Active Crete

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Active Crete is an alternative tour operator based in a part of  Western Crete which is promoting eco-tourism. We are offering Walking, Walking & Painting and Yoga Holidays in an area which has several Natura 2000 sites: an EU ecological programme set up to conserve biodiversity and protect areas of rich natural  heritage. We also run an 'Insights Week', which is designed to give a hands-on taste of Cretan life. We work with family-run accommodation, cafes, tavernas and shops, supporting the local businesses and communities.
Member since: 29 Apr 2019

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

Economic responsibility

We work with local people, many of whom we have known for many years.
- We use family-run accommodation and tavernas, and local transportation (bus or taxis) only where
necessary.
-We introduce clients to family-run stores selling local produce, such as food, wine, honey or gifts made in
Crete.
- For marine transportation, we use the regular itineraries of a small local ferry company.
- Our holidays run in Spring and Autumn,so we are benefiting local businesses by extending the holiday
season. Out of the high season the beaches and roads are quiet, which is a more pleasant atmosphere for our guests that allows them to feel part of the place and to relax into it. This is also conducive to supporting a tranquil and enriching experience; it is why our guests are returning, some for the third time.

Environmental responsibility

We work as a web agency in our homes. We do not use any stationary or energy consuming office
equipment; we rarely use print. We do not use extra energy for heating, cooling, lighting etc.
- The nature of our tours and activities are environmentally friendly. Our groups consist of
not more than 20 people and are often smaller than that. We use water-based acrylic paint or watercolour in
our painting workshops, which are conducted in the open with the minimum of equipment (paper, brushes,
colour, pencils, chalks and stools to sit on).
-We discuss with participants the nature of local ecosystems and indigenous flora and fauna. We encourage
them to take photos of rare and endemic species but we do not allow them to collect anything. After any break
in an activity, we always make sure the place is left rubbish free. We encourage people to refill their water bottle
from the tap (safe), to avoid single use plastic.
- Some of our activities involve no transport, but to get further afield we often use the public bus
system.
- Before the holidays take place, we go on the walks and activity places, picking up rubbish and putting it into the
large roadside rubbish containers. We also clean up the beaches, which are full of plastic after winter
storms. This is part of a local village initiative to clean the beaches and to monitor the cleanness of the sea.
A small campaign to this effect is being initiated and supported by us, involving ringing local agencies, like
the Chania newspaper, to report on bad practice.
The local government has installed a bio drain and sewage system along the length of the long beach of
Kissamos Bay. Participation is voluntary but requires large cash expenditure to get connected. In these depressed economic times, this is not popularly supported, but we hope by helping the local economy and building awareness of the value of an uncompromised environment, that more and more local people will see it in their interests to conserve the quality of the area.

Social responsibility

We work with local people, as described above. In our dealings with them and with our clients, we are
always fair, honest and polite. We often teach our guests Greek phrases, so that they can return greetings.
The helpfulness and hospitality of many local people contributes to an atmosphere of mutual interest but is
not allowed to be exploited, for example, we make sure the correct amount has been paid and an adequate
tip is left in a café stop. We believe that a ‘win/win’ situation is the best for everyone.

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