Ecotourism is a growing industry, with an increasing number of holidaymakers wanting to travel responsibly to natural areas, to stay in a resort where damage to the environment is minimised and the income and well-being of local people are considered.
To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we’re highlighting six of the best eco holidays in South India that are leading the way in responsible and sustainable travel.
Neeleshwar Hermitage, Kerala
Nestled in a sheltered palm grove along the shores of the Arabian Sea lies the ecologically amazing Neeleshwar Heritage, a peaceful retreat for enjoying relaxation and rejuvenation while enjoying the authentic Indian way of life.
The Hermitage is one of the biggest employers in the area and 95% of staff are local. The resort is made from local materials using traditional local expertise, with the intricate carving work provided by craftsmen who work on local temples.
Fish, vegetables and jaggery (a natural, raw sugar) are bought locally and staff bring flowers from their gardens for the hotel. The resort has been plastic-free since 2006, serving delicious pure filtered water, and treating grey water to use as manure.
The Hermitage donates to local shrines and supports their festivals, engages local artists for music concerts, and displays local artwork. The hotel also helps to preserve the endangered Olive Ridley turtle by supporting the turtle hatchery on the beach.