Edge of India is a network of rural communities in remote parts of India, offering homestays in villages 'off the beaten track' with extraordinary cultural and natural heritage. The network was developed through a programme funded by the Scottish Government and implemented by partners in India and Scotland, including Dunira Strategy, Ezone, Queen Margaret University and the Strategic Initiatives, Government & Advisory (SIGA) division of YES BANK.
Building local capacity through training and marketing activities and using a co-operative model for destination management, the project was funded by the Scottish Government through its International Development Programme because it is based on co-operative principles developed by Welshman Robert Owen at Scotland's New Lanark and also draws on Dunira's work in destination management in such places as Highland Perthshire, and SIGA's work on using tourism as one of the tools to achieve an inclusive growth model for India. For small villages that previously almost never saw a tourist, the network is transformational.
The network has been presented at leading tourism fairs, including GITB and WTM. Each district has established its own locally owned and managed tourism co-operative society as a cDMO ('co-operative destination management organisation'), ensuring that benefits remain in the community and that every visitor has the best possible and most authentic visitor experience."
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