How does a DMC (Destination Management Company) take the principles of sustainable tourism into consideration when operating an upmarket local experience tour?
At SIVA Travel we always try to utilize local resources and give back to the local economy. This has as an immediate effect to the client experience - providing more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local culture. Using locally sourced items we give back to the local community; which is very important to us.
As a case study the event we operate in Mytilene [Lesvos] where we use all the local resources from the village of Agia Paraskevi. This small village about 45 minutes from the island capital is where the spectacular “Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production” is located; at this venue the very special event is held, combining a private tour of the Museum, an exceptional local dinner and a show which is probably one of the most interesting in Greece.
The importance of the Village and how to give back to the local community.
Instead of using catering services for the dinner, we arranged with the ladies of the village to provide all the food and the wine. Cooking as they would at home and giving a glimpse to our guests of what Greek cuisine is really like. The ladies also are present when the food (buffet) is served to offer insights as to how it is prepared and what the ingredients are. This immersion in the local culture/cuisine allows our guests to get a much better understanding of Greece.
Another way to give back to the local community and also give a real experience is the utilization of the village dance group (and singers). After dinner the locals in traditional dress sing and later on dance; they do this as they would in their own houses. It is actually so good that sometimes other villagers come in to watch also (a very short video of the ladies singing a cappella is on this page).
The real experience for our clients, combined with being able to give back to the local community is also very satisfying for us. It may be a bit more difficult to operate; but it is such a pleasure to be able to combine both and give the excellent service we are known for.
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