Edited By: Aashish Vashistha
June 25, 2022(New Delhi): No idea has ever become an overnight success in a day or two. It takes time and honest efforts to build great things. We find one such example in Karnataka’s Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR) which has raised the bar for even the private players in the Ecotourism sector. In 1980, the JLR’s River Kabini Lodge, India’s first Ecotourism destination opened its doors to a waiting public and then there was no looking back. A part of JLR’s philosophy is also to help guests understand their role in preserving the gifts of nature. JLR has not only managed to convert hunters into protectors of the wild but also made the localities overcome indifferences to become proud ambassadors of the jungle.
Leading this momentum of change is Mr. Manoj Kumar (IFS), MD, Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd. During an exclusive interview with News Leak Centre, He tells about how initiatives like the Naturalist program have helped JLR reach where it is today. In the program, not only tigers and elephants but unique species of birds, insects, and other animals are shown to the tourists by a trained naturalist who accompanies them throughout their visit. Mr. Manoj also mentioned how JLR is breaking the old notions like the Jungle resorts were only for the rich-elite class by introducing affordable spaces for a stay in the jungle. JLR introduced modern-day solutions like Dormitories, which attract young travelers who look for affordable escape-ways from their busy city life. Thus, increasing the overall accessibility of ecotourism.
The organization is keen on exploiting every opportunity at its hand. But all is done while keeping the overall capacity of the forest and wildlife in mind so as not to disturb the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Hence, it’s unlikely that you will ever find a 100-room JLR property.
On the way forward, Mr. Manoj tells us that the next focus area will be Beach tourism. While maintaining the same practices which helped in ecotourism as their guiding principles. Today JLR is not only makes good profits and empower local communities by giving employment to the local youth. But also gives tough competition to the private players in the field of ecotourism and even beats them most of the time.
By: Vikas Mavi.