In episode 25 of the Impact India podcast, I chat with Kush Sharma of Rural Odyssey. This incredible social enterprise promotes sustainable tourism as an additional livelihood opportunity for rural communities, by building community-owned and community-lead tourism models.
Kush is a naturalist at heart with a passion for promoting and preserving the Indigenous cultures of India using sustainable tourism as his platform. Kush is a firm believer of learning from native wisdom and nature, and works actively with young children as an Outdoor Educator.
Rural Odyssey handpicks culturally rich villages in India and brings the community together to open up their houses for travelers and open a gateway to mutual learning. While travelers get to learn from the native wisdom of various indigenous communities of India, locals get to acquire new skills from the travelers, while generating an additional livelihood for themselves.
Aligning his work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Rural Odyssey is using tourism as a tool to connect the rural and urban economies and help in preserving India’s rich culture, craft, and ecology.
“There are two sides to sustainable tourism: business and ethics”
Connecting on our mutual love for experiential education through travel, Kush and I dive into:
- The need for more knowledge exchange between urban and rural communities
- The impacts of “Instagram” travelers on vulnerable destinations
- Why small group travel is best for exploring culturally rich destinations
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Jazz is one of the leading pioneers of the zero waste travel movement in India and the Director of Content at Causeartist. She is the co-founder of Hara House, India's first zero waste guesthouse, and Director of Hara World, an experiential education and impact travel organization for diverse young changemakers. Jazz is deeply passionate about empowering young people to become confident and knowledgeable leaders for sustainable development, zero waste living, conscious fashion, and responsible travel. She is a co-founder of Sustainable Travel Network, and host of the Impact India podcast.. Connect with Jazz at email@example.com