Wine holidays in Andalucia, Spain

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2018: 8 Sep
2019: 27 Apr, 14 Sep
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wine holidays in Andalucia, Spain

Environment

Our Casa is a 400-year-old historic building which has been converted to a guest house in the village of Ferreirola in the Alpujarra of Andalucia. In developing our business in the Alpujarra our first priority was to provide low-impact, sustainable and environmentally conscious tourism.

Our activities are low impact: we accommodate groups of no more than 14 people. We organise holidays which do not negatively impact on the local environment. We always use designated footpaths for example, do not pick wildflowers, do not leave litter and do not cause any damage.
We also run a creative writing programme which also does not impact negatively on the local environment.

Environmentally conscious tourism:
Water: water is a precious commodity in this area, which is prone to drought from time to time. We minimise water use with dual flush loos, showers rather than baths, and we have a drip system for our garden watering.

Energy saving: we use low-energy light bulbs throughout the house and our outside lights are on timers.

NO to plastic! we recycle our plastic waste. We regularly encourage our local shops and market traders not to use plastic bags, but to encourage shoppers to bring their own. We encourage our guests to fill their water bottles from a natural spring nearby rather than buying plastic bottles of water.
Recycling: as well as recycling our plastic, we also recycle our paper, cardboard and glass items.
Shopping: we buy produce and supplies locally and when possible, we buy organic food and non-polluting cleaning products.

Community

Our activities are beneficial to both the local community and the environment.

The local community: members of the local community participate in and benefit from our business. We are the major employer in our village (population 28), employing three local people at the Casa. We provide economic benefits to local businesses including bars, restaurants, shops, the local laundry and the local bus company, as well as local people involved in the building industry including plumbers, electricians, carpenters and builders.

Our premises: we restored a historic building that had fallen into ruin with great care and sensitivity, rather than bulldozing the site and erecting new, high-rise buildings. Our part of the Alpujarra is a conservation area so we maintained the traditional building style and used traditional materials such as chestnut beams and launa for the roof.

Protecting the local environment: We are fortunate to be located in a Parque Natural conservation area. However, it is also an area which has suffered and continues to experience minimal economic development. Through our business we are demonstrating that sustainable tourism brings significant economic benefit to the area, and we argue that for tourism to flourish here, the unique rural environment that is the Alpujarra must be preserved and protected.

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