsible Travel Champion.
In my view, the feeling of being ‘responsible’ is contagious, it flows from one and touches everyone around, and affects us in different ways. I am inspired to drive a positive change or be a part of it whenever I see an opportunity. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and self-content whenever I am able to fill in the gap or learn from people’s experiences. Knowingly or unknowingly, I have always been drawn towards making a positive difference by doing what I can in my own capacity. Ensuring excellent quality trips, seeing a smile on my guest’s faces, and reading glowing feedback still has an electric effect on me, and it lights up my day. My role as a Trip Coordination Manager gives me the opportunity to overlook and personally enhance the experiences of our guests. Fair practices and honesty have always been the criteria for choosing team members, guides, and partners at Enchanting Travels, and by taking many of these values a step further and showing clear commitment and genuine effort in becoming a Responsible Travel company started from the year 2018. This gave me an opportunity to do things in a more refined and structured way and my knowledge about being responsible has been evolving ever since. I am very fortunate to be a part of Enchanting and be able to contribute by adopting responsible practices and also spread the spirit and awareness among others by becoming a Responsible Travel Champion.
Hearing stories from our guest about India and learning about the image they had of us when they first thought of visiting us and how it changed after coming here changed something in me too. I feel that it’s my responsibility, more so because I am in this profession where I can make a difference and ensure that our guest takes a true, yet beautiful picture of each country they visit with a feeling of enchantment. As individuals, we can only take the responsibly of our own actions and adopt responsible ways first and lead by example to spread the same later. Being a Responsible Travel Champion, I find my job to be more enriching and fulfilling.
I believe, that we cannot change the whole world alone. We need to work as a team. Only then can we bring about change in the society. We have to honestly understand our responsibility towards nature and the world we live in. It should not only reflect in our words, but also in our deeds. It is rightly said that our actions speak much louder than our words. With this initiative, I feel that I’m playing a small part in a big game and I’m sure one day we will be able to change the world for the better. For me, bringing more smiles to faces is true service to that Almighty. I am proud to be part of the Responsible Travel Champions team. It always gives me a great feeling when somebody appreciates and recognizes all our efforts.
After years of working in hospitality and wanting a more meaningful career, I found myself going back to school for my Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development where I learned about development from a global perspective. I then found myself living in a village in Botswana, serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, where I had the opportunity to experience development work firsthand. After arriving back the US and beginning to work for Enchanting Travels, I was able to talk about the experiences that I had while living in Africa but could not always make the connection to my passion for development work. Becoming a Responsible Travel Champion allows me to talk with guests not only about safaris but also about the importance of supporting the communities that we work in, traveling with more of a conscience, and doing what we can to preserve both the incredible nature and the wildlife that we are all so lucky to have the opportunity to see.
I have volunteered as a Responsible Travel Champion for our office in Feldkirchen as I found it a wonderful opportunity to engage with and deepen my commitment to the environment and social initiatives through positive and definitive action. I think that most of us have this wish and therefore many of our guests appreciate that they are not “only” having a perfect vacation with us, but that at the same time they can give something back to the local people and nature.
I wanted to be a Responsible Travel Champion because I know that it is my responsibility to ensure we all make the world a better place for ourselves and the next generations to enjoy over and over again!
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