Responsible Tourism Practices - Swadesee
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Swadesee / Responsible Tourism Practices

Our practices towards responsible tourism

  1. Rights of local expert: We do not believe that ‘customer is king’, especially when it comes to interactive, knowledge-sharing travel experiences. Tourism in India often focuses heavily on hospitality, without clearly defined boundaries deciding what the ‘host’ or ‘guide’ is required to do. As a result, they are very often knowingly and unknowingly exploited by tourists. For us, the local experts are as important as our customers/participants. We hence see ourselves as a social marketplace and not a travel agency.
  2. Recognition of local expert: The names of our local experts are posted everywhere when there is a public event (with a few exceptions, when there are multiple local experts involved). Even when the media calls us for pre-event interviews, we urge them to write the name of our local experts and give them a call as well. We focus on our work of providing co-curation and booking services, and we do not see the local experts as resources that can be exploited.
  3. Pricing: Prices are decided by the local experts themselves. We add a markup which includes our booking and marketing fees. Also, prices are generally on a per person basis, so that our interests are always aligned and the local expert benefits from numbers as much as we do.
  4. Operational sustainability: Our experiences and heritage walks are entirely run by local communities and local experts respectively. No one from our team gets financially compensated during the operation of the experience.
  5. Content: All pictures used by Swadesee for marketing purposes 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.
  6. Review authenticity: We only ask reviews to be written by those who have been on our experiences.
  7. Plastic use: We try not to generate any inorganic waste on our experiences. Initially, some of our experiences used plastic plates to serve meals, but now we have replaced those with reusable materials such as steel. We even encourage our participants to wash their dishes if they do not mind. Participants are generally given local, filtered water in case it the experience includes a meal.
  8. Carbon footprint: We encourage our participants to use public transport to arrive at our experience locations as much as possible, however, we do not enforce it.
  9. IP rights of local communities: While we completely respect the freedom to information, 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 (IP rights and GI tags, for example).
  10. Tieups: We have tied up with other responsible tourism advocates such as yoga instructors, organic farms, tourism festivals, heritage consultants and public speakers for special events, when our mutual interests have aligned. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us.