5 Sustainable Tourism Initiatives That Teaches Ethical Travel & Connect Us To Nature & Real Rural India

Stories from Society By Surbhi Rathore | 4 min read

Who doesn’t like travelling? Escaping from our hectic daily routines and diving headfirst into a sea of new experiences appeals to everyone. We all have our preferred travel style, whether it’s seeking out new thrills or just escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a few days somewhere peaceful.

Yet when we’re on the move, we often neglect to remember that our actions have consequences not just for the economy but also for the ecosystem. We become stingy with our demands and lose sight of the importance of maintaining an open, conscious mind as we travel.

With each step, we exploit, damage, and demand more from our destinations. Well, who is to blame? It’s high time we learned how to travel well. There are a lot of people out there who want to speed up this process and are paving the way for the rest of us to follow.

Startups in the sustainable tourism industry are working to raise awareness of the importance of eco-friendly and socially conscious travel. These startups typically focus on reducing the negative impact of tourism on the environment, culture, and local communities while promoting the economic and social benefits of tourism.

Ecosphere Spiti

“Ecosphere Spiti” is a social enterprise based in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. Their main focus is on promoting sustainable tourism and conservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Spiti Valley.

Ecosphere Spiti runs several programs and initiatives aimed at achieving these goals, such as:

Sustainable Tourism
Source- Facebook
  1. Homestay Program: Ecosphere Spiti helps local families set up homestays and provides training to ensure that visitors have a comfortable and authentic experience while minimizing the impact on the environment.
  2. Waste Management: Ecosphere Spiti works with local communities to develop sustainable waste management practices, including composting and recycling.
  3. Education and Awareness: Ecosphere Spiti conducts educational programs to raise awareness among local residents and visitors about the importance of conservation and sustainable tourism.
  4. Wildlife Conservation: Ecosphere Spiti works with local authorities to monitor and protect wildlife in the region, including snow leopards, Himalayan wolves, and ibex.
Sustainable Tourism ecosphere spiti
Source- Facebook

Overall, Ecosphere Spiti’s mission is to promote sustainable development in the Spiti Valley, ensuring that the region’s unique natural and cultural heritage is preserved for future generations.

Village Ways

Village Ways is a social enterprise that works with rural communities in India and other countries to promote sustainable tourism and community development. They collaborate with local communities to create authentic and immersive travel experiences that showcase the culture, traditions, and way of life of the local people.

Sustainable Tourism village ways
Source – Facebook

Their approach involves working closely with villagers to identify and develop sustainable tourism opportunities that generate income and provide employment opportunities for the local community. They also provide training and support to local people to help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to participate in the tourism industry and benefit from it.

Some of the activities that Village Ways offers include village walks, cultural tours, wildlife safaris, and community-based homestays. They also focus on responsible tourism practices that minimize the negative impact of tourism on the environment and local communities.

Overall, Village Ways’ mission is to create a sustainable and equitable tourism industry that benefits both travellers and local communities in India and beyond.


Grassroutes is a for-profit social organisation that encourages eco-friendly and culturally sensitive travel across India’s rural regions. They provide genuine cultural immersion by setting up homestays with local families. The group also helps out with conservation and local communities.

The company was co-founded in 2006 by two individuals, Manish and Trish Tewari, who wanted to create a sustainable and responsible tourism model that could benefit rural communities in India.

Sustainable Tourism grassroutes
Source- Grassroutes

Since then, Grassroutes India has grown into a team of dedicated professionals, including community development experts, tourism specialists, and sustainability professionals, who work together to promote responsible tourism and community development in rural India.

Grassroutes Journeys Pvt. Ltd. is a private limited company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. The company is headquartered in Mumbai, India, and operates its tourism and community development initiatives across several states in rural India.


Eco-friendly vacations in Kerala, India are provided by Kabani – Kabani, a responsible travel agency. Use of alternative energy sources, preservation of natural habitats, and aid to host communities are all high on their list of priorities as responsible tourists.

Sustainable Tourism kabani
Source- Kabani

The organization was founded in 2005 with the aim of supporting marginalized communities in India to become self-sufficient, while also promoting sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, and rural tourism.

Kabani‘s work is centered around four key areas:

  1. Sustainable livelihoods: Kabani works with marginalized rural communities to develop sustainable livelihoods based on organic agriculture, handicrafts, and other income-generating activities.
  2. Environmental conservation: The organization promotes sustainable agriculture practices, including organic farming and permaculture, to protect the environment and promote ecological sustainability.
  3. Rural tourism: Kabani offers experiential tourism programs that provide visitors with an opportunity to explore rural India and learn about the culture, traditions, and daily life of local communities.
  4. Community development: Kabani works with communities to provide access to education, health care, and other basic amenities, as well as to promote gender equality, social justice, and human rights.

Kabani’s approach to development is based on the principles of participatory development, which involves engaging communities in decision-making and planning processes to ensure that their needs and aspirations are met. The organization’s work is guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it has received several national and international awards for its innovative and impactful work.

Kabani’s headquarters is located in the city of Bangalore, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The organization works with communities across several states in India, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.

The Last Wilderness Foundation

The Last Wilderness Foundation is a philanthropic organisation with a focus on responsible travel and wildlife preservation in India. All around the country, in national parks and wildlife reserves, they provide eco-friendly wildlife safaris and experiences.

Sustainable Tourism
Source- Facebook

The Last Wilderness Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on the conservation of wilderness areas in India. It was founded in 2007 by conservationists Belinda Wright and Ravi Singh.

The mission of the Last Wilderness Foundation is to protect and conserve India’s wilderness areas through research, education, and advocacy. The organization works with local communities, governments, and other stakeholders to promote the conservation of these areas and to raise awareness about the importance of protecting them.

Some of the key programs and initiatives of the Last Wilderness Foundation include:

  1. Wildlife Conservation: The foundation works to protect endangered species and their habitats in India’s wilderness areas through research, monitoring, and advocacy.
  2. Community Engagement: The organization works closely with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and to provide livelihood opportunities that are sustainable and compatible with the conservation of natural resources.
  3. Education and Outreach: The Last Wilderness Foundation conducts workshops, seminars, and other educational programs to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote the conservation of India’s wilderness areas.
  4. Policy Advocacy: The organization works with governments and other stakeholders to develop and implement policies that promote the conservation of wilderness areas and protect endangered species.
  5. Sustainable Tourism: The Last Wilderness Foundation promotes sustainable tourism practices that are compatible with the conservation of wilderness areas and support local communities.

Overall, the Last Wilderness Foundation is an important organization that is making significant contributions to the conservation of India’s wilderness areas and the protection of endangered species.

If you loved this story then read Top 5 Ways You Can Help To Keep Our Mother Earth Green And Safe – Sustainability At Home

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