What a Dif­fer­ence Your One Day Makes

Consumer Voice - - Responsible Travel -

The first ob­vi­ous con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of a host com­mu­nity is eco­nomic. Ser­vices such as ac­com­mo­da­tion, food, guid­ing, ve­hi­cles, craft classes, etc., are pro­vided by the host com­mu­nity – the guests pay di­rectly to the ser­vice provider or at the most with one mid­dle­man in be­tween. The end re­sult is that the rev­enue flow into that com­mu­nity is pos­i­tive and can be made steady. This is a big dif­fer­ence that you as a trav­eller make when you ac­tu­ally stay in another In­dia. Yes, you could stay in the com­forts of the city and make a day trip to ex­plore the sur­round­ings. Then the rev­enues go through mul­ti­ple lay­ers and rarely reach the host com­mu­nity.

Trav­ellers don't of­ten re­al­ize this – but you do pro­vide a win­dow into the world for the host com­mu­nity. You take with you your cus­toms and habits where you travel – both the good and the bad. Whether you are be­ing po­lite to a child or chew­ing gum and spit­ting it out on the road, ev­ery ges­ture is no­ticed and of­ten em­u­lated. In a vil­lage in Kar­nataka, more fam­i­lies started de­mand­ing toi­lets of the pan­chayat as more vis­i­tors came in. They felt shamed when vis­i­tors would com­ment on the filth in the vil­lage. In a vil­lage in western In­dia, a sep­a­rate teacher was ap­pointed to teach girls. This was fairly rev­o­lu­tion­ary for this con­ser­va­tive vil­lage and was the re­sult of many guests ask­ing why there were no girls in school.

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