Responsible travel in on the rise, but what does it really mean to visit a destination with the aim of leaving a positive impact? From environmental projects to eco-tourism to local "green" sustainability, there are many ways in which an intrepid traveler can engage meaningfully with the community on-site. Sri Lanka offers an authentic blend of hospitality and sustainability drawing from centuries of traditional holistic living.
Sustainable holidays in the heart of Sri Lanka's countryside
If you are a traveler looking for sustainable holidays, Sri Lanka has the perfect combination of traditional lifestyle customs that draw their wisdom directly from nature. In many rural areas, the homes are still constructed with mud clay and ventilation is sustained through upper openings in the walls. Of course, the tropical climate is a big help for easy living. But, the monsoon season often presents its challenges and demands annual renovation with eco-friendly materials, such as thatched roofs and clay tiles. Choosing homestays or eco-lodges as a mode of accommodation during your travels supports the community directly as they are often owned by the locals themselves. This also means that you'll be staying with a community focused host, who more so than any hotel will be conscientious about excess uses of water, electricity and plastics, as they impact the owner's immediate living environment.
No water waste here
Living on an island surrounded by the salty sea means that the only way to get drinkable water is through an intelligent design of rainwater reservoirs. The ancient kings of Ceylon knew all-too-well that the survival of their people and their kingdoms depended greatly on complex systems of irrigation. Their glory and mark in the chronicles of history are often recounted in the number of reservoirs that they were able to produce during their reign. Today, the hydro-power dams are the primary source of electric energy supplied throughout the island. Water remains a key conservation initiative in Sri Lanka and throughout your travels you will encounter a proud population who to this day remembers its leaders for their water sustainability contributions.
Volunteer with a nature conservation project
For many people holidays are synonymous with doing less, eating more and getting away from the daily routine back at home. But, often times the best way to reset your mind is to get involved with a completely different set of objectives. Volunteering for a nature conservation project is not only beneficial to the society or environment in question, it is the most immersive travel experience that one can imagine. Working side-by-side the local people, being motivated through common goals and interacting with the nature on a much deeper level -- creates unparalleled opportunities for long-lasting friendships and overall health benefits. Your body remains active, your mind experiences full immersion and your heart rejoices in making meaningful connections. For a quality "voluntourism" project, ask Sriseeker for advise on the best qualified volunteer programs that will make your travel experience much more memorable!
Choose the right local guide
We all know that so much of our travel experience depends on the quality and personal disposition of the local guide accompanying us on tour. We seek out knowledgeable, friendly and caring guides to accompany our Sriseekers. Sri Lanka is still in its budding stages of establishing a reliable travel industry and this can often present its challenges. But, with the right approach to guest satisfaction and clear objectives in creating magical travel experiences, we aim to strike the right balance of matching up our intrepid travelers with the suitable local guide. The right guide often means getting insider access to "hidden gems" and authentic places, as well as a surpassing of expectations beyond an ordinary travel experience. Whether you are on a solo adventure or looking for a family group trip, It is often the case that our local guide is the best representative of the local culture and its people.
Find a responsible approach to your travel experiences
Activity-packed itineraries are part and parcel of experiential tourism, or travel rooted in authentic experiences that drive at the heart of local culture. Stepping into a local baker's home for an immersion into the daily operations of a small-scale bakery; spending an afternoon learning traditional dance and drummingtechniques from a practicing local teacher; or dropping in on a cricket game practice with talented players for an active bonding experience with the local youth -- these are the type of experiences that elevate a regular tourist attraction to the level of immersive travel. They also contribute to community development and intercultural exchanges that are only possible through informal curation of local cultural treasures.
Beyond ordinary tourism
Taking positive initiative on a holiday means that spending time away from home is another opportunity to render life more meaningful. Leaving a destination knowing that our interactions have contributed to a mutual expansion, a kindred feeling of shared humanity and a positive impact on everyone involved -- makes for a satisfying journey filled with acts and memories that have touched many hearts. Finding ways to expand beyond the mold of conventional tourism is a creative way to encounter new cultures and ultimately to encounter yourself.