Perception of local experts: We do not believe that ‘customer is always king’, especially when it comes to interactive, knowledge-sharing travel experiences. Tourism in India has focused heavily on hospitality, without clearly defined standards deciding what work the ‘host’ or ‘guide’ is required to do. As a result, they are often exploited by tourists unknowingly. For us, the local experts are as important as our customers. We hence see ourselves as a social marketplace and not a travel agency.
Recognition of local experts: The names of our local experts are promoted on our fixed departures (except when there are multiple local experts or groups involved). We wish to see them grow their brands and accordingly provide our curation and marketing services to them.
Pricing transparency: Prices are decided by the local experts themselves, who are aware of the final price paid by customers. We add a markup which includes our booking and marketing fees. When required, we help train our local experts to understand and account for their incomes.
Experience ownership: Our experiences and heritage walks are entirely run by local communities and local experts respectively. They are the owners of the experience that we help them curate and the experience revolves around them.
IP rights of local communities: We believe that certain types of heritage belong to local communities, especially when they can safeguard the sanctity of that heritage much better than commercial entities. As a result, we encourage dialogue during our experiences between participants and local experts about heritage ownership (Cultural GI tags, for example).
Plastic use: We try not to generate any inorganic waste on our experiences. Participants are generally given local, filtered water in case the experience includes a meal.
Carbon footprint: We encourage our participants to use public transport to arrive at our experience locations as much as possible. We do not provide private transport unless public transport options are completely unviable.
Clean ups: We organise regular clean ups that are free of cost at various sites in Mumbai, such as the Elephanta Island. Participants have often helped us clean up trails through wildlife sanctuaries on our biodiversity walks and trails.
Content acquisition: All pictures and creatives used by Swadesee on our website or social media channels are always clicked/created/acquired by a Swadesee team member or an affiliated local expert. We do not use stock images or images that cause misrepresentation.
Review authenticity: We only ask reviews to be written by those who have been on our experiences.