Responsible tourism: Photography course and vacation in Portugal
It is important to minimise our impact on the local environment for the benefit of future generations.
While in Portugal we aim to use local produce wherever possible. We recycle much of our waste and keep energy usage to a minimum.
Water conservation is always a key concern and sheets and towels are washed only at the clients’ request. We also ask all clients to conserve water by taking short showers instead of baths.
When we are out and about in the countryside we encourage participants to preserve the local flora and fauna by sticking to established paths and taking all litter home with them.
In the UK we maintain a small office which minimises our use of electricity and gas. We are web-based and all correspondence is sent to clients electronically. The small amount of paper we use in the office is recycled and we rely on natural light for most of the day.
Our accommodation in Portugal is in a hotel which employs many local people in the town of Vila Viçosa for all roles including catering, cleaning and maintenance staff. As yet, tourism in this region is not as developed as in other areas of Portugal, although the local people are very proud of their heritage and traditions, as well as their gastronomic specialities. Our aim is always to engage as much as possible with the local community and to allow our guests to experience the best that this fascinating region has to offer through visiting places of interest, meeting local people and tasting the local cuisine.
As far as possible, all of our food and drink is sourced from local suppliers and we prefer to use fresh, seasonal produce. The course participants are also encouraged to make use of the local shops and bars in the vicinity which will help to support the economy, vital for local businesses. There are also several artisan producers in the area and participants are encouraged to visit these and purchase items to take home, another way for our visits to help boost the local economy.