Responsible tourism: Balkan explorer small group tour
This tour visits areas of natural beauty such as Durmitor National Park and Konjic, one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia. We also visit Biogradska Gora, one of Europes last three remaining primeval forests. Before visiting these areas, our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist destinations.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation - not only reducing our carbon footprint but we believe leading to a more enjoyable and intimate experience for our clients. Furthermore, all vehicles used on the tour have low carbon emissions. We work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back in the communities we visit. On this tour we visit Sremski Karlovci, a Serbian cultural centre in the 18th and 19th centuries. Here we visit the local wine cellars and partake in tasting the local wines. We also visit Arilje, an area famous for its raspberries. By visiting these places we are supporting the local community and their livelihood. Clients also have the opportunity to purchase local souvenirs, ensuring the money is kept within the local community.
On this tour we visit areas which have been destroyed by war, such as Sarajevo, Mostar and Dubrovknik, as well as some smaller villages of Umoljani and Pocitelj, a Turkish settlement. Although the villages and towns have been rebuilt, we bring clients with the aim of bringing tourism to the area, boosting the local economy. Also, clients get to understand and learn about these countrys turbulent past.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.