Painting vacation in Bulgaria

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Painting vacation in Bulgaria

Environment

Our Responsible Travel policy ensures that we abide by eco-friendly principles in the running of our vacations. We are passionately committed to ensuring that our vacations are eco-friendly to our local environment and contribute to the local economy and community.

We operate small group vacations that have a low impact on the community. All of the accommodation used for our vacations is managed and maintained by local people and the majority are owned by local people. Our furniture is sourced locally. At Villa Gella, food is seasonal and locally sourced. The Rhodope region is home to a centuries-old culinary tradition, using fresh local ingredient such as lamb, sausages, fish - notably mountain river and lake trout, breads and pastries, and fruits including plums, apples, pears, and mountain berries. Yoghurt, curd and local cheese, (known as branza, are made from locally sourced sheep or cow's milk.

We use local transport companies and their drivers for airport transfers and where possible we group guests together, so as not to have unnecessary car journeys to and from the airport for individual passengers. On walking vacations the necessity of driving to the starting point of the walks is reduced to an absolute minimum. We try as much as possible to use one of the most sustainable transport method: our feet.

On all of our vacations we inform all our guests about our policy of leaving absolutely no rubbish behind, including organic remains whether on painting, walking or photography trips.

We recycle plastic, glass and aluminium and support the recycling schemes in the local community.

We support local businesses by using local restaurants for our vacations and by buying fresh food from local suppliers to cut down on the use of unnecessary transport. We use suppliers who source organic produce.

Our vacation ethos is focussed on creating rather than consuming.

In our office we recycle paper and materials. We do not print brochures but rely on marketing through e mail and the internet.

Community

We work with local people to ensure that our vacations benefit the local economy. Guests eat at local restaurants where the majority of the food is organic and locally sourced. We encourage guests to immerse themselves in the culture of the region and gain an understanding of the culture, history and local people - on this vacation guests will visit local galleries, museums and monasteries and partake in local wine tasting. They are given the opportunity to purchase local products and visit the local cultural and historical sites and art galleries. Private transportation is supplied by local operators.

Our group size never exceeds 8 people which provide for a richer experience and minimizes our impact on places we visit and local communities. Traveling in small groups with like-minded people enables closer participation and connection with local people and the culture of the region. It also makes for a more fulfilling experience where lasting friendships and connections are made.

On all of our vacations we respect the privacy of the local people. We will never photograph or paint anyone without their permission and will ensure our guests are sensitive to the values and privacy of the local community. The local people are incredibly welcoming and friendly and as we have been in the area for a long time we know many very well.

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