Georgia food holiday
Description of Georgia food holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe visit some of the most important historic sites in Georgia, including Uplistsikhe Cave Town, the UNESCO World Heritage ancient capital of Mtskheta and Alaverdi Cathedral. Our visit helps support the upkeep and preservation of these culturally significant places.
As a travel company we are acutely aware of our impact on the environment. All of our tours display a carbon footprint, and we strive to reduce our emissions by regularly reviewing our tours and embracing low-impact styles of travel such as trains, public buses or walking – which offer the added benefit of getting a closer connection with the destination and local community. In Tbilisi we explore purely on foot and take the public cable car to Narikala Fort. When visiting Gergeti Church in the Caucasus Mountains we chose to hike there rather than drive.
We advise customers to take a refillable water bottle to Georgia and encourage them to avoid single-use plastic on tour, our leaders giving advice on refill points each day. All of our tour leaders are provided with a Water-to-Go bottle, allowing them to drink safe water from any source when it’s not possible to fill up from a tap.
We strive to support nature and biodiversity through protection and regeneration projects, and for every customer that travels with us we make a donation to Rewilding Britain and Cool Earth.
In terms of waste management, our tour leaders brief guests to carry their waste down to the village. Under the ski reception areas and in the villages, there are numerous recycling bins (blue - paper, yellow - plastic and TetraPack, green - glass, red - metal) where guests can drop their waste. Our tour leaders will offer assistance and lead by example by collecting the occasional rubbish found in the area and recycling where possible.
Water. The tap water in all the hotels is drinkable and of high quality. We encourage our guests not to buy bottled water but rather to refill their bottles and to use reusable cups when buying hot drinks.
Transport. The villages under the Slovak side of the Tatras are very well connected by public transport. There is an efficient narrow-gauge railway system which offers reliable connection (at least once an hour from every station) along the mountain settlements. Those few villages which are not connected by rail get connected by buses. Guests receive railway travel cards which are used for transport to join the included activities and also for their individual free time travel. Most of the travel during the tour is conducted by train, minor part by public buses. We use private transfers only when the public transport connection is not available or too tricky.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleThe ethos of this food adventure is to discover the fresh local produce and cuisine of Georgia and in doing so we support small artisan producers and at the same time help promote and maintain the food traditions of the country. For example, we visit the varied produce stalls at the Telavi farmers' market, a matsoni (curd) shop, an organic wine cellar and a qvevri-maker in the Kakheti wine district. Qvevri are large earthenware vessels used in the traditional Georgian wine-making process for thousands of years. We learn about how these things are produced and we'll also have the opportunity to purchase locally made products.
We visit Georgian family homes where local people will show us how to prepare some of their traditional cuisines. It's a great chance for a two-way cultural exchange and of economic benefit to the families. For example, we'll learn how to make Khinkali dumplings with a family in the mountain town of Stepantsminda and help prepare a traditional Kist-Georgian meal with the Muslim Kist minority people of the Pankisi Valley. This community have historically been economically disadvantaged and welcoming tourism is a great way for them to earn.
In Georgia we are working with the German government organisation ‘GIZ’ to help our partners train locals further down the supply train – from guides and drivers to hoteliers and restaurant owners. This helps to professionalise the industry in Georgia at a local level and benefits all businesses that we interact with.
Our local leaders are the heart of tours, ensuring we observe the cultural norms in a destination, acting as a bridge between travellers and the local community and making sure that tourism is a positive experience for both host and guest. We believe in supporting local; staying in locally-run hotels, exploring markets, buying snacks from street vendors, and by doing this we add money to the local economy and enhance our connection with the local community.
There is a considerable local workforce employed in the winter sports. All the people we hire directly for this trip are local to the area, for each group we have a minimum of five people who at some point interact with our guests. We make sure we pay them fair and competitive salary.
Any new tour leader receive full reimbursement of any training costs required by law in Slovakia. The training certificate has a lifelong validity, so they can start their own independent business anytime in future.
We encourage guests to buy local and responsibly sourced products, an example of this is the support of the local branch of ULUV (The Union of Folk Art Masters) which offers both traditional and modern handmade products 100% made in Slovakia including ceramic, clothes and toys to take home. Whilst our tour leaders are always happy to make recommendations they are not incentivized in any way and are therefore able to provide impartial advice.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.