| 20 Jul 2024
TealFeel Co-Founders discuss the future of conscious travel and music festivals

MUMBAI: In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, the co-founders of TealFeel, a conscious luxury travel company, share their insights into the evolving landscape of sustainable tourism, particularly in the context of global music festivals.

Mallika Sheth, Karen Mulla, and Karl Vazifdar highlight the growing awareness among Indian travelers and the significant strides being made towards responsible tourism.

Growth of Conscious Travel

Mallika Sheth, Co-Founder of TealFeel, observes a notable shift in the attitudes of Indian travelers towards sustainability. "At a macro level, we’re seeing an increase in awareness of conscious travel. Our Indian clients are realizing the impact of the environment on travel as they are on other aspects of their lives. Travel has grown exponentially, and the ability and willingness to travel and create newer experiences is planned with fervor," she says.

 Indians attending global music festivals are no exception. "While there is a sense of camaraderie and community at these events, there is also a collective effort to maintain the ecosystem around the venue. Credit goes to the bands, organizers, and event managers who create the sustainability foundation, but travelers and concertgoers are generously accepting the rules and following them," Mallika adds.

She attributes this shift to environmental education in schools, which plays a pivotal role in minimizing the ecological footprint. "Everyone demonstrates a high regard for the environment and for each other," she notes.

Impact of Music Festivals on Sustainability

 Karen Mulla, Co-Founder of TealFeel, discusses the environmental impact of music festivals and how the industry is adopting sustainable practices. "Summer is the season of music festivals, and TealFeel guests often want to include a concert or festival in their itinerary. Early on, the impact of music festivals on sustainability was huge. Now, the music industry is progressively focusing on sustainability strategies towards a greener planet," Karen explains.

 Some of these efforts include reducing carbon footprints, eliminating plastic waste, using biodegradable materials, integrating recycling programs, and relying on renewable energy sources. "Bands travel overland to reduce emissions, plant trees for tickets sold, and ban single-use plastic. Concert venues and clubs are installing stationary bikes to generate electricity through pedal movement," she says.

Karen highlights Coldplay as a leader in sustainable touring. "Coldplay’s ‘Music of the Spheres World Tour’ uses pyrotechnics and confetti, and they’ve created the first mobile rechargeable show battery with BMW. They plant a tree for every ticket sold, reducing emissions by 59%. Coldplay endorses local non-profits and partners with Global Citizen and the Love Button Global Movement," she shares.

Traveler Responsibility and Education

 Karl Vazifdar, Co-Founder of TealFeel, emphasizes the role of education in promoting conscious travel. "Many clients are looking for sustainable travel options but feel overwhelmed about where to start. This is where travel advisors like us at TealFeel come in," Karl explains.

 TealFeel guides guests to make informed choices, recommending locally owned businesses, restaurants, and transportation options with lower environmental impacts. "We almost always include walking tours because it’s the best way to experience a city and environmentally friendly. We also provide information on public transportation or carpool services to music festivals and sporting events to encourage sustainable practices," he adds.

Challenges and Opportunities

 Mallika Sheth discusses the challenges and opportunities in promoting conscious travel among music festival-goers. "Despite the best efforts by organizers, event managers, bands, and partners like us, the end user is the one that makes the change. That change is slow but steady. Consistent education is the only way to keep this change up," she says. She sees a significant opportunity with the artists themselves. "Every sporting hero, singer, and performer is a role model to our youth. If they say and do the right thing at their concerts, they can model change faster. It’s a fabulous platform to send a positive message about protecting our planet for future generations," Mallika emphasizes.

Future Trends in Conscious

Travel Looking ahead, Karen and Karl foresee a positive trend towards conscious travel, especially regarding music festivals. "As Indians seek unique experiences, including music concerts and festivals, we have an opportunity to educate. Our focus on conscious travel gives us access to insights and learnings that we can pass on," they explain.

 By collaborating with partners who prioritize sustainability and conservation, TealFeel aims to inspire travelers to adopt more responsible practices. "Music festival attendees can contribute to a movement that resonates with the power of music and honors our responsibility to our planet," Karen and Karl conclude.

 TealFeel continues to pave the way for conscious travel, promoting sustainability and responsible tourism among Indian travelers and beyond.