For a long time in Kerala, unregulated tourism meant large corporations were running the show. In their wake, the local community suffered through large-scale development and environmental pollution. Very little of the money made from tourism found its way to the local economy which was already suffering from an agrarian crisis.
That's when Kabani Tour founder, Sumesh Mangalasseri had the idea to promote tourism as a development option for the affected communities. By training local people as homestay providers and tour operators, Kabani Tour creates employment opportunities that support the tourism industry, building economic and environmental resilience and providing a better quality of life across various villages in Kerala. The success of its operation not only benefits the local villages but also provides travelers with an authentic local experience.
We sent our 2017 Travel Film Scholarship winner Jigar Ganatra on assignment to speak to Sumesh about the work of Kabani Tour and how it has rejuvenated tourism in the area to become a sustainable part of the economy.
Make your visit benefit the local communities of Kerala, and find out a little about life in India’s south with Sumesh from Kabani Tours.
Josh, winner of the 2016 Travel Film Scholarship, went to the hills of Sapa in Northern Vietnam to meet and film the volunteers of Sapa O'Chau.