Village Ways: micro tourism at the heart
of rural villages – with international reach
5 villages in need of an alternate source of
- Largely by passed from any benefits
- Under serious threat of outmigration
- Lack of confidence and social security
- Reluctance from women to participate in livelihood
The Beginning -
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Village Ways Market Concept
Individual village owned tourism enterprises
rewarding holiday itineraries for guests
Staying in heart of village
Desired outcome for guests
• Privileged access
• Rewarding social connection with host villages
• A celebration of place
• Wish to repeat experience in other areas
Desired outcome for hosts
• Secondary income
• Even economic flow across village families
• Capacity building through training
• Increase employment, reduce outmigration
• Low impact tourism
10 years of Progress
• Pilot area: Binsar Sanctuary , 5 villages in Indian
• Today 23 villages, India and Nepal
• 2,900 bed nights annually and rising
10 years of Progress- host outcomes &
• regular secondary income stream;
• good spread of financial benefit through families;
• new skills gained;
• renewed pride in place and traditions;
• increased environmental awareness;
• growing entrepreneurship;
• indirect benefit from locally sourced building &
How do we know we are hitting our
• Guests: post holiday feedback, repeat bookings
• Hosts – the income going to each VTE, how does it spread?
• Has outmigration reduced?
• What are the other impacts?
Transparent financial recording system
• System of coding each family, yearly income
• Spread of income traceable amongst families
• Raw data is passed to an independent source to be
verified and analysed.
Measuring financial impacts
• Data now included from 16 villages across India.
• 2015 first set of data published: in 3 villages 100%
of households involved. In 1 village clear reduction
in outward migration
• 2017 recorded on income by gender, ethnicity and
• 2016/17 316 individuals employed from 261
families, of 18 different castes.
• 54% employed from families below poverty line.
Measuring Monetary Impacts
• The Pilot Project
• Small populations, most families involved with tourism
• Figures for annual income from tourism ($250 to $9,000),
percentage of village income and gender balance vary, for
reasons given later.
Number of individuals involved varies, with higher proportions
engaged in smaller villages.
Higher guest throughput in the initial years resulted in tourism
accounting for up to 40 or 50% of family income: now stabilised around
Most tourism income to BPL families; proportion increased slightly. All
have>80% BPL except Kathdhara (23%) where BPL involvement is less.
In Matkanya, 2 APL people joined, affecting balance.
Reasonable gender balance, 25% to 40% of tourism-related income is
paid females. Risal, Dalar and Matkanya appear less satisfactory, as
Anecdotal evidence derived from VTE feedback,
committee meetings, villagers’ quotes and
observations by Village Ways staff.
• Fairer division of employment across gender
• Increased demand for local produce and services,
building, farming, transport
• Awareness of wildlife
• Pride in village life - heritage & culture enhanced
• Strengthened social unity
Who needs to know?
• Village Ways
• Regional government