Geeski

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We are a small, independent, owner run company, offering a range of walking, trekking, snowshoeing & family adventure holidays to the French Alps, Pyrenees, the Austrian Tyrol and Morocco. We are committed to responsible tourism and our trips are small scale with a typical group size of five to 10 guests. We have a strong nature focus and part of our mission is to highlight the unique mountain environment to our guests in order to explain why it needs to be protected and preserved for future generations.
Member since: 23 Apr 2010

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

- Chris and I live in the local community so we are best placed to form bonds with other locals in order to use local companies and products.
- For our guided hiking weeks we employ a local guide who has lived and worked in the valley for many years.
- We have partners in the local community who either themselves or with locals employed by them, take the guest for a wide variety of activities available in the valley.
- No one knows the mountains in our valley as well as the locals who have lived in and explored the area for many years. It is essential to have a local guide for activities such as white water rafting and canyoning. There is a whole network of local guides who are employed by our partner companies who then take our guests on unforgettable experiences.
- Our menu includes local and seasonal products. Living in the mountains there is not the same variety of foods available that many of the guests are used to in UK supermarkets. This means that it is essential that our menus incorporate such products, which support local farmers and producers. Additionally as part of the catering on two nights we provide a cheese board showcasing a selection of local cheeses, most of which are only available in this area. We use wine provided by a local company, which operates in the surrounding valleys. For our welcome baskets we provide guests with bottles of local wines. We purchase our bread from the local bakery every morning and where possible purchase fruit and vegetables from the local grocer.
- It is essential to support local businesses, as tourism is very seasonal it is crucial that businesses make enough money in the seasons to support through the quiet months. Without sufficient business in the seasons the vibrancy and spirit of the local community would be lost.

Environmental responsibility

  • We make sure to recycle any appropriate waste from the Chalets. We collect all the recycling and then separate it into the communal bins when necessary. In our village it is possible to recycle a wide range of products including soft plastics. Additionally in the local supermarket there are points to recycle bulbs, batteries and printer cartridges.

  • As a company we use very little paper, with most of our accounting including invoicing is done online and there is almost no need to print.

  • We are a small family run business so do not have a typical head office. This means there is no commute time for our Managing Director. Additionally we travel to work together and walk when possible.

  • Again we promote water saving activities such as taking shorter, cooler showers. However we believe reducing the use of meat in our menus and explaining the environmental benefits behind this to our guests saves more water.

  • We suggest that guests visit our local national park, where through a payment for parking in the area, the local commune is able to implement projects to protect the environment. This recently included a large-scale project to clear an area of the river after a landslide. Additionally the money from visitors is used to maintain footpaths, preventing the local environment from being damaged with people walking in protected areas.

  • We also suggest that guests use the mountain lifts, as these require a payment the money is then used in part to protect the local environment. The lift company has a wide range of projects to improve the local environment and a Green Globe certified.

  • We do our best not to use single use plastics and avoid providing anything to our guests packaged with single use plastic. We try to lower our carbon emissions by transporting guests together, at the moment COVID-19 guideline permitting, meaning that there are fewer vehicles operating in the valley. We buy food locally and seasonally and promote this ethos to our guests.

Social responsibility

- We provide all our guests with an information pack in advance of their arrival. We make sure that we have communicated any local rules or guidelines that will affect guests. This is particularly important following the pandemic.
- As local residents ourselves we have been welcomed into the community. It is this experience that we want to give to our guests and encourage them to speak to and engage with all locals they come into contact with. This includes our local partners who we work closely with to provide the most authentic experience for our guests.
- As we are the destination supplier, we make sure that should our guest need a guide for their particular activity, a local guide is booked. As detailed above we have a large selection of local partners who use their own local guides in order to give the best experience for the visitor.
- The local community relies on visitors. By encouraging our guests to engage with the local community and activities they are supporting the host community. By increasing visitors to the valley this boosts the local economy, which supports the local community.

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