The recession has made everyone take stock, but how will that shape our views and desires for the future? Will we come out of this with in new-found intuitive awareness about what we take out of our own and others' pockets, or will we get back into our die hard habits of consuming and waste?
How will all this affect long haul travel?
India is already building a portfolio of alternative experiences – experiences that give more but take less.
Take Kerala for example.
Located in the Southwestern tip of India, this idyllic, sunny state spans diverse scenic beauty - green, lush, untamed and unspoilt. And what's particularly notable is its indigenous people are intent on keeping it so.
Coconut Lagoon, located in the heart of the Backwaters is an excellent 4-star rustic resort, with remarkable 5-star service. Subtle but notable emphasis is put on unnecessary water consumption; the buffets are nicely presented but do not evoke the kind of waste that is sometimes seen in other 5-star properties; light saving is observed and local resources and employment are actively promoted.
All this is great, but what about the experience?
Well fear not. It's colourful, extravagant, exciting and inspirational, but the relaxed pace of life means there's time to enjoy everything. In the fast lane – elephant treks, tuk tuks and motor boats, festivals and celebrations, dance, music and of course, India's famed obsession with Royal Enfield motorbikes. In the slow lane - Ayurvedic holistic treatments and massages, idyllic lagoon boat house trips, yoga, meditation and temples.
Further north in the backwaters is Kochi, the gateway to Kerala. You could choose to stay at the Taj, but why not check out Brunton Boatyard for the complete colonial experience (part of CGH Earth Experience Hotels)? It provides elegance and comfort but with consideration to its surroundings. Walk out into Fort Kochi, along the harbour shores and step back into everyday life which still evokes a bygone age.