Transylvania Live is a member of Responsible Travel, an organization based in UK.
Responsible tourism good practices means leaving a positive impact on not only the environment, but also the people who live in the places we choose to visit.
See our company presentation on Responsible Travel organization website here responsibletravel.com
What is our Responsible Travel Policy
Transylvania Live is a licensed tour operator – no 112.
Our agency abides by the rules set by the Romanian Tourism Ministry and European Union.
What makes us different from other tour operators is that we’re not “forcing” our tourist to make two payments, one in tourist’s country and another one in Romania, without invoice for expanses such as for the guide’s services etc.
This is a common practice among tour operators that supports work on black market and deprives the country of money that can be used to improve the conditions for both locals and tourists.
Our agency provides a stable, rewording working place for 9 people.
Get most out of your holiday whilst giving a little back to the communities and environment you visit.
Transylvania Live is a tour operator specializing in travel to Romania.
With our roots firmly set in Transylvania and working closely with our international partners, we are fully committed to operating a Responsible Travel Policy that is supportive of local economies, cultures and the environment.
We recognize how profound the affects of tourism can be, and our aim is to promote the positive impacts that tourism brings to the local and global community alike.
To plan for an equitable, long-term future, all of us need to help develop and support the principles of sustainable tourism by, firstly, recognizing our responsibilities.
Although there are no simply solutions in realizing the hotly debated principles of sustainable tourism, it is our belief that there are many simple steps that industry and individuals can take to ensure that the positive impacts are maximized and the negative minimized.
To help realize this, Transylvania Live has adopted a three tiered approach:
- Economic Responsibility; it is important that the benefits brought by tourism do benefit the communities being visited, not only increasing employment opportunities, but also by supporting local businesses and suppliers, many of which are family run. A common phenomenon is that the revenue generated is ‘leaked’ out of the country or regions actually being visited, often harming small communities more than benefiting them.
- Environmental Responsibility; our guests are offered advice and suggestions on how to be a responsible traveller and by improving their knowledge about the villages and regions they visit: considering tradition, culture, language, economy, history and current issues.
- Social Commitments and Charity; our aims to help preserve and promote Romanian traditions whilst supporting positive community development, which in turn, helps to protect the natural environment. Prior to our guests’ arrival we ensure that our suppliers, staff and guides are fully informed about our Responsible Travel Policy. We offer valuable support to Turda’s Saint Daniels Foundation; using ecologically friendly building techniques, including their own organic vegetable garden, they provide vital homes for the elderly and orphans.
Preserving the natural environment is inextricably linked to supporting local economies.
If managed carefully, tourism is a way of generating income with excellent long-term prospects which help communities to protect their environment for future generations.
We actively encourage our guest to buy locally produced foods and handicrafts.
Our tour groups are small allowing people to interact more easily with the local people.
All our guides are Romanian and can advise guests on local customs as well as help them to break down language barriers.
Using locally run businesses, and small family run businesses means the revenue generated is well dispersed into communities where it is needed the most.
Further more, being based in Romania, Transylvania Live appeals only to the help of local guides in Romania and we work only with local suppliers so that money will stay where needed.
Transylvania Live works with country-inns, guest houses, peasant houses, most of them located in rural areas, as all these places have a great respect for the environment: the food is mostly organic, they try to minimise as much as possible the amount of electricity used, most of these places do not have central heating and for domestic works use water from wells.
We recognise how profound the effects of tourism can be so we rather operate with small groups, always make sure that our tourists have a recyclable garbage bag and that the waste will be disposed only on the special arranged areas, our tourists receive prior to their arrival in Romania, a document – Responsible Tips for Responsible Travellers- offering them advice and suggestions on how to be a responsible traveller and improve their knowledge about the regions they visit; keeping to tracks, not disturbing wildlife and using biodegradable hygiene products are measures that we take for our walking tours.
Social Commitments and Charity
Transylvania Live is very active within the community and help to sustain our region through a wide variety of civic projects: Saint Daniels’s Foundation in Turda, providing homes for elderly and orphans, the workshop of Emil Muresan, the painter who uses spider web for his work are only a few examples.
It is normal for our tours to visit places in need of support and revenue generated by tourism, which in turn help maintains peoples’ livelihoods and natural environment.
We support Saint Daniel’s Foundation program entitled “A grandfather for a nephew – A nephew for a grandfather”.
With 4 Eco-friendly home already complete 5 more homes are being built to house people most in need; orphans and the elderly.
To this highly innovative project we offer continuous administrative support and have donate food and drinks for the visiting sponsors.
We are co-founders of Turda’s much needed Tourist Information Centre.
Read our Responsible Travel Policy
Our guests are encouraged to do a little reading before coming to find out more about their host communities and environment.
We provide suggestion on how best to support the local economies and communities, as well as the surrounding environment.
Guests can expect a pre-trip information pack via e-mail, to minimise the use of paper, which will inform them about issues relating to the place they intend to travel, some language tips and general advice.
Furthermore our tour guides are well-educated multilingual people who can offer guests their skills as an interpreter and offer up-to-date details on current national and regional issues.
Before you travel, find out a bit more about Romania’s cultures, religion, history, politics, geography and customs.
Read our general information pack and detailed itinerary of your chosen tour destinations.
Libraries are also great places to find more information and find travel books for Romania.
Learn a few Romanian words and phrases – included in our pre-trip information pack.
For those of you who want to take it a step further, language courses can be ordered from most libraries.
Support the local economies so that the money generated stays in the communities you are visiting:
Buy locally made handicrafts and locally produced foods (mostly organic). Where possible (and mostly it is) we advise and arrange for our guests to stay in locally run country-inns or hotels.
Pay a fair price for goods and services.
Bear in mind that most of the crafts, clothing and carpets on a sale are hand made using lengthy traditional processes.
Expect to pay a high price, they are superb in quality and help to preserve local traditions and economies supporting are long list of people in their community.
Ask for permission before you take photographs of people.
Always keep an open mind and try to reserve making any hasty judgements.
Don’t make promises you can’t or are not likely to keep, like sending photographs or letters.
As hard as it is, we advise you not to give money to beggars. In many cases, young children are often sent to beg on behalf of extensive and organised criminal networks, also preventing them from attending school which is provided for by the state.
If you want to give something make it something practical like food or stationary or donate to our charity which supports children and elderly people who are in dire need.
Alternatively, you can make donations to community elders or to person in charge of the project you would like to donate to.
If you want to support a local community or environmental project we are always happy to provide you with suggestions.
Romania waste management systems still leave much to be desired.
Try to minimize the amount of rubbish you produce by using your own bag at the market or in the shops.
Refill you water bottles. The tap water is fine to drink and Romania is covered with fresh water springs and wells –the water is rich in minerals- but first ensure that it is safe to drink (ask a local or bring some water purification tablets).
Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Using local produce will also go a long way in reducing both packaging and the amount of fuel used to transport the produce.
Simply, use your common sense and take your rubbish with you.
When in a museum first ask if it is permitted to take photographs.
Many museums or heritage sites also ask for a small fee if you use your camera or video-recorder.
Be honest – remember the money is put towards restoration and preservation projects.
Even though many of the artifacts are openly displayed, please do not touch them to help ensure their longevity.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask question and enjoy yourself!
Responsibility begins at home
We are committed to operating a Responsible travel policy within our office.
Converting paper files to electronic files is a great way to save time but most importantly give the trees a break.
We try to minimize the amount of paper used for office work and rely mostly on computer.
The paper resulted from office work is entirely recycled.
We’re also reusing paper, and when printing draft copies always use the reverse side of the already-used paper.
We know our guests would rather enjoy the shade of a thick forest instead of a printed pamphlet so we have decided last year to only use electronic brochures for marketing purposes.
In order to save energy we’re using mostly laptops computers as these use only 10% of the energy required by desktop computers, always activate our computer’s ”sleep”´ mode option so that when the machine is not being used, it will automatically switch from full power to sleep mode.
For energy efficiency we have chosen an inkjet fax machine as these machines have a low standby energy rating and use about 10% of the energy required by laser fax machines.
Furthermore we have assigned a person inside the office to be responsible for turning off lights, computers, whenever these machines are not used to save energy.
The same person makes sure that our taps are properly closed and the heat system is used only when needed.
In order to reduce air pollution we try to conduct our meetings by telephone, web conference when possible.