Nowadays, almost every tour operator claims to be ‘sustainable’ and ‘responsible’, but at Genius Loci Travel this are not just words !
The background of our company is different. Before starting to organise tours, our staff members worked in nature conservation, land use planning, rural development and environmental protection and this still shows in many of our tours….
We have founded our company, GENIUS LOCI TURISMO, based in Salerno, between the Amalfi Coast and the Cilento National Park, with the aim of promoting sustainable forms of tourism in Italy. For example through the planning of networks of footpaths & trails, and the actual cleaning and waymarking of many of these – in collaboration with the local authorities and local population.
GENIUS LOCI TURISMO is still active as a consultancy firm, but nowadays its main activity is the organisation of ‘active’ sustainable holidays, walking & cycling tours mainly and since a number of years also sea kayaking tours; over the years we have become one of Italy’s foremost ‘active’ tour operators.
This is done under the name of GENIUS LOCI TRAVEL , a fully licensed tour operator. We are indeed a professional tour operator – and create our own tours! – rather than just an internet travel site!
Our aim is to discover for you those places where you can feel and taste the ‘real spirit’ of southern Italy. Off the beaten track, in unknown parts of Italy, but even close to known tourist areas we discover those authentic places most tourist don’t get to!
Tours for real travellers, who seek out both the highlights of a destination and true experiences of local culture – in ways that benefit local communities. Tours from Genius Loci Travel not only deliver authentic local experiences to our clients, but we also take active steps to care for the destination they travel to.
With sustainable tourism we intend not only to save natural areas from more destructive forms of exploitation, but also where possible to improve the economic and social conditions of the local communities, safeguarding the local traditions and culture.
These, together with the beautiful natural environment are considered the basis make Italy one of the most ideal places on earth to spend a relaxing and interesting holiday.
Tours organised by Genius Loci Travel on behalf of foreign tour operators, have been certified in several countries, by the different national authorities on sustainable tourism (e.g. in France by the ATR). Several of our partners, selling our tours, have won ‘sustainable tourism awards’. And most of our partners donate part of their revenues to Trusts or Foundations with a social, economic or environmental cause.
We are proud of our selection of accommodations. As stated by some of our clients: one of our strengths lies in the careful selection of the right accommodation for the type of tour, the type of clients and the type of area. Not the obvious places, but small, well-situated, often family-run places, with a personal welcome. Many are located in historical buildings or placed in exceptional spots, blended into the surrounding landscape.
All give you the feeling of being truly in Italy, and not in just another hotel anywhere in the world. All represent the best price/quality ratio the area offers and they all employ local people.
On the whole and for these reasons we try to avoid chain and big name hotels. Many of our hoteliers are walkers themselves and take an active and helpful interest in our clients’ progress, and take part in environmental initiatives in their area.
Also your/our money is in good hands: as first Italian tour operator we joined the Banca Etica, Italy’s most important ‘ethical’ bank.
The Banca Etica aims towards a more transparent and responsible management of financial resources, and carefully assesses the social and environmental impacts of its investments and loans, financing many projects with social and environmental benefits.
N.B. Ethical banks are regulated by the same authorities as ‘normal’ banks and have to abide by the same rules. The main difference is that they invest their money in projects which enhance social growth (and will never invest in the arms industry).
And yes, Genius Loci Travel is a 100 % Italian company and – where Italy is notorious for its high tax evasion rate – we pay 100 % of the taxes due! (no tax havens allowed).