The Sunvil Group – a collection of sustainably-minded tour operators – introduces a range of green initiatives across Greece for Make Holidays Greener Month and champions its owner-managed properties around the world
July is Make Holidays Greener Month, a consumer awareness campaign led by The Travel Foundation which aims to increase the ways that local communities can benefit from our holidays. A pioneer in the world of responsible travel, Sunvil unveils a range of initiatives to help develop sustainable tourism in Greece – from promoting local produce to donating items to orphanages – and reminds us of its eco-friendly work worldwide.
From its very inception in 1970, Sunvil Holidays has worked to establish long-term partnerships with its accommodation suppliers and local agents in the destinations it features. Driven by a passion to design sustainable programmes that have a positive impact on local communities abroad, Sunvil has developed an in-depth knowledge of every country it features, helping it to offer travellers an authentic taste of the real destinations it serves.
Says Noel Josephides, Sunvil’s Managing Director: “Across all of our programmes we have chosen properties that are owned and managed by local people. Not only does this ensure that the money from our holidays stays within the host community but we feel that our clients enjoy and benefit from a more personal kind of service during their stay. Furthermore, our local representatives in Greece – many of whom live there all year round – become part of the local community and invest both time and effort into making sustainable tourism work. This year, our representatives have excelled themselves in their involvement with Make Holidays Greener Month.”
Here’s a flavour of what Sunvil’s representatives in Greece will be doing:
- Alonissos: Sunvil will be promoting items made by the local ladies’ co-operative, including honey, jams and liqueurs.
- Tolon: Items left behind (unwanted) by Sunvil clients will be donated to a local orphanage.
- Skiathos: Travellers can support the local dog sanctuary by offering to take dogs for walks.
- Kefalonia: Guests are encouraged to leave behind old beach towels which are given to KATS Animal Charity.
- Lemnos: Sunvil reps will be starting a book library where guests can swap their holiday novels – the more dog-eared of which will be recycled appropriately.
- Crete: The Afrodite Apartments will set up a ‘swap shop’ where guests can swap unwanted items, such as leftover suntan lotion.
- Peloponnese: Sunvil reps will display artwork by local artists and will arrange an evening event at a local taverna where guests can sample authentic dishes and local delicacies.
Here are just a few examples of how Sunvil’s sustainable tourism model works with owner-managed properties across many of its destinations worldwide.
GREECE | Stephanou Inn, Peloponnese. The owner, Ms Angelique Stephanou, goes above and beyond for her guests to ensure that they have a wonderful stay in the Mani region. Homemade cakes and pies are served and she’s always on hand to share stories and information about her home country. Located in the archetypal sleepy Greek fishing village of Aghios Nikolaos, just 200m from the harbour, seven nights’ B&B cost from £713 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire. Call Sunvil Holidays on 020 8758 4758 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
PORTUGAL | Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Alentejo. A family-owned country estate set deep in the heart of the Alentejo, the Malhadinha is an award-winning vineyard and producer of cured hams from its organically reared Alentejo black pigs. The estate is as self-sufficient as possible, with much of its organic produce featuring on the menu in its gourmet restaurant. Even the spa features the estate’s own olive oil and grape seeds from the wine produced. A luxurious seven-night stay costs from £1,154 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), B&B accommodation, car hire and complimentary tasting dinner & tea degustation. Call Sunvil Discovery on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
SWEDEN | Ängavellen, Skåne. An organic farm estate surrounded by unspoiled Swedish countryside; owner Rolf Axel Nordstrom and his family have built their property based on their ecological and organic beliefs. In the restaurant 100% of the meat on the menu is organically sourced and accompanied by homemade bread and cheese as well as home-grown herbs, carrots, asparagus, parsnips and mustard seeds – a mouthwatering delight. Seven nights on the farm cost from £1,011 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), B&B and car hire. Contact Sunvil Discovery on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
FAROE ISLANDS | Hotel Streym, Torshavn. Like staying with old friends, owner Svend and his son-in-law Jens are always willing to share stories of their life in the Faroese archipelago and to advise guests on the key sites to visit. Enjoy a short break island-hopping, hiking through volcanic scenery, walking in green valleys and bird-watching. A three-night stay at Hotel Streym, Tórshavn, costs from £530 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), B&B and shared transfers. Call Sunvil Discovery on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
SICILY | Villa Flavia, Milazzo. A font of all knowledge when it comes to all things Sicilian, no-one is as passionate about their home country as owner Aldo Bevacqua. Whether you wish to know about Horatio Nelson and his relationship with the Mediterranean island, where the best vineyards are or which beaches and villages to visit in the surrounding area, Aldo is your man! Stay at the tranquil Villa Flavia where seven nights’ self-catering cost from £531 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire. Contact Sunvil Discovery on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
COSTA RICA | Tiskita Jungle Lodge, Punta Banc. Owned and managed by the Aspinall family, the Tiskita Lodge is a 16-room property located in the middle of a private 400-acre forest reserve. Over many years, the Aspinall family and The Tiskita Foundation have purchased 125 acres of land for reforestation, educated hunters of turtles to become guides, and have set up the Punto Banco health clinic. Sunvil Traveller donates $10 for every guest staying at the lodge. A 14-night wildlife itinerary with three nights at the Tiskita Jungle Lodge costs from £3,296 pp (two sharing) including accommodation, some meals, international return flights, private transfers and excursions. Call Sunvil Traveller on 020 8758 4774 (www.sunvil.co.uk/latinamerica).
NAMIBIA | Nhoma Camp, Bushmanland. Tourism that gawps is not a good example to children. Tourism that gets involved and gives due importance to a people’s traditional skills, however, is. Sunvil’s sister company, Expert Africa, has been sending families to Bushmanland for nearly 15 years, to spend time with the bushmen. It’s exciting and enlightening, and extremely humbling. Run by Arno and Estelle Oosthuysen (who have worked with and to the benefit of the bushmen in this area for 16 years), a 13-night self-drive trip including three nights at the Nhoma Camp (www.expertafrica.com/lodge/Nhoma_Camp.htm) costs from £2,778 pp (two sharing) including flights (Heathrow), B&B accommodation, various other meals and car hire. Call Expert Africa on 020 8232 9777 (www.expertafrica.com).
In aid of Make Holidays Greener Month, staff at Sunvil HQ will be swapping cars and travelling to work using more sustainable modes of transport with the aim of saving 1,987 miles (the distance from the company’s Old Isleworth offices to Athens). Follow their progress on Facebook and @SunvilTeam on Twitter.
Ends – 17 July 2012
Notes to editors: As a fully-bonded tour operator (ABTA, AITO and ATOL protected), Sunvil offers full financial security.
Press: For more information, please contact Anthony Sebastian at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email email@example.com.