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Kerala and the Responsible Tourism Mission have won Gold and Global Responsible Tourism Awards multiple times, particularly for its programme of Village Life Experiences and the producer groups that have been developed across the state to enable small farmers collectively to supply at scale to resorts and hotels. There are now some 25,000 households benefiting from RT Mission activities. The Village Life Experiences often involve a visit to a craftworkers’ workshop, an opportunity to see the craft done and to have a go. Not surprisingly, tourists often buy directly from the craft workers and get their photograph taken with the crafter, enhancing the value of the experience and ensuring that the producer captures the full value, with no commission to the retailer.
This year, the judges wish to recognise the work of the Responsible Tourism Mission in promoting the ethnic and traditional foods of each locality through tourism, providing authentic local food experiences enjoyed in local homes for tourists, and generating additional income for those households that participate. The Kerala Agritourism Network, part of the Responsible Tourism Mission, connects small-scale farmers to the tourism sector, generating additional income for the farmers and ensuring local availability of fresh agricultural products to the tourism industry.