How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Our small contribution to responsible tourism, economically wise:
We support the local economy
We are locally-based, the owners are locals and live here too.
We only recruit local guides and employees.
We are only cooperating with local external partners (local accommodations, sailing boats, “taverns”/restaurants, etc.).
We take local product-selection criteria very seriously and try to include Rhodes’ less known aspects:
When we offer lunch/dinner, the menu includes local dishes of traditional cuisine.
We promote the local products produced in Rhodes. In every trip/tour, we offer to our guests the product (energy bar) with a designation of origin, named “melekouni”.
We feature wine tasting experiences designated to highlight and make known the locally produced drinks, such as wine and “souma”.
We encourage guests to visit and learn more about the Rhodian-style pottery workshops, a traditional yet dying art.
We mostly include in our trips, villages untouched by tourism.
We offer private or small group tours for more friendly and personal support.
In the effort to deal with the issue of seasonality, we offer trips that can be performed throughout the year, aiming to increase the tourist season and spread the number of guests in more months over the year.
Our small contribution to responsible tourism, environmentally wise:
As a tour operator encouraging others to spend time with the marine world (scuba diving, sailing trips), we are in the perfect position to provide well-educated guidance and this is what we are trying to do:
When someone books one of our marine world trips, we send them to watch this video to learn more about protecting the Mediterranean Sea.
We also give them guidelines about how to behave when they dive or swim (Please see the attached file named “GUIDELINES MARINE LIFE”). http://www.rhodetrip.gr/applying-the-principles-of-ecotourism-in-coastal-environments/
As an island with a coastline of approximately 220klm, we have the duty to come up with ways to cut down on single-use plastics, by offering alternative solutions to plastic cutlery or water bottles. Here are some of our ideas:
When we have a sailing trip, we suggest a refillable water cooler on deck instead of a cooler full of disposable water bottles.
We have contacted Grayl (https://thegrayl.com/) and proposed them to shape an influencer program together as follows: we communicate their products on our new site and our guests have in return a small product discount when booking with us. This way we create awareness for the plastic reduction and contribute in a general manner for the ecological consciousness of our guests.
Most of our holidays and trips are active, thus they involve people power and have a limited impact on the environment.
We ask our guests to respect the beautiful environment in which we live, by not picking local flowers/plants, sticking to the paths/trails and taking the rubbish with them.
When we hike a mountain or scuba dive or swim and find plastic bottles or waste, the guides encourage our guests to pick them up.
We try to eliminate our environmental print caused by our operation:
We sort our waste and recycle.
We do not print any of our informational material (brochures, guidelines, etc.) unless we are asked to do so by our guests. We send them everything using the “online” version.
We provide our guests who visit the Valley of Butterflies with information about how not to disturb the butterflies, as over the last few years the population of the “Panaxia” species has been constantly in decline due to several factors, one of the most important being the disturbance by visitors. Visitors should not be denied the enjoyment of viewing the butterflies at rest, but it is prohibited to disturb them in any way (hand clapping, whistling, touching, yelling, etc.). http://www.rhodetrip.gr/how-not-to-disturb-the-butterflies-when-you-visit-the-valley-of-butterflies/
Preserving the traditional yet dying art of Rhodian-style pottery (http://www.rhodetrip.gr/rhodian-style-pottery-keeping-a-dying-art-alive/)
Rhodes is known for its long tradition in ceramics and pottery since the ancient world. However, nowadays many factories have closed and those that still survive are struggling, as the market for these traditional products wanes. Many, fear that traditional Rhodes-style pottery is a dying art with only a handful of families still producing some hand thrown and hand painted pieces.
We are in close cooperation with these families and we very often include in our tours visits and hands on experience to their small family run local pottery workshops. Our guests find it so special and interesting to see that only a few Greek families still do handmade ceramics and this way we help local ceramics to preserve.
Promoting Rhodian Winery
Rhodes was one of the first Greek islands to engage in the cultivation of grapes. It has been said that Rhodes was the first island in the Aegean to cultivate a vineyard and make wine. It’s no coincidence that in ancient times Rhodians were considered the largest wine merchants in the Mediterranean. Today, Rhodes has two Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wines. Despite the abundance of native varieties, winemakers also cultivate international varieties of grapes. Given the island’s lengthy history in winemaking, its potential for producing high-quality wines is great. Rhodes has yet not achieved the same success as other Greek islands like Santorini, Paros or Kefalonia, so we have work to do!
Therefore, we are working closely with vineyards and wineries and have formed wine tasting experience tours. Our guests sit on the veranda with the vineyard spreading in front of them, the perfect set up for a wine tasting and Greek “mezes” (menu with local dishes).
Let’s save Lindos’ Donkeys
In Lindos village, one of the most popular and picturesque villages of the island, there is the tradition to go up the hill to the Acropolis of Lindos sitting on a donkey.
We are not comfortable with the fact that the poor animal struggles up and down 600 steep steps carrying the weight of a human body under the very hot Lindian sun.
So, we ask our guests not to be part of this kind of cruelty and encourage them to go on foot. Although we don’t believe that people should be prized for being conscious, to make it easier for them, we give them a free parking slot in the only one private parking which is located as close as it gets to the Acropolis of Lindos (for people that have booked one of our trips).
In the same area of Lindos, there is the famous St. Paul’s church, which attracts many visitors. Whenever our guests visit the area or other areas with chapels or monasteries or churches, we inform them that they should respect the church’s rules about decent outfit and proper behavior. For example, they are informed that they should not take sexy posing selfies in front of the temples or be with their swimsuits inside them