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Ecotourism

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Ecotourism

Ecotourism

Pensiunea Potcoava SRL respects the principles of ecotourism and carries out activities with a positive impact on the environment and on the local community, generating added value in the local economy.

Pensiunea Potcoava offers tourist services with minimal impact on nature and wants to increase the quality of life in the community of which it is part through a correct attitude towards employees and the promotion of local products, culture and traditions.

At Potcoava we believe in responsible tourism, we encourage the tourist development of the area and we generate income and jobs for the community we are in.

Objectives

  • conservation of natural resources and reduction of impact on the environment
  • stimulating local community development through employment of personnel from local communities and promotion of local culture and traditions
  • ensuring safe and high quality services
  • employees and tourists benefit from work safety and activity programme safety, respectively

Action plan

1. Conservation of natural resources and reduction of impact on the environment

In order to reduce water consumption we take the following measures:

  • we use ceramic filter taps and reduced water pressure taps;
  • we use toilet bowls with controllable water flow;
  • we have showers in bathrooms rather than bathtubs;
  • we use a reduced amount of water for plants (water-dropping systems);
  • we have automatic waterers for horses (low water consumption);
  • we collect rainwater and use it for lawn irrigation;
  • we adopt other measures to limit the amount of used water; we display notices about reduction of water consumption;
  • we encourage customers to use the towels for several days;
  • wastewater is treated in a treatment plant.

Reduction of the amount of waste and refuse:

  • we buy materials in such a way as to avoid excessive packaging;
  • we do our best to use biodegradable packaging;
  • we use only reusable or biodegradable recipients;
  • we use disposable items (utensils and recipients) only in special situations, at most once/person/tour;
  • we are in the process of implementing a complex waste management system;
  • we collect and remove all the waste encountered on our way;
  • we make compost out of organic waste.

Reduction of energy consumption:

  • we use over 90% led light;
  • most rooms are ventilated naturally;
  • during the day only natural light is used (as far as possible);
  • we use solar energy;
  • loss of heat through windows and doors is reduced through adequate sealing;
  • a trained employee is responsible for making energy consumption more efficient;
  • heat is produced and distributed through central heating systems;
  • the electrical equipment is class A “energy efficient”;
  • the building is made at least 50% of wood or other natural material;
  • we encourage employees to get to work by bike;
  • all the vehicles are well maintained (up-to-date technical inspection);
  • when choosing and / or buying vehicles, efficient fuel consumption will be taken into account;
  • we use vehicles that do not consume more than 10 litres / 100 km.

Reduction of impact on air, soil and water:

  • tourist facilities and activities (e.g. building, paths) do not lead to change of land use, change in water courses, total displacement of vegetation, etc.;
  • we use fences, hedges, barriers or other adequate signs to maintain traffic in defined areas for certain categories of users;
  • we only deposit waste in specially designed places;
  • the normal level of noise produced by Potcoava activities does not go significantly beyond the background noise of the area;
  • service and maintenance facilities that generate noise soundproofed or located so as not to disturb the quiet areas;
  • we offer tourists the possibility to enjoy the „peace of nature”;
  • there are no obnoxious smells associated with air-polluting emissions;
  • no waste is incinerated.

2. Stimulating local community development through hiring personnel from local communities and promoting local culture and traditions.

Stimulating local community development is done through the following actions:
  • we use the services of riding monitors in the area;
  • we use the services of other local people (the entire staff employed at Potcoava lives in the area);
  • we hire daily staff from the area for certain activities;
  • we encourage the purchase of local products and gifts; we work with a potter from the area who comes weekly and promotes his services and products
  • we use other local services (e.g. hiring bikes, carts etc.);
  • we contribute financially to the creation of local infrastructure or local events (e.g. festivals and other local traditions); we organize annually Haidook Summer Fest, a festival dedicated to horse enthusiasts).
  • we offer the opportunity of practice to students/young people who live in the area, in order to have some work experience in the field of ecotourism (we have a volunteer program designed to help young people have a good experience in the field of ecotourism).
Promotion of local culture  and traditions:
  • we communicate to tourists a code of behaviour that needs adopting within the local community;
  • we serve food specific to the area;
  • we purchase local products as far as possible: souvenirs, food and drink etc.

3. Ensuring safe and high quality services

  • we have done a risk analysis which contains activities that have an impact on the environment and on the work safety, and measures to counterbalance these risks have been identified;
  • in case of unforeseen circumstances we have a person in charge of resolving the problem as soon as possible;
  • tourists have access to a list of contact people in case of emergency that includes: fire guard service; natural area administration, mountain rescue, hospital, others;
  • all the employees of the company carry „safety equipment” in case it might be necessary;
  • proper use of equipment is explained by the manager of the company or firm / specially trained people;
  • at least one employee of the company has been trained to give first aid and to take part in the activities that involve first aid. The first aid kit is available at any time and kept somewhere accessible;
  • Horseback riding activities at Potcoava are carried out only in the presence of qualified personnel and with the use of safety equipment.

4. Employees and tourists benefit from both work place safety and safety of the activities they take part in.

  • the company and all the employees are insured according to the category of activities they organise and take part in, respectively;
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