Accommodation & meals: During this trip we stay in accommodation that is locally run (sometimes family run) and staffed with people from the surrounding areas, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Most lodgings are located in proximity to the town centers and the UNESCO historic site we visit, which reduces further the need for carbon producing transfer vehicles on the trip. The majority of lunches and dinners are not included on this trip, this benefits the local economy; clients can enjoy various local authentic dishes and at the same time support numerous local businesses.
Community & Culture: There are plenty of opportunities for clients to support local enterprise while discovering the heel of Italy. In Lecce on day three we visit one of the last remaining laboratories where papier-mâché artwork is still created; money spent here directly supports and maintains this very traditional industry. We continue to support traditional industries, in the afternoon we have a tour around an old olive oil mill which concludes with an olive oil tasting. The following day we visit a ‘Masseria’, a typical Apulian farm, here we try their organically farmed produce in a converted Apulian farmhouse. Afterwards a pasta making class lesson is led by a local chef in a traditional trattoria in Ostuni allowing clients to practise and taste traditional recipes. On day 5 we visit a winery in Alberobello and sample the wines from the region.
When visiting Otranto and Matera we further support the local tourist industry by having specialist local guides as well as the local leader, this benefits the local community by providing employment opportunities whilst clients have the advantage of in-depth insight of the country.
Social responsibility: Our local partner is an active member of Addiopizzo; a grassroots organisation established by local businesses and private citizens who refuse to pay the ‘pizzo’ – mafia extortion money.
Environment: Buying bottled water has detrimental impacts on the environment; we can make a conscience effort to reduce plastic waste by not buying water. On this trip, water in all the accommodation we stopover in is drinkable. Clients who bring their own water bottles will be able to refill them daily, when out and about the local guide will be able to point out places where they can top up their water bottles, for example, this is possible in a lot of the main squares.
Regional cooking in Puglia has strong links to the land and sea; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.
Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 18 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
Activity: We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops, we make daily contributions to the economy and the community.
UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.