A Closer Look: 10 ways businesses can practice responsible tourism now
From the perspective of Khoj-aao! Adventures, member of the RTC
10. Know and follow the rules.
Understand and follow Government SOPs.
In case you find information hard to find or locate, there are a number of great online resources like Offbeat Goa and ActforGoa that are compiling and reposting up-to-date information on protocols and best practices. Also, it’s a great idea to check with International guidelines set forth by the WHO and other agencies to ensure that you can take extra precaution when and where possible!
9. Go local.
Recommend and support local businesses.
Try sourcing materials from small businesses around where you live and work, sharing and using local recommendations and skipping the order on Amazon from time to time. Not only will you meet nice folks in your community but also help support those who may need it most.
8. Support your team.
Like attracts like.
Support your team (and employees) and you will see how this reflects on your work outwards. It’s a tough time for everyone right now – financially, physically, socially and emotionally. Just like you may have a lot of things happening at the same time, your partners, vendors, colleagues and team members may, as well.
7. Service starts at home.
Reach out to the local community.
Contact local schools, community centers and local organisations to see how you can connect with them, be it where your office is, in your neighborhood or where you frequent. Many times, smaller organisations do not reach out for support, though they may need it. There are great organizations like Goa Outreach, Covid Outreach Goa (COGLD), ActforGoa, and Goa Humanitarian Helpline that are offering support to the community around us.
6. Be open to collaboration.
Share responsible practices and good news!
It’s nice to find new partners to collaborate with and allow new ideas to come together. While things may seem a bit slower or different than how they used to be, it may be the perfect opportunity to brainstorm, ideate and try new things!
5. Ask and take feedback.
Connect with your customers and be open to feedback.
It’s a changing world and your customers may have different needs than they did before the pandemic. It’s a great chance to reach out to old and new customers and learn about what they’re looking for. You may find a new opportunity just around that phone call or email message.
4. Be waste free.
Avoid creating trash.
Aside from the usual spiel of avoiding single-use plastic and extra packaging, it’s especially important, during these times, to ensure you are doing your part towards taking care of the environment. Ask your customers to bring their own containers, try and not stock the plastic straws and remember, usually, less is more!
3. Empower local communities.
Work with locals.
Empower and engage them in your work. Share and learn different ways of working and living. Try reaching out to organisations that are supporting locals and helping them find work, locally. Organisations like COVID Outreach Goa are doing just that.
2. Safety is paramount.
Ensure your business knows emergency protocols, that there is always an extra set of batteries and that you carry extra water! Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. It’s helpful to your customers, to your team and to the community at large if you can make safety a foundation of your business.
1. Have fun!
Explore, inspire, and keep learning!
Sure, the times are crazy, but, try going with the flow, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Get outside and stay active -- it’s [always] a beautiful time of the year in Goa.
Khoj-aao! Adventures is a social enterprise promoting environmental education and exploration through customised outdoor adventures. As nature enthusiasts and seasoned adventurers, our passion is sharing our love for nature so we can all learn to live more sustainably within it. Our experiences are carefully curated based on group interest, size, and season!
Khoj-aao! Experiences are 100% SAFE – Super Adventurous, Fun and Educational – and are great for students, schools, corporate groups, travelers and families. We are wilderness First Aid certified and are committed to being child safe and environmentally and socially responsible on all of our experiences.
Join us to explore, learn and have fun in the great outdoors! We are now organising nature trails and bicycle rides across North Goa. Come and khojaao!
The Responsible Tourism Collective of Goa (RTC Goa) is currently a collective of 16
business members based in Goa who are committed to practicing and promoting
sustainable and responsible tourism. The collective encompasses a variety of
businesses such as adventure sports, accommodation, food, heritage tours and
Photo: Taking a closer look on a backyard nature trail with Khoj-aao! Adventures, August 2020.