ChaloHoppo is a destination management company that aims to provide its guests with hassle-free
quality experiences in North-East India. Traditionally, you would refer to us as a travel agency but now that you
are reading this, let us take this opportunity to tell you a little more about what makes ChaloHoppo, ChaloHoppo.
Both John and I were both very lucky to have had the exposure to both rural and urban life as
we were growing up. We grew up in regions that were considerably cut-off and comparatively
unexplored but would often visit our friends and family in other (more popularly known)
parts of the country or the world.
Similarly, our friends and family would visit us and we would take them around the beautiful
spots and hill-stations that we knew of in our backyard, making sure that we show them a
great time, making up for all the fancy attractions that they had access to in the cities
that they came from.
As we grew older, these unexplored and remote places that we called home, turned out to
gain more and more popularity as tourism destinations. the travel and tourism industry is one
which can and does strongly impact a region and its culture. If planned well, tourism can be an
extremely powerful tool that can be used to bring about a positive impact to a region and its
people. However, more often than not, these impacts turn out to be negative in nature with
unplanned tourism leading to a long list of problems some of which include increased pollution,
loss of biodiversity as well as cultural identity.
We have all heard of or been to regions that once were untouched and beautiful and have now
become “too dirty” or “too crowded” to go to. Due to the lack of awareness and interests in
short term gains, many regions focus on quantity over quality when it comes to creating
a tourism strategy.
Naturally, it was a matter of time till these very problems started trickling down to our own
beautiful and unexplored regions. The very hill-stations and secret spots that we used to take
our friends to, started facing the same list of problems that we had only seen in other
“popularly known” destinations of the country.
The North-East of India being is a region rich with natural and cultural diversity and the potential
for tourism in the region was is huge. With passing time, the places that we kept secret
and held dear to our hearts, would one day, have and inevitably will become popular
tourist destinations whether we like it or not. We knew change was coming, as it always does,
but we wanted to make sure that these changes would affect the region in a positive manner- in a
manner that we could proudly keep calling our loved ones back to visit us without
the guilt of adding to the problems that tourism could bring with it.
At ChaloHoppo, we believe in using travel as a vehicle to preserve and promote the unique natural and cultural heritage of North-East India. We work closely with local communities to identify, document and curate experiences unique to the region and its people, and then turn them into immersive informational and interactive experiences (hosted by the locals) for our guests who travel with us.
In this way, local host communities are incentivised with direct economic and social benefits to learn more about and hold onto their roots, and have the opportunity to share their culture by hosting guests and providing them with quality experiences that last as a cherished memory for a lifetime.
Being a considerably unexplored region, there was and still is, a huge gap and lack of understanding and knowledge when it comes to the North-East of India. While the eight states are clubbed together as the ‘North East Region (NER)’ , the diversity and uniqueness that the region offers is nothing short of amazing. With people from over x tribes and communities, y spoken dialects, z species of animals, b species of plants, all spread across a plethora of landscapes encompassing the plains of the Brahmaputra Valley to the peaks of the Eastern Himalayan Range, the region has more to offer than one can absorb in a lifetime. However, one can barely find enough credible knowledge to understand and appreciate the region for what it is – whether it be in school curriculums, bookstores, libraries, or even on the internet. Also, _ a lot of history and culture has already been lost due to the lack of script in the dialects of most communities, with the remaining cultural heritage has been passed down through folklore.
By working with our local partners, we strive to continuously document elements of local natural and cultural heritage to be able to provide those who are interested with ample credible resources that can help them to learn more about this lesser known side of the Indian
We believe with the task of representing a region to travelers and visitors comes a huge responsibility – to our region, to our local communities and our team and of course, our guests. We strive to be a responsible and sustainable travel management company in a holistic way – to be able to address rising concerns about loss of habitats, cultural diversity and the current climate crisis. Change does begin at home and ChaloHoppo gives us the ______ by which we can spearhead and transform how people imagine travel.While we are only 7 years young, with the COVID19 pandemic taking away two of our years, we are consciously building towards responsible traveling not only through our philosophy, but also through grounded social action in the years to come.
Littering in public spaces, photographing people without consent, the demand for five star luxuries and internet in remote locations with limited connectivity – such problems and challenges arise when travelers fail to have a regard for the rights of the communities and places they visit and the ground realities. Our company began due to the overwhelming admiration we have for our homeland and also for the diverse array of indigenous communities we share our home with – their unique cultures, social practises and lifestyles. We aim to connect with and host like-minded travelers who think about travel the way we do – travelers who understand the impact they can leave on a place (both negative and positive) and can have meaningful experiences in harmony with the local communities and environment.
This happens to be the 2021 Theme for World Tourism Day [link] and also one of our important philosophies. The tourism industry opens up unlimited opportunities for economic benefits which unfortunately often fail to reach and translate into development of the land and people themselves. We believe that every member of our tourism family – our travellers, local hosts and guides, the communities that we operate in, and our team – should be able to have equal opportunities to participate and benefit from what tourism has to offer. We aim to build agency of local communities to represent their own cultures on their own terms and to provide equal access of these opportunities to potentially marginalized members of society. Only then can the outcomes from tourism move beyond monetary incentives and trickle down to other social fields as well.
All of our values boil down to a single philosophy – building trust with every member of our tourism family. Preservation or inclusive growth is impossible without deeply engaging with our local partners, team members and our guests and maintaining transparency and effective communication. Maintaining trust is vital not only through dialogue but also through the kind of imagery we portray about our destinations. We believe in authentic representation that go beyond mass produced beautiful, remote, untouched landscapes and “tribal” communities cut off from modernity. We intend to build true images of the places our travelers shall visit, beyond romantised versions so that there is no gap between expectations and reality. Only through building trust can we develop strong bonds and partnerships to reach our common goals for our region through tourism.