The RARE Touchstones : Attributes on the path to Responsible Travel.

04 Aug, 2020

Every business has to differentiate itself. And if you are in a business like travel and hospitality services where entry barriers are non-existent or fudged you had better be clear about what you do and how. The most essential ‘why’ is however a personal story for every inward looking entrepreneur.


RARE India enjoyed an exclusive run for almost a decade into its inception, while that ensured market presence it made us slightly indifferent to competition. However competition ( read some of that as blatant copy ) quickly made us focus on our strengths and that of the community. Threats that we read as opportunities was like a good game of chess, as with every trouble we set out our best attributes. Our creativity and a great understanding of the business of travel and hospitality. An in-depth understanding of the destination and what the RARE community was all about was a strength, as also knowledge collected through intuitive explorations, personal interest and hours spent with our partner hotels understanding their vision and building their trust. 


Having begun perfectly, when the concept of RARE was blue printed for us as the first few hotels  on board laid out certain strong attributes that was revealed years later as ‘RARE Touchstones’. Best practises and inherent beliefs of running Hotels and Lodges in remote locations spearheaded by visionary and charismatic owners, often extraordinary in their approach ensured great narratives and unconventional ideas. This has re-energised our branding as 'conscious luxury hotels'. And have become RARE’s touchstones, a key innovation - nudging travellers and travel consultants to explore differently.


RARE touchstones are those attributes that set the RARE community apart to create a bubble of knowledge, ideas, interests and stories. Evolving slowly over years and mostly set out as a side story, a slow revealing of this idea happened a year ago when our design team lead by Pooja of PNJXN revealed this with a flourish.  It is now a ‘legend’ that tells a compelling ‘conscious’ story and the journey of every hotel that has already established itself as a ‘luxury of experience’. Today as we grapple with the realities of the mammoth disruption from microscopic reasons, the reality of thoughtless, consumeristic and selfish business strategies, responsible tourism is possibly a strong way forward.


Highlighted as Cardinal and Ordinal, the touchstones engage with travellers and travel consultants to motivate them encompass responsible travel into their lives and businesses with perceptiveness and positivity. Presented around the needles of a compass, with a heart in the centre – there are nine touch stones, each of them pointing to an attribute that will  urge you down a voluntary path towards responsible travel.


The Cardinal attributes include a partner hotel's attitude towards plastic, community engagement, garbage disposal and water conservation. The Ordinal attributes include every partner hotel’s attitude and work in their respective destinations by introducing low impact experiences, preservation of built and intangible heritage, wildlife and nature conservation and destination discovery.


A final Cardinal touchstone was added as Covid unleashed its insidious disruption, that of the human touch. A gentle reminder of all that travel can mean to travellers and businesses – the potential for empathy, harmony and positive change. Everything that a traveller can bring forth when he is open, intentionally warm, mindful and generous. A beautiful reminder for the times we live in, is the human touch stone.  


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Micheal Alexander | 04 Aug, 2020
This couldn't have been better written. It's a perfect template for any conscious business. Thanks Shoba for articulating this. I will come back to this, when I need a reference, to coordinate my own thoughts on this subject.
Pepper Mathew | 04 Aug, 2020