North India luxury tour with Shimla

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: North India luxury tour with Shimla

Environment

We put a lot of thought in working with local providers, making sure that everyone involved in your trip is committed to sharing advice on how best to leave a lighter footprint. We promote excursions which foster a more sustainable tourism and commit to maintaining small-group sizes to limit negative environmental impacts in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.

We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible.

We have a recycling policy in our UK and local offices and re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. Moreover, we do not produce a glossy brochure, concentrating on a comprehensive website, and providing as much information to our travelers as possible electronically, reducing the use of paper and inks.

On your trip we will include transport modes like traditional cycle rickshaws, train journeys as much as possible or boat rides, which reduces our carbon footprint and will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with the local people. We will give preference to slow, possibly non-motorized forms of mobility, such as city walks or bicycles if possible. If motorized forms are unavoidable, we make sure that vehicle sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained.

For your tour we have chosen responsible resorts like the Oberoi hotels, the Taj group hotels or the Shahpura Hotels. The Taj resorts for example are an oustanding group that puts great effort towards reducing energy, waste and water footprint while leaving a positive impact in the destinations and the communities. To help the resorts reduce the impact of daily operations, the Taj partnered with EarthCheck - the world's leading environmental management, benchmarking and certification program for the travel and tourism industry

Some of the additional initiatives that are supported through your stay at the Taj group include the Olive Ridley Turtle Protection Programme to enhance the survival of this endangered species through educating locals and releasing hatchlings safely into the sea, the Coral Regeneration Programme aimed to increase the coral coverage and create a healthy reef ecosystem, the innovative use of plastic bottles (to make park benches at the resort for example), or the use of green power (thermal use, wind turbine generator). You can also take part in certain initiatives if you wish.

We have also chosen the heritage Shahpura House in Jaipur, and old palatial house restored into a hotel. Rare among hotels, it has remained a family home, where the members of the erstwhile ruling family welcome you personally as their honored guest. Shahpura is an eco-conscious group, alert to the threat of carbon footprints. Traditional eco-friendly Indian practices, as well as modern hotel practices and policies in each area strictly ensure conservation of energy and water, as well as use of eco-friendly materials.

Through this trip you will contribute to the preservation of precious ancient monuments, knowledge and Unesco World Heritage sites. You will visit the Red Fort for example, demonstrating the exceptional results achieved in planning and architecture. You will also contribute to the maintenance of the most significant, most comprehensive, and best preserved stone observatory in India, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.

Community

We make sure we only work with local guides that come from the very region you are visiting, giving back to their families and communities.

While many operators pay per day or per tour, our guides receive an hourly rate which allows a fair and fruitful reward for their expertise. We provide staff with written employment contracts and fair working conditions (e.g. overtime payment, national wage requirements, no discrimination, grievance mechanisms in place and no child labour).

Furthermore we ensure that our drivers do not more than 9 hours of driving per day and are provided adequate accommodation and do not drive at night (with the exception of airport pick-ups/drop-offs). After a driving period of 4.5 h the driver must take a break of at least 45 min.

By staying at the Shahpura House, you support an organisation that is woven into and sustains the lives of the people in Shahpura and the villages around. Shahpura Hotels ensure a sustainable and progressive community by providing employment in numerous ways to the people of the villages and in Jaipur. Most of the staff that serves at the Hotel comes from neighbouring homes and is trained by experts at Shahpura. Local produce is bought for the kitchens, much of the stone, the fabric, the arts, crafts, the glass work and other decor used in the hotels is created and crafted by local artisans and artists. Restoration and maintenance of the work is often entrusted to local skills. The Shahpura Family moreover encourages education and assists with healthcare, such as a foundation that runs schools, hospitals and veterinary clinics in the village. They build and help maintain temples to support the faith of the people. They bring in companies that sponsor education and healthcare.

You will also support the Taj group through your stay, which maintains time-honoured traditions central to the Indian homecoming. They provide jobs to the local community, support endangered artisan practices and revive regal history at palaces where royal families are still in residence. Furthermore, over 7000 associates of ´Give Back´, an employee volunteer programme by the Taj group, invest their time in mentoring and guiding youngsters, cleaning the local neighbourhood, taking up activities in the areas of hygiene and sanitation, local education, bringing guests to local villages and supporting the preservation and promotion of local art and culture.

If you want to do souvenir shopping, we will take you to the local markets where locals of that very region craft their products to help keep the money earned in that very community. When we take you to local shops or markets, we change the selected shops on a rotating basis. Also we make sure food stops are at locally owned cafes or restaurants and give customers recommendations on locally owned shop and restaurants, especially new start-ups.

We ensure customer awareness by familiarizing our guests with local history, culture, religions and traditions, by informing on culturally appropriate behavior, (e.g. dress codes for religious sites, taking photographs of people, language tips, etc.).

On your trip you can live special experiences which will help keep local wisdoms and traditions alive, encouraging local artisan and culture, for example by participating in the traditional Puja ceremony at the Oberoi hotels, the traditional yoga classes or by learning the traditional art of block-printing while making your very own painting or scarf.

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