Explore Balkans - Eco, Rural & Adventure Paradise
The recent changes caused by the covid-19 pandemic have shown us that we were failing in protecting our environment and heavily. It was about time for mankind to question themselves and stop for a moment. By questioning our attitude towards nature, we are bringing more awareness to the important fact that this Planet is our only home and that we should treat it as such.
Simply – a new ecological approach in life is needed! Again, the travel industry was first on the target to feel this need, and in the last couple of years, the biggest travel companies tried to turn the wheel and orient their approach to nature–friendly holidays.
Speaking about polluters, we are all quite aware that the travel industry, in its mass sense, could produce and is producing a lot of damage. Assuming that most Balkans countries are depending on tourism, this was something to think about last year when we mostly didn’t see any guests. That is when an amazing thing started rolling out and brought a beautiful new product to the world called Explore Balkans.
Explore Balkans is a common travel product of the Western Balkans countries, made to help in promoting the region as a natural paradise perfect for exploring the outdoors. The project itself is a product of SWG RRD and USAID who motivated tour operators from this region to sign up and create joint programs for modern world travellers and respond to the most interesting demands on the market - ecological approach, rural development and adventure!
Explore Balkans has the following objectives:
- To increase the level of integration of ecotourism, rural tourism and adventure tourism value chains in rural cross-border regions of the Western Balkans and strengthen the cooperation among their participants.
- To build the capacity of ecotourism, rural tourism and adventure tourism value chain participants to meet the requirements of the target market.
- To apply marketing approach in inbound tourism development in the Western Balkans.
- To obtain endorsement (by national authorities responsible for rural development) of relevant policy recommendations related to inbound tourism in rural areas in the Western Balkans.
Ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism activity in which the visitor’s essential motivation is to observe, learn, discover, experience and appreciate biological and cultural diversity with a responsible attitude to protect the integrity of the ecosystem and enhance the well being of the local community.
Eco-tours usually involve visiting scenic or remote natural areas in an attempt to minimise negative impacts on the environment and the local inhabitants. This is a holiday that either contributes to the protection of the environment or minimises damage to it.
Rural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle/culture, angling and sightseeing.
Rural travel tours are conceived as tourism activities in a non-urban territory where human (land-related economic) activity is going on, primarily agriculture: a permanent human presence seems a qualifying requirement.
Adventure tourism is a type of tourism which usually takes place in destinations with specific geographic features and landscape and tends to be associated with physical activity, cultural exchange, interaction and engagement with nature. This experience may involve some kind of real or perceived risk and may require significant physical and/or mental effort.
Adventure tours should allow the consumer to participate in their area of interest for the length of the tour and should provide an experience. These are mostly physical and require a certain level of fitness, however, can sometimes be modified to meet your needs depending on the other travellers.
Explore Balkans promotes eco, rural and adventure experiences on their website, where you can find eight (8) different tours around Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. From all around the Balkans, tour operators and organisers gathered and created great products for the best experiences in this region with a focus on sustainability. The collaboration resulted in 8 programs that you could check out here.
By creating this sort of community of regional travel service providers from the Balkans, the region will collect numerous benefits and improve promotion amongst modern travellers. New generations of travellers are seeing the whole globe as their travel destination. They spend money on experiences, not things, thus they will rather hike with you and taste local food than buy souvenirs and do regular sightseeing. They see marketing as a lifestyle and they carefully choose the content, which they trust.
Thanks to the project Explore Balkans, and including joint efforts of the operators, the region will also
- improve its digital presence (using AI, e-payments, social media)
- will take care of the environment and introduce an eco-friendly mindset.
If you are seeking an adventure in the beautiful rural Balkans spiced up with great gastronomy experiences and fuelled with an eco-friendly approach, we warmly recommend you to click on this website and book your favourite tour from many different experiences available at the Explore rural Balkans.