Association for Fair and Solidarity Tourism
The Eco-lodge Apani Dhani is represented within this French network ATES (Association for Fair and Solidarity Tourism) by the association « Les Amis du Shekhawati ».
ATES brings together associations selected on the basis of a grid of high ethical standards and sharing the same approach: to implement a tourism development bringing aid to local host regions, as part of a close partnership with local communities and their representatives.
Gathering 35 committed members around a common charter, the ATES is the first French national network of fair and solidarity tourism. www.tourismesolidaire.org
On the initiative of the State Secretariat for Tourism, a meeting is held between tour operators desirous to improve their ethical tourism practices and associations involved in solidarity tourism. UNAT (The National Union of Tourism Associations) coordinates a first working group bringing together these actors, NGOs, institutional representatives and tourism experts.
Setting up of a steering committee consisting of Ministries, tourism experts, NGOs, associations, to develop a list of solidarity tourism criteria. Based on this list, twenty associations committed to this sector were selected, of which "Les Amis du Shekhawati", representing Apani Dhani Eco-lodge. This led in 2004 to the creation of the first French national network of solidarity-based tourism associations.
Creation of the Association for Fair and Solidarity Tourism (ATES) to improve the network structure, formalise its orientations and objectives, expand it to encompass new actors and partners and increase its visibility among general public.
Associations from the first national network created in 2004, among which UNAT (National Union for Tourism Associations), LVT (Travel & Leisure Associations Federation), PFCE (National FairTrade Network) and "Les Amis du Shekhawati" still representing Apani Dhani, are the founding members.
Through the evaluation process of the ATES network, the commitment of Apani Dhani Eco-lodge to fair and responsible tourism has been regularly validated since 2003.
The role of the association " Les Amis du Shekhawati" is to provide support for Apani Dhani promotion and communication, to develop documents providing travelers with pre-departure information, etc. But it is not involved in financial transactions.