World Nomads partners TBY for travel scholarship to River Nila - Kerala
Do you want to be a published travel writer?
Go on assignment to Kerala with Footprint Travel Guides!
Applications close: January 9, 2009
Kick start your travel writing career by going on assignment to Kerala, India. You will enjoy a 10 day tour with The Blue Yonder, offering unique insight into the River Nila civilization. Then, after touching base with your travel writing mentor - David Stott, you will hit the road for 10 days reviewing and writing for the Footprint India Handbook!
Assignment brief from World Nomads
* We'll fly you to India from your country of residence. You need to be available between February 16th and March 7, 2009 to participate on the Blue Yonder Tour and Footprint travel writing assignment.
* Your Kerala journey with The Blue Yonder will give you unique insight into the River Nila region. With a focus on sustainable tourism, the tour is specifically tailored for the lucky scholarship recipient to inspire your travel writing , and you will be personally escorted by a TBY interpreter.
*The ten day tour will include interactions with musicians, folk artists, bell metal workers, potters, sand miners, fire worshippers and ritualistic healers. You will also be planting saplings at the 'Traveller's Forest' a community driven eco-restoration project. The tour will be based on the age-old tradition of storytelling that reveals the uniqueness of the region and the importance of rivers for a sustainable life.
*After touching base with your mentor - David Stott, you will research, review and update essential travel info including accommodation, bars & restaurants, entertainment, shopping, tours, activities and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about.
* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. David will assign you a specific local area based on your travelling experience.
* The fruits of your labour will feature in the new edition of the Footprint Inida Handbook, placing your foot firmly in the door of the elusive travel writing industry!
While Kerala is ranked as a top ten destination in the world, some parts of Kerala still remain unknown and unvisited. The river Nila, the longest river in Kerala (209kms) offers one of the most unique cultural experiences as it has an ancient and steeped in tradition river civilization. Be it the classical Kathakali or ritualistic folk art forms or temple festivals or literary traditions, you can trace a definite and indelible impact of the river Nila in each and every aspec
Who can apply
* Anyone can apply - it's open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.
* You must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.
* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it's like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.
* Minimum age 18 with a current passport.
* You should be an excellent writer with a lust for adventure travel and a burning desire to be a travel writer!
Read more and apply here
TBY to co-organise 2nd annual Responsible Tourism networking evening at WTM London:
To celebrate the first Responsible Tourism day at the WTM 2007, The Blue Yonder and Your Safe Planet got together to bring individuals and organisations who were pursuing Responsible Tourism in difference parts of the world. This gave opportunities for many grass-root level operators to meet up with the market and vice-versa.
Last year saw more than 100 people from countries ranging from Australia,Belgium,Canada,Hong Kong,India, Kenya,Malaysia,New Zeeland,Norway,South Africa,Sri Lanka,Sweden,Thailand,UAE,UK and USA amongst others coming together to celebrate Responsible Tourism. It is a pleasure for us to know that many of them are working together now and have become a part of the growing network on Responsible Tourism across the world.
Considering the success of last year, we are getting together once again on the 11th November 2008 at the ABACUS BAR in London located near Bank / DLR to celebrate responsible tourism initiatives from all over the world.
We invite you to join us in London to network with the Tour Operators, Grass Root organisations, Media, Policy makers and all the flag-bearers of Responsible Tourism. We look forward to seeing you at the cocktail bar for networking. You can keep track of the action and RSVP through our Face Book group
Travel Mole will be featuring this get together! If you have a new initiative to be launched in-front of crowd that understand Responsibility in Tourism, then this is the space!
Increasing support to Travellers Forest
Ever since the establishment of the Nila Foundation as a platform for those concerned about the sadly depleting rivers in the country, we have been stressing on hands-on experience to achieve sustainable living. Travellers Forest was set up as many villages in the country are facing severe challenges of losing their biodiversity.
The sacred groves, which once were a microcosm of biodiversity, existed as an integral part of almost every rural household in Kerala. Deforestation in catchment areas being one of the main causes of river depletion, Travellers Forest aims to motivate local communities, as well as travellers, to restore and preserve their valuable ecosystems.
We are looking at bringing in private partnerships to be flag-bearers of the greening movement, and established Travellers Forest as a pilot project in the two acres of land that belongs to a temple trust in central Kerala. In collaboration with the Kodeeri Natural Camp and the Nila Foundation, this project provides a platform for stakeholders to come together and join hands in the eco-restoration efforts. So far three properties that come under the region through Nila flows have committed their support to the project by planting saplings representing their guests. Kairali, River Retreat and Ayurveda Mana were the first to lead the way forward for the tourism industry in the country.
Future of Traveller’s Forest
The vacant land that we are developing in our region is only the first one in the series of many to be developed in different parts of the country in the coming years. The future of Travellers Forest will totally depend on how the pilot project comes through after a year. We will be looking for private land for tree planting in the initial stages, and later, we will be looking for vacant public land to work on, which will require immense support from the local and state governments.
We have identified a core group of 10 members who have volunteered to identify land, convince our people to plant trees and be part of the river-keepers network. Irrespective of the degree of support from travellers or the travel industry, the idea is to engage local people in this green initiative, which is part of a journey/travel towards achieving sustainable living. This is also the reason why we named it Travellers Forest. The Blue Yonder will continue triggering and supporting such ideas.
Last week, Uravu (www.uravu) has come forward to be our implementing partner in Wayanad region of Kerala, where their focus will be on bamboo as a wealth generation opportunity for rural livelihood. We are expecting many such initiatives coming up in the future. Wayanad Tourism Organisation has also committed their members support for setting the Traveller’s Forest in Wayanad region.
What Travellers feel about this?
“Planting a little seedling into the soil of Kerala is not only an act carried out by the wish for a green future—it is a step towards it. Travellers Forest is a great initiative and an opportunity to become personally connected to the local eco-reality. It was a great pleasure to dig into the soil with the hope that the little seedling being planted will become a strong and big tree as the years pass by. Seeing travellers from all over the world come to Kerala to plant trees must be interesting – and hopefully inspiring – for the local people. For the travellers planting trees on the other side of the planet, could it be the same—an inspiration to take a closer look at the state of nature back home? I can imagine a similar project at home in Austria, getting people together, planting trees and multiplying the consciousness of the initiative beyond Kerala. The Travellers Forest project can be expanded, as participants return to their home countries with the seeds of inspiration—just like Travellers Forest growing branches all over the world.”
Birgit Bermann, Kurier Redaktionsgesellschaft mbH & Co KG, Austria
Talking about the change of our climate and what we all should do is one thing, actually doing something about it, is another. The Travellers Forest project is a real and visible experience that not only makes you feel good, but also seems to ignite the enthusiasm in the local community. As a traveller, it was an amazing experience to actually plant a tree, something a city-dweller in the middle of Europe hardly ever gets to do. This is a memory that will accompany me and my friends for a long time and make us think about what we owe the world for our lifestyle. I would love to see Travellers Forest grow and multiply! As this idea must be very new to the local community members, I think it is vital that they have the continuous support of The Blue Yonder and the Nila Foundation in order to succeed.”
Susanna Hagen, Travel Journalist, Austria
Post script: Traveller’s forest will be featured at the Traveler’s Philanthropy conference in Arusha, Tanzania between 03-05 December 2008!