Hidden eco systems

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Updated: March 17, 2016 11:27 AM

The more I travel within India, the more I feel a sense of pride. I feel proud to discover and rediscover some stunning eco resorts, palace resorts and more

20160331eh02The more I travel within India, the more I feel a sense of pride. I feel proud to discover and rediscover some stunning eco resorts, palace resorts and more. However, I feel pained as we are not doing justice to these splendours in terms of marketing them effectively to the world and within our country. India has this innate ability to shock you with world class tourism products that emerge out of the blue -from hidden ‘havelis’ that serve as premium hospitality abodes to resorts that offer quality eco tourism experiences that are tucked away across the country. There is so much more to India than meets the eye. Though the well established itineraries sell effortlessly and hospitality investors and stakeholders find business sense in investing on those routes, there are few who have walked into untapped regions and created a new eco system in the tourism space. Look at what Taj did to Goa with the story of Fort Aguada, or the Ramapuram brothers who brought Coorg into the limelight in South India. These are stories worth speaking about in a country as diverse as India.

A recent trip to Rajasthan, one of the most popular tourism spots in the country (at times sells on auto mode) especially for the international clientele, had some amazing stories that were thrown back at me. Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur, the most popular trio gives the state its share of tourism revenue inflow, with Jaisalmer and Bikaner coming close. However, there are other real and rustic parts of the state, which are waiting in the wings to receive their share of attention and tourists.

One such splendour is the Khimsar Fort and Dune Hotel. An hour and a half drive from Jodhpur, the fort hotel gives its visitor a boutique tourism experience and sells a hospitality story, which is seldom found at popular tourism zones. The fort hotel also encourages local human resource across departments, thereby working as a sustainable tourism model. Tastefully designed homes amidst the sand dunes, to the stately rooms in the fort itself, Khimsar is just an example of many such beautiful stories that can be narrated effortlessly as unique product offerings that are sustainable.

Our cover story this issue, checks out such eco sensitive resorts known for their commitment to the environment and respect for local communities and cultures.

Reema Lokesh
Editor

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