Welcome to Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp in Khao Sok, Thailand. Located less than two hours from most Phuket resorts, Khao Sok is part of the largest area of tropical rain forest in southern Thailand. It connects with Klong Phanom and Si Phangnga national parks as well as Klong Naka and Klong Seng wildlife sanctuaries. Elephant Hills was Thailand’s first luxury tented jungle camp. It features 30 exclusive tents with attached bathrooms, hot/cold running water, fans, and handmade furniture. In the center of the resort is a large swimming pool, restaurant, and meeting space to share a conversation with other guests. During your stay, the resort will share their conservation initiatives and voluntourism projects. The elephants are well cared for and the camp strives to provide a sustainable experience.
During my recent trip to Thailand, I had the privilege to meet with John Gray, the owner of John Gray's Sea Canoe excursion. John has been highlighting natural history by sea kayak since 1983, and sea caving is just one educational venue in his line of conservation initiatives. The company motto says it all: We Don't Do Anything Normal. And John should be proud of that, as the excursion has been rated one of the "Top 25 Experiences in the World" by National Geographic.
Welcome to Shahpura Bagh, an oasis in unexplored Rajasthan. With only nine suites set in 45 acres of gardens and pastures surrounded by two lakes, the working farm is a serene oasis. The descendants of the rulers of Shapura still live in one of the houses on this lush estate:
Did you know that Sodha Travel is a member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the largest and oldest ecotourism organization in the world? Through the years, Sodha Travel has maintained a commitment to sustainable business practices. This not only applies to the administrative elements of our company but also through Responsible Tourism: leaving the destination a better place than when you found it. Our team continues to seek new ways of incorporating sustainability and conservation in the travel industry.
As India continues to be ranked one of the most favorable travel destinations worldwide, hotel chains are busy developing newer and more creative accommodations. Looking ahead, 2011 is going to be one of the most exciting years for unique properties, catering to both budget and luxury travelers. Here are a few of my most anticipated additions to the Indian market:
Sodha Travel is proud to be a member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). TIES unites conservation and communities through sustainable travel, and their mission is to "promote responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." We encourage you to learn more about their organization - the largest and oldest ecotourism organization in the world. We also invite you to discover ways to incorporate sustainability and conservation in your own travel itinerary.
I just finished reading a wonderful book by Amitabh Kant titled Branding India: An Incredible Story. Although the publication is currently unavailable in the United States market, I was fortunate to have a friend send it from India. The book explores how India developed and expanded its tourism platform after 2002, including the launch of the Incredible !ndia campaign. As Kant states, "How do you bring a magnificently diverse country - with twenty-eight states, seven union territories, eighteen official languages, and 1.2 billion people - under one brand?" Quite an accomplishment.