One of the strengths of this centre is the wealth of local contacts and that the clients feel that they are experiencing the true Tyrol. We have excellent working relationships with the tourist office, the local shop, winter equipment hire, the mountain huts and cafes, the bus drivers, the mountain rescue team and taxi firms.
By supporting the local community we are demonstrating how responsible tourism can still make a difference in a ‘developed’ area of Western Europe. The bonus for our clients is that they can see how they are supporting directly the local economy and the warm welcome they receive from the local inhabitants.
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation for the week is in the family run Hotel Wienerhof in the Tyrolean village of Trins. The Wienerhof is a traditional Tyrolean inn and as such is a member of the "Tiroler Wirtshaus". This association exists to ensure that members maintain authentic Tyrolean cuisine with local influences. The focus is on local ingredients with proof of origin (AMA seal of approval), the diverse native culinary delights as well as down to earth Tyrolean ambience, coupled with good hospitality. For over 20 years, the initiative focuses on values such as seasonality and regionality.
The most basic elements of the initiative are the:
• love of Tyrolean cooking
• freshness of the produce sourced from local farms, rivers and forests
• particular emphasis on authentic atmosphere and architecture.
The atmosphere of a traditional Tyrolean inn can probably be best summed up by the expression "Tyrolean hospitality". The dishes prepared in every inn are based on traditional Tyrolean recipes.
Local Craft and Culture
Clients are encouraged to stop at mountain huts and restaurants and other local businesses, where our visit makes a valuable contribution to their trade. Some examples are:
We visit a typical Tyrolean farm during the week, where it is possible to sample their home-made produce, such as smoked ham, sausage, cheese, schnapps and liqueurs! There is also the opportunity to purchase the items sampled, providing additional income for a rural farming family. We also visit the animals in the barn to see how they live and are fed during the winter months. When there is a village event, such as a band concert, we make every effort to attend and are given a warm welcome!
We visit a former Servite monastery during the week, which is still owned and run by the order. Here is always time to visit the monastery church and some of the other special features of the site as well as enjoying the food and drink in the “refectory” style restaurant.
On the free day, many people visit the nearby city of Innsbruck, where it is possible to visit many interesting cultural sites, but the Tyrolean Folk Museum is one of the most popular!
We hold evening talks and slide show by members of the local mountain rescue team. These talks are very well received by our clients. We have a collecting box in the hotel and last winter season collected € 400. This, along with the €800 collected in the summer, will go towards the purchase a replacement stretcher. This is one of the latest state of the art mountain rescue stretchers – the team leader is delighted!
Exodus clients are the biggest contributors to the Steinach / Gschnitztal Mountain Rescue Team. Since starting, on a small scale, in the winter of 2011/12, we have collected a total of €5,525 for the mountain rescue team!
Our resident leader was, recently highly honoured to be presented with an “Ehrenurkunde” (a certificate of commendation) signed by the head of the mountain rescue service for the Tyrol. This is apparently a highly unusual event, especially for a foreigner, and required considerable justification.