Responsible tourism: Slovakia nature vacation, Tatra paradise
Our experience with the Tatra Mountains and the Slovak Paradise National Park is led and created by the conservation organisation Machaon International. The tour has been developed with Go Barefoot Travel to help support ecotourism in Slovakia and highlight the Slovak Paradise (Slovensky Raj) National Park to restore biodiversity-rich meadows.
With 74 species of higher plants per square meter this is one of most diverse spots in the Carpathian Mountains, but also in the whole of Europe. With bears, lynx and wolves in the forest around, ice caves to explore, waterfalls and ravines this is a true wild and unique place for vacations of genuine nature lovers, the conservation of which our specialist guides will highlight.
Tourism is being used as a tool for environmental education of visitors but also to help finance conservation initiatives and sustainable tourism projects. Our tourists are provided with a pre-departure guidebook providing tips on more eco-sensitive ways of travel.
We have selected local guesthouses and family owned hotels in the region to ensure they benefit from ecotourism in the region and to avoid leakage of tourist expenditure to internationally owned hotels. It additionally provides guests a more immersive and genuine experience of the culture of rural Slovakia, including the local food and way of life.
Local guesthouses and guides are trained by our partner organisation in ecotourism services, the understanding of sustainable tourism, and how to be more sustainable in their operations including the purchasing of supplies and services from local communities (food, building etc), initiating entrepreneurial projects such as handicrafts creating local employment, plus, recycling waste and reducing water use to use less resources.
Local guides are used for their specialist knowledge of the region and history, plus, to ensure employment opportunities for local people. We incorporate a festive dinner and cultural experience on Day 2 to highlight the region's unique identity and preserve traditional welcome entertainment for guests.