of Travel Designer Sardinia
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA supports a sustainable society and sustainable trade by collaborating with stakeholders who have the same sustainability awareness and want to foster a slow tourism model. I want to show the traveller that Sardinia is not just sea but has many other beauties off the beaten track. Empathy, awareness and care are three key words of my mission. My mission is to create unforgettable itineraries for our customers and show them the “real” Sardinia by respecting its inhabitants, nature and culture.
This policy defines practices at the core of our product development, operations, and external partner relationships. It is a work in progress and it is a definition of what I have already managed, what I’m currently doing, and what I will continue to do even better if possible.
- Comply with all relevant legislation and incorporate the principles of sustainable development into all core activities of my agency.
- Preserve our environment and continuously improve environmental performance.
- Optimize our social impact to improve local livelihoods and prevent tourism leaks (I completely support local businesses); businesses, artisans, shepherds, tourist and environmental guides, etc. making them part of my business network.
- Engage in the creation of events that inform about sustainability practices, the protection of environment and low impact tourism
- Provide information, training and support to colleagues and external partners, to engage them towards sustainability (we have several collaborations with companies that promote sustainable practices such awareness)
- Use our position to drive sustainability within our destination(s)
In my office
- I’ll inform my employees and let them understand the goals and are accountable for the implementation of our sustainable policies.
- We monitor, reduce and manage waste in a responsible way (we purchase products which are less damaging to the environment such as soap and detergents we buy from companies that offer this kind of products to clean the office and our vehicles. We are planning to buy a water spring to have drinking water at the office and reduce the use of plastic). – We measure our use of natural resources especially energy and look for ways to reduce them (our office is very small, about 50 m2, and half of our staff works from home in order to reduce the energy consumption and heating/ cooling system). – We purchase local products where we can and limit the use of small packaging (use of recycled paper, use of fountain water in order to avoid the use of plastic, use of reusable coffee cups or recycled paper coffee cups, use of recycled toilet paper, etc.).
- We respect our employees, their diversity and advance their wellbeing wherever we can.
- We share best practices and raise awareness on sustainability among our teams and partners, for example being part of the RETE ECOTURISMO SARDEGNA.
- We communicate on our achievements against our sustainable goals, internally and externally thorough reporting at least once a year.
- We share our best practices on social networks: events, excursions, trash-collecting campaigns, etc.
Excursions/facilities and suppliers
- Travel Designer Sardinia prefers to work with locally owned companies; (hotels, farmhouses, restaurants, craft shops, artistic and cultural centres)
- I put my clients and guests first and foremost during the activities, informing them well of my mission.
- I verify that the trips I organize do not have negative effects on the environment or society, particularly sensitive activities that can bring travelers into contact with wildlife, local animals, communities, etc
- I promote responsible tourism in the sector and towards the interested parties with whom I interact in the area.
- I promote positive changes within the supply chain by monitoring their sustainable practices.
- I support projects aimed at local development and challenge the right encouragement for job opportunities and the advancement of well-being in Sardinia.
Transport and activities in the area
- I mainly organize tailor-made tours/activities for small groups/families and individuals, trying to avoid mass tourism to preserve nature and the places visited during tours and day excursions.
- I encourage our customers to come by ferry by taking their car – thus being less expensive and having less environmental impact – sometimes I try to encourage customers to come by train/ship and use public transport but unfortunately it is not always possible because our public transport network is not efficient enough – in this case however I plan a specific itinerary with the points reachable by public transport.
- I only work with locals, since I have a very small agency and I only operate in Sardinia. Because they are the local people who know their territory and can convey the island better than anyone and above all working only with locals means that I provide jobs and employment to our people in Sardinia.
- I involve qualified people looking for work by helping them to create new and original activities/paths, obviously tested by myself and tailor-made based on the client’s needs.
- The multiculturalism of myself and of various collaborators is very positive and is a strong point because I am able to learn the needs of customers better. I myself was born and raised in Belgium so I know the northern culture well. As well as many other collaborators, especially the guides who are multicultural (Italian – German/Spanish/French etc…)
I always support environmental and biodiversity protection. One amongst us holds a Masters in Environmental Sciences and his knowledge makes it easier to transmit these values to our partners and clients. We do not allow the purchase of souvenirs containing threatened flora and fauna species, any illegally obtained historic/archaeological artefacts, drugs or illegal substances, and abide by local and international laws in place to prevent this. We inform our clients about the fact that it is forbidden to take with them anything found in nature: fauna, flora, stones, sand, stalagmites, stalactites, coral, etc. There are severe fines in these cases.
- I usually start the excursions from one starting point so in this way they share the means of transport with more people. (e.g. the supplier picks up people at one meeting point, thus avoiding all participants taking their car to go on the excursion). I therefore encourage joining a group so as not to book an exclusive tour so they share cars or Jeeps.
- I propose much more bike/kajak/trekking & hike excursions to avoid the use of motor vehicles, preferred by many customers.
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA seeks to create a tourism supply chain that is fully sustainable. Accommodations have an important role in achieving this goal and is encouraged and motivated to adopt sustainable practices. My suppliers whether hotels, guides, etc. they have environmental sensitivity even if not many of them have an official certificate.
- I work mainly with small family-run accomodations that have a high environmental sensitivity, use local products in the kitchen (mostly produced by themselves), hire local staff and collaborate with local guides. I try to recommend this type of accommodation and most of the time I manage to convince them because I think I adapt the right awareness process and I find that it is a fundamental factor for operators like me.
- I have developed a list of preferred accommodations, rated based on friendliness, sustainability, beauty, environment and above all a rating based on suppliers who have awareness of sustainability, which raises awareness among customers. I am continually looking for more sustainable solutions with facilities I can collaborate with.
- I check the training of employees on children’s rights and the prevention of sexual exploitation, reporting suspected cases. I support and involve stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
- Check if working hours and respect for employees are followed correctly.
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA excursion providers do not offer products or services that harm humans, animals, plants, natural resources (e.g., water/energy) or products that are socially/culturally unacceptable. No activities are offered in which wildlife is not respected in accordance with the relevant codes of conduct. Any disturbance of the natural ecosystems are minimized. I do not support the following activities:
- Hunting activities
- Visits to schools/orphanages
- Visits to specific communities for voyeurism purposes
- Animal shows (e.g. elephant shows, dolphinarium)
- Tourist trips on large boats that damage beaches and marine life
Child and compulsory labour
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA does not contract accommodations, directly nor indirectly that are involved in compulsory labour, or that employ children to complete work that is normally undertaken by adults. There are special working times and conditions for children (< 14 years old) working within the business, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and/or the ILO convention 138.
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA works only with guides certified by the Sardinia Region or Environmental Guides certified by the Sardinia Region or AIGAE (for trekking).
The guides indicated above have:
- A perfect knowledge of the area in which they work (for example, they grew up in the region or they have in-depth knowledge of the area).
- A high level of knowledge of the environment in which the tour takes place, including the surrounding nature (e.g. geography, flora, fauna) and culture (e.g. heritage sites, local communities, traditions).
- A guide license issued by the local government, national tourism council, tourism board, official guide associations or any other respected tourism authority.
- A qualification and authorization to conduct specialized activities (e.g. trekking, mountain biking, mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking).
- The guides indicated above speak:
- Local languages/dialects.
- The language of our target customers or English
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA do not offer excursions or activities where there are captive animals. The only tours where you can see animals (always in the wild) is during mountain tours, where you see horses, cows, sheep and goats. The guides are also very keen to be well informed about how the shepherds we work with treat the animals. The environmental guides, are especially careful to protect the local fauna and flora.
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA is really committed in protecting the environment. All of our guides follow this code of conduct and travellers are informed during our tours. Wildlife species are not harvested, consumed, displayed, sold, or traded, except as part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable and in compliance with local, national and international law. The supplier does not promote souvenirs or food that contain threatened flora and fauna species as indicated in the CITES treaty and the IUCN ‘Red List’. Should any such criminal behavior come to light, TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIDA reserves the right to terminate the contract without notice.
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA is committed to protecting wildlife in the environment. All our guides follow this code of conduct and travelers are informed during our tours.
Wild species are not collected, consumed, displayed, sold or traded, except as part of a regulated activity that ensures their use is sustainable and in compliance with local, national and international law. The supplier does not promote souvenirs or foods that contain endangered flora and plants and fauna species indicated in the CITES treaty and in the IUCN “Red List”. Should such behavior occur, TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA reserves the right to terminate the contract without notice.
Interactions with wildlife
Excursions that include interactions with animals comply with relevant codes of conduct. Taking into account the cumulative impact of nature tourism, the activities must not lead to any negative effects on the viability and behaviour of populations in the wild. Disturbance of natural ecosystems must be minimised, restored and compensated by a contribution to conservation management.
Support for local communities
TRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA especially promotesactivities that involve experiences in contact with local people. This makes the experience unforgettable for both the customer and the local operator, who opens up to the world and new cultures through his visit. There is a mutual exchange during which the traveler becomes a local person and the local person becomes a traveler.
These are some examples of tours in which local operators are the main actors: (some can be viewed on my website) www.traveldesignersardinia.com (in progress to expand the offer) I work tailor-made without e-commerce yet so I am public for the moment little online.
- Tour to discover the Supramonte mountains with a typical shepherd’s lunch.
- Traditional pasta workshop with tasting
- Visit to the vineyard with the farmer and with wine tasting and the possibility of having dinner among the rows of vines
- Food & Walking tour Cagliari/Alghero with local guide visiting small artisan boutiques while also supporting them
- Social dinner/lunch with the locals
- Tour with visit to the company of a cork producer, 100% sustainable material because not a single mg of material is thrown away in the production process, everything is used for different purposes: insulation, fashion, decorative objects, shoes
- Honey & beer producers
- Accessible facilities: choosing with social responsibility, consider accessibility when searching for new accommodation/activities. The collaborators are carefully chosen and are open-minded, kind and empathetic, open to diversity and other cultures.
When selecting new destinations and accommodationsTRAVEL DESIGNER SARDINIA see it as a Social and a business responsibility to consider accessibility. I have a selection of hotels and activity providers / shops that are wheelchair accessible. Our partners and collaborators are chosen with care and are open minded and kind and empathetic, open to diversity and other cultures.
Marketing and advertising
Travel Designer Sardinia guarantees that no documents, statements or other marketing and advertising publications will contain misleading information, excessive advertising and insufficient delivery. We ensure that all our staff are aware and ensure that what is on offer can be delivered easily to our customers.