Via Transylvania Tours

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The tour operator was established in 2011 and offers tailor made tours of Romania for families and small groups, our average group size is 5 people. It is one of the few tour operators based in the Western side of Romania (Banat region) and it operates all over the country with a special focus on Transylvania region, Banat region, Maramures and Bucovina.
Besides cultural tours we also organize special interest tours like photo tours, music and food tours, biking or hiking.
We offer a wide range of tourist services: accommodation, guides, transportation, meals, transfers.
Member since: 23 Jan 2015

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

Economic responsibility

Because we want to bring the economic benefits of travel to locals, we ensure our trips support local enterprise:
- We choose locally-owned accommodation, it can be a local family from a rural area or an investor from a city that creates jobs in an urban or rural area. We rarely work with international hotel chains.
- We try to help conserve Romanian heritage, be it architectural, gastronomic or cultural in any other way. This way we get to choose accommodation options that are housed in traditional buildings and/or owed by families who practice traditional or bio agriculture and offer meals from those products.
- Transportation services are also acquired only from local providers. For example we rent cars from a 100% Romanian owned car rental company and most of the times we use the locally produced Dacia or Daewoo cars. When we need to use minibuses we also rent from a 100% Romanian owned company.
- All the guides we work with are Romanians and licenced by the Tourism Ministry and the pay is done legally.

Environmental responsibility

We aim to have a very low environmental footprint:
- Our office is a 20sqm room in a building in a rural area and in the winter the heating is done with locally sourced wood for the office and the room next to it, so for 2 rooms at the same time.
- There is hardly any paper being used except contracts, which need to be filed for the authorities, and invoices, which are filed by the accountant.
- We encourage slow paced traveling. While bus tours change location daily on our tours our travellers usually stay in the same location 2 or 3 days.
- When renting cars for our travellers we usually rent cars with up to 1,5L gasoline engines so low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
- When visiting natural parks the strictest rules are observed.
- It often happens when hiking with travellers that if we find plastic bottles or aluminium cans in nature we pick them and bring them to a trash bin or recycling bin if available.
- By bringing travellers to rural guesthouse they get to eat locally grown and sourced, often organic food.

Social responsibility

- Of particular interest to us are initiatives that conserve heritage. We contribute to such initiatives by bringing travellers to stay in historic buildings they renovate as guesthouses or hotels. One such example is Viscri village, where even HRH Prince Charles of Wales owns a house and has been a sponsor of the heritage conversation initiative.
- Besides the bigger tourist sites we bring travellers to smaller, less visited places that are also very interesting; thus, directing income to those entities as well.
- We donít only bring people to tourist sites; we also bring them in contact with craftsmen and simple families. When visiting craftsmen, travellers learn about the trade by getting involved, one such example is a brick maker in Orlat village where travellers learn to make bricks. At the end of the visit travellers can purchase an already burned small brick as a souvenir and we also bring them some goods like vegetables and fruits.
- By traveling in small groups rather than large ones, we easily blend in local communities when visiting them without getting too much attention or making locals feel uncomfortable by waves of tourists.
- On our website there are links to the travel advisories for Romania from the US Department of State, Canadian Government, UK and Australian Departments of Foreign Affairs. When special situations occur, we communicate this to our travellers. For example, in 2014 we communicated with many of our travellers about the situation in Ukraine and if there is any risk of spilling into Romania. We even had 2 groups who we brought from Northern Romania for days trips to Western Ukraine; we had almost monthly communication with the travellers before the tour about the situation there.