The Travelife Partner award is a recognition of our commitment towards social and environmental sustainability. We comply with more than 100 criteria related to sustainability management, office operations, working with suppliers and customer communication. We are working towards further improvements aiming to eventually reach the Travelife Certified stage.
Travelife is a three-stage certification program for tour operators and travel agents: (1) Travelife Engaged (2) Travelife Partner and (3) Travelife Certified. We are at stage 2, Travelife Partner, and are working to move forward to stage 3, Travelife Certified.
When Ricardo Fahrig from Zbulo! was asked to identify the most important things he gained from the Summit and will be taking back with him to Albania, he responded “Confirmation of our work in Albania, key-advice on how to take our business to the next level and contacts I can rely on for help when I have reached a dead end. I made a solid set of contacts ranging from our Balkan neighbors interested in cooperation, journalists that can help to raise the profile of Albania and potential partners who found a new and unique destination. I was able to have our plans for the future peer-reviewed, was inspired by what others achieved and found partners that support our vision of tourism in Albania.”
Three Scholarships have been awarded. The Adventure Travel Trade Association’s staff and Board of Advisors voted on them based on the following criteria:
Demonstrated need, e.g., start-ups, non-profit status, located in an emerging, but impoverished destination
Potential for positive impact on local cultural, ecological and/or historical resources
Exemplary ecological, historical and cultural practices
Exemplary efforts to work with local and indigenous peoples
Proof of the highest level of professional ethics and practices
Ability to prove how this scholarship will be used to elevate the business to a higher level of success—and how it can be utilized over the long run in order to build long-term and lasting success for the company
Zbulo offers guided, self-guided and tailored walking holidays and trekking trips as well as special interest tours in Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. At the same time, we are keen to give back to the communities we work in and with. With tourism as a tool, Zbulu solves local issues by giving the right incentives to hosts and partners, and provides meaningful experiences that focus on cross-cultural learning and mutual exchange for their guests. After the fall of communism and still in recent years, many people have left their villages. As Zbulu sees it, the new employment opportunities that responsible and sustainable tourism brings can improve the situation for these people.
Says Co-Founder Ricardo Fahrig: “With the help of the ATTA’s scholarship we can access a pool of knowledge and, in return, also add to it. By gaining insights and learning about approaches other members utilize, we hope to succeed with a new business model.”
„In einer aufstrebenden Destination wie Albanien galt bisher „Wachstum um jeden Preis“. Das Resultat: ein Anstieg der Besucherzeilen um 700% in der letzten Dekade. Die Nebeneffekte: verbaute Küstenabschnitte, soziales Ungleichgewicht, Übernutzung natürlicher Ressourcen und Entwicklungsdruck mit unvorhersehbaren soziokulturellen Folgen. Als lokaler Operator mit starken Wurzeln in den Communities mit denen wir arbeiten, fühlen wir diese negativen Auswirkungen. Tourismus verstehen wir jedoch als Werkzeug, um lokale Bedingungen zu verbessern und verfolgen dieses Ziel mit unseren Angeboten. Durch die Auszeichnung hoffen wir auch formal unser Bestreben zum nachhaltigen und verantwortungsvollen Tourismus zum Ausdruck gebracht zu haben und gut sichtbar für potentielle Partner zu platzieren. Ich erwarte durch das Networking von TourCert Kontakte zu knüpfen und besseren Zugang zu ähnlich engagierten Veranstaltern zu finden.
Zbulo! passed the assessment of and works with the following organisations: