The Intenational Ecotourism Society (of which we are members) defines ecotourism as:
‘Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people’
So how do we practice this?
1. Contributing 20% of the profit to the development of the local community. This is done mainly by supporting the village school and the hospital, providing classroom materials, water tanks, etc. We also work closely with the local Village Council to identify and help those families desperately in need of financial support.
2. Employing the locals. We employ as many locals as possible. If not on a permanent basis, we encourage them to contribute in different ways for remuneration .
3. Plant a tree. Before your departure you will be encouraged to plant your own tree.
4. Educating our guests is also an important aspect of our philosophy. While at Polwaththa you will meet the locals, see the authentic Sri Lankan village lifestyle, the various fruits, vegetables and spices and learn to cook a curry or two as well.
5. Educating the locals. Nihal is a volunteer English teacher in his spare time. We, as a family like to develop the language skills of our young villagers through group discussions with our hotel guest to help villagers improve on their English and help find employment..
6. Use of local resources. We continue to look for different ways to use the resources on our land without damaging the environment. We produce our eggs from our own chickens and grow our own organic vegetables & fruits while we purchase at a premium, other organically-grown vegetables and fruits from our villagers. All our other purchases are made from shops within 5 Km from us. The lodges have all been built using local materials such as clay, mud and wood which are found on the estate.
7. Donations. If you are interested in supporting the village in any way possible please let us know. We are always willing to help any guest who wishes to make a contribution towards supporting the local school, the hospital, a family in need or the local community at large.