Kutch Adventures India Bring Sustainable Tourism and Artisan Support To Gujarat
Community Spotlight Aug 15, 2020
Kaldip Gadhvi founder of Kutch Adventures India shares his story of his award-winning sustainable tourism business from Kutch, Gujarat.
My Business: Kutch Adventures India
Email: [email protected]
Launched In: March 2010
Our Mission Statement: “Experience Local Culture and Communities of Kutch, Gujarat”
Our Target Market: Anyone who is interested in learning about traditional culture, crafts and communities of Kutch, India
What We Offer: Personalized Guided Tours and Family Home Stay
Founder Kuldip Gadhvi shares his story:
It all began for me after the terrible earthquake of Gujarat in January 2001. We, the survivors were put in the awkward situation of having to accept aid. At the age of 18, I had to leave my school to help to support my family by working with various organizations that came to Kutch for earthquake relief, rescue and rehabilitation projects.
Aged 18, I witnessed my first natural disaster. It was also one of the worst natural disasters in India and that changed perspective of my life. While working in various villages and with local communities of Kutch, I came to learn a lot about their culture, traditions and their way of living in the India’s most western district bordering. My long term involvement with various communities helped me to understand culture, traditions and various handicrafts they have been producing for generations and that fascinated me a lot and so I continued this connection by conducting guided tours after spending 16 months in Warwickshire, UK (between 2008 and 2009) and I strongly believe that it deepen and broaden my understanding of western world which helped me even more in focusing on my local culture, its importance and how can it be sustained economically so that India’s largest district — Kutch, do not get caught by uncontrolled industrialization which is expanding quite rapidly.
Kutch Adventures India was founded in March 2010 to offer local experiences by the local residents, not by the outsiders who often interprets culture from very different perspective and locals do not get involved enough to represent their voices, reality of everyday life and hence visitors are missing out some in-depth cultural insights.
Within a few years, by sharing my love and passion for my home region Kutch with the world, Kutch Adventures India received the World Responsible Tourism Award for Best for in Engaging People and Culture at World Travel Market, London (2014) that made me believe that what we (the people of Kutch) are offering to our visitors, is organic, valuable and most authentic. In the same year 2014, my story was selected as Inspiring Story by ITB Asia.
In 2016 and 2017, Tripadvisor awarded Kutch Adventures India with a Certificate of Excellence having continuously earning Excellent and Very Good rating (+100) and later in 2017, winning Hospitality Excellence Award in Hyderabad. Besides all of these, I published our Responsible Tourism Guideline to celebrate United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 and educated many visitors by displaying banners at the village level to reinforce our message of Responsible and Sustainable Tourism.
Kutch Adventures India also started prioritizing lesser known artisans of Kutch and formed a small project called United Artisans of Kutch to share these traditional artisans stories, products and voices with the world to help them sustain their handicrafts against the deadly commercial competition where big banners, brands, labels and other big businesses benefits much compared to those who actually producing various handicrafts such as hand loom weavers, block printers, dyers, embroiders, etc with their bare hands and putting enormous efforts to keep those crafts alive and sustain their family needs.
Finally after many years Indian Government’s initiative IITFC (Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification) recognized my story under “Inspiring Stories” on their online training programme.
More than anything mentioned above, personally I am more proud and honoured to represent my people, my land and my stories directly with my visitors and having won hearts of many locals as well as worldwide travellers who are looking for most authentic Indian experiences/cultural adventures.
Today Kutch Adventures India supports some small artisan families, local businesses and playing role of socially responsible business.
I hope such real life success stories could inspire many locals across the country to develop their unique, small and sustainable tourism businesses which are in high demand since the world is leaning more towards the authentic and non-touristy experiences and many people want to support local residents/businesses directly without involving big travel companies, or at least certainly in my case and my journey has been so far in the field of tourism.
Thanks for giving me chance to share my story.
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