While most tourists head to Singapore for its city attractions, there are those who are nostalgic about Singapore in the early days of the 20th Century. For these, the Villa Samadhi Singapore on the south of the island would fill a void or two. Mallika Naguran is pleasantly surprised with her ecotourism experience at a restored and responsible black and white bungalow that still tells the story of the British Singapore in the 1920s.
Making the right connections is what it takes to allow nature to provide for animals and people at Sarinbuana Eco Lodge. Mallika Naguran spent two nights in central Bali to learn how permaculture and ecotourism can go hand in hand in the heart of the forest.
Back in the early 2000’s, Tioman Island was a prime destination for keen divers and budget travellers holidaying in Malaysia. But not much else: it was definitely right off the map for quality resort relaxation. Then, just over a decade ago, the Japamala eco-resort opened and showed Tioman was not just for backpackers. By Jeremy Torr
Prerna Shah reports on Village Ways’ journey in building a new eco-tourism venture with demonstrable social outcomes.
From spectacular beaches to lofty mountains, parched deserts to marshy rainforests, India is a multiple-interest, all-season destination.
Reality Tours and Travel is based in Mumbai and is most famous for their Dharavi slum tour. Following the success of their ever expanding product range in the city, they have recently spread their wings to the capital, Kerala, and Rajasthan. Their tagline is “see the real India”; guests get beyond tourism to experience authentic destinations in India, and their unique social business structure supports community development projects along the way.
Based in Malaysian Borneo, Borneo Eco Tours has been a pioneer in responsible nature tours since 1991. Two of the most popular destinations in which they operate includes the iconic Kinabatagan River, where guests can enjoy their award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge and Borneo's famed primates, and Kudat, which provides opportunities for guests to visit and support cottage industries (supported by their partner NGO, BEST) along the scenic coast.
BEST Society, which stands for Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies, supports rural communities in Malaysia’s Sabah establish and improve their own social enterprises, improving their quality of life through business. Moving away from charity, now the NGO focuses on capacity building in social entrepreneurship, and is increasing access to markets for cottage industry artisans.
The ChildSafe Network, delivered by Friends International, is helping to protect vulnerable children in tourism destinations across Cambodia and other parts of South East Asia. Travellers can sometimes unknowingly put children at risk of exploitation, and the ChildSafe 7 Tips helps tourists make the right choices in responsible travel to advocate child safety. Beyond that, ChildSafe is also working behind the scenes to get children off the streets, through vocational training, supporting their parents through employment, and generating employment through social ventures.
Andaman Discoveries in Thailand was born out of tragedy, and formed shortly after the Boxing Day Tsunami when villagers decided that community-based tourism would allow them to generate additional income and support their traditions, culture, and lifestyle. Since then, Andaman Discoveries has been offering various tours (volunteer trips, family holidays, and educational visits for schools) to empower the local community. Their Moken Experience tour supports nomadic communities preserve their culture through responsible tourism.