Tourism is a relatively new phenomenon and for many years, tourism was a positive story that created great job opportunities and boosted economies in small communities. The United Nation’s tourism organization UNWTO predicts that tourism worldwide will double over the next 20 years and by 2030 the number of annual international arrivals will round 1.8 billion. We have gained more money, the world has become more accessible and therefore feels much smaller and so our travel needs have grown.
However, the imprint of mass tourism is unfortunately not washed away at the same speed as our footsteps on the exotic beaches. Mass tourism has led to many negative consequences at popular tourist destinations and some tourist destinations, in Asia for example, have chosen to shut down completely for tourism due to the devastating consequences.
Respect for the population, culture and the environment.
Responsible tourism is a new phenomenon in the travel industry and in cataloniaholidaylettings.co.uk it is our prime task to contribute. Responsible tourism is tourism that respects the population and local environments, focuses on preserving the beautiful surroundings, wildlife and the greatness of national historical buildings and cultural heritage. It is a type of tourism that at the same time preserves nature and environment whilst benefiting local people.
At cataloniaholidaylettings.co.uk we only offer holiday homes in a comfortable distance from mass tourism, and we only cooperate with local homeowners so that we at the same time can benefit the locals.
Holiday homes have often been in the possession of families for centuries. The industrialization has resulted in the Catalan farmer no longer needing to have a larger group of people employed to cultivate the soil. And so several of the country homes (masias) that had been owned for generations suddenly stood empty. At the same time, several Catalan land workers lost their jobs in agriculture, and the additional "emigration" has threatened to depopulate these areas. However, with careful restoration of the houses, beautiful country homes have been preserved and have created a tourism that has brought life and revenue to the local area.
A local and attractive tourism that maintains the cultural heritage and preserves the beautiful houses.
The Catalan government has supported the respectful and careful renovation of these beautiful holiday homes, which are all located in very scenic settings. The aim of the renovation is to ensure that the population in the future, supplemented by tourism, will be able to continue the Spanish country life and preserve as many of the cultural-historical homes as possible.
This ensures that the delicate cultural heritage represented by the Catalan rural population is guaranteed. To ensure that the restoration retains its original style, an RCP certification system has been created, and only approved homes can market with this protected title, known in Spain. Many of the houses at cataloniaholidaylettings.co.uk. are RCP approved.
Tourism is now largely contributing to growth, and the slowly increased tourism has given many locals courage to establish different sights and activities aimed at the area's guests. The Pyrenees is an area with plenty of possibilities during both summer and winter. In addition, many have learned from the explosive mass tourism of the Costa Brava, which unfortunately has threatened the national heritage. And nowadays large portions of the income from tourism on the Costa Brava coast do not support the country, but instead investors and foreign hoteliers. Cataloniaholidaylettings.co.uk does not want to support this form of tourism.
Catalonia Holiday Lettings cooperates with local homeowners and others from the local area and we are pleased to contribute to the preservation of the Catalan culture and beautiful scenery. We support the local activities by informing our guests and by making tailor made arrangements that suit the type of guests who typically rent our houses.
It is therefore a viable tourism, viewed from an economic and social point of view, which does not detract from the value of the environment or the local culture.
How can you, as a guest, be a responsible tourist and contribute to the preservation of the local culture?
As tourists, we would like to experience unique, foreign places, whilst still being able to live in proper conditions. We fully understand this! However, please remember that as a guest visiting another culture, we may have to face other conditions. Your WIFI might be of a different quality to what you are used to, the water pressure in your shower may be different and the mattress may not have the measurements as your own. In the United States, for example, they have extremely large beds, while a double bed in Spain and France rarely is larger than 140 cm. The insects are just a little bigger in southern Europe and on the countryside there might be flies and grazing cows in sight. Respect the country you are visiting - after all we travel with the purpose of experiencing diversity!
As a guest, with a local homeowner, you have a unique opportunity to come close to the culture. It may be possible that your homeowners do not fluently understand English or speak Spanish and Catalan. It's not a shortcoming - we're just a phone call away if a problem arises. The vast majority of guests come home with pleasant experiences with homeowners, where a primitive dialogue has given loving holiday memories.
We believe that travel and learning should go hand in hand. Therefore, we find it very important to providing the most comprehensive and true picture of the holiday homes we represent. We believe that dialogue is important for both guests and hosts so that you both learn something during your visit. If you have questions before choosing a holiday home in Catalonia, we will always answer as accurately as possible, our most important goal is to pair the right house with the right group!
It is the cultural heritage that we often seek as it is what makes our travels captivating, so this also leaves us with a responsibility... and believe us when we say that with more than 15,000 visitors every year we know that when a holiday is amongst locals that the wonderufl memories are created!
Have a fantastic and responsible holiday!
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