Jigar Ganatra travels to Kerala, India, to learn about the work of Kabanitour, an organization helping tourism become a sustainable part of the economy. 

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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 Kabanitour founder, Sumesh Mangalasseri had the idea to promote tourism as a development opportunity for the affected communities. By training local people as homestay providers and tour operators, Kabanitour 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 Kabanitour and how it has helped tourism become a sustainable part of the economy.

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