At Pugdundee Safaris, we aim to incorporate the three pillars of sustainability in all our operations and extend this to the stakeholders we’re partnered with in varying capacities. We firmly believe that it is only sustainable tourism that can ensure the welfare of all stakeholders involved and bring in fair opportunities for locals. By ensuring minimal environmental impact as well as involving the communities of the region in our operations, we have made sure that the positive ripple effects of tourism are felt at large and by everyone. We take personal responsibility for the resources that we are surrounded by and inevitably depend upon for running our lodges. Therefore, we consciously try to use them in the most judicious manner possible and replenish these exhaustible resources through various efforts as can be seen during a visit to any of the lodges. We take our commitment seriously and get ourselves regularly audited by external agencies. We have also developed a performance measure by generating a criterion and self-audit within our lodges and with our local partners.
Following are some of the initiatives that we have taken up on each front:
In the past three years, we have moved away from using plastic bottles by switching them up with steel ones, saving over a hundred thousand bottles that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. This season, we will have also done away with single-use plastic completely as you will notice during your stay in our lodges. Water and energy conservation has been a long standing commitment of ours that we continue to improve in. We believe in leaving the natural landscape in its pristine form rather than converting it into manicured lawns. By allowing root stocks to regenerate and supplementing it with additional indigenous plant forms, our efforts to re-wild the local habitat have been highly successful. This in-turn has led to an abundance of flora & fauna in our premises including many rare and star species.
Our lodges that are located in the hinterland of Madhya Pradesh give us an opportunity to host people from different parts of the world and introduce them not only to the wildlife but also the local communities that live in the vicinity. Of primary importance is to maintain a positive social license to operate that allows for a symbiotic relationship with the local people, who with their culture and traditions bring a unique charm to this region and are true bastions of our remaining forests. We recognize the potential that tourism has in uplifting the lives of these people and strive to employ over 80% of our team from amongst these individuals, many of whom hold key managerial positions. We also recognize the pitfall of excessive tourism and ensure that our operations in no way are detrimental to the environment and the people.
By being located in these far flung places, our lodges attempt to bring the economic benefits of tourism to places that are otherwise far removed from such avenues. Over 70% of our revenue is pumped back into the local economy in the form of salaries, tie-ups with suppliers, vehicle hiring, labor, park fees and taxes. We also rally around supporting regional craft and artifactsby partnering and supporting artisans. Albeit a drop in the ocean, we continue to strive for excellence in hospitality, wilderness experience and sustainability. We would love to hear about your experience with us and welcome suggestions to make this journey even better.
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