TO DO Award 2012 The Blue Yonder, India
THE BLUE YONDER stands for an innovative Indian travel company founded in 2004 which understands tourism as an instrument for sustainable regional development. It offers to take very individual care of the travellers in this region and supports the Nila Foundation founded previously, which contributes to addressing major threats such as the declining water level or the inconsiderate extraction of sand. Tourism is meant to contribute to ensuring people’s livelihoods and to preserving their traditional culture without dominating lives and lifestyles. A highlight for the visitors is the experience of the »musical trail« which revives traditions that are millennia old. In a similar manner, this also applies to the »folk expressions« which only take place on location, not in hotels. By now, about 250 persons are active in this field. It is also impressive to see traditional craftsmen producing articles of daily use as pottery, oil lamps made of brass or woven cotton or bamboo products. If the guests agree to this way of travelling, they may also be guests in the house of an old Brahmin family that stipulates their own rules: a minimum duration of stay in order to get to know each other, and the locally produced meals are taken together with all the family members. All the products and services are developed by the community members themselves and remain with them, are managed and operated by the community. With the help of microcredits new business ideas can be realised and hence another diversification of income opportunities is created in the long run. One principle is that tourism may only be an addition, but must never be the main source of income. Fishermen thus continue to go fishing, even if they offer boat trips for tourists. Only in his leisure time does the plumber become a story teller, and the electrician becomes a drummer only in the evenings. The CEO of the company, which is managed as a »social enterprise«, is from the region and increasingly linked to other national and international initiatives for sustainable tourism.
The Blue Yonder
23-24, Sri Guru Nivas, Amar Jyoti Layou
560 094 Sanjaynager, Bangalore