OUR RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICY
Go Cycle and Go Hike tours is proud to promote both sustainable and responsible tourism from the seat of a bike or in your hiking boots.
Our goal is to promote the cycling and hiking paradises we have discovered for our tours, in a sustainable, responsible way; supporting the local community and businesses of these rural areas we have come to know and love. We understand that depopulation is a modern threat in these areas. Many of the people we partner with are young entrepreneurs who have taken the risk and made a choice to carve out their livelihood in these areas. Our tours are inspired by our love of cycling, hiking and moreover our appreciation of our natural surroundings - what better way to enjoy nature than to be a part of it in a non-invasive but positive way.
Go Cycle Tours is a collaborator and original member of the commerce association of the North Gredos region (ASENORG*) where we started our first and now flagship tour, Go Cycle Gredos. One of Go Cycle Gredos co-founders, Isabel Sanchez Tejado, is the Founder and President of ASENORG – both ASENORG and Go Cycle Gredos were incubated in parallel. You can read more about Isabel and her role in promoting sustainable tourism as a way of fighting depopulation of rural areas in our About/The R&D team section or by visiting her website www.vidaruralhoy.es (Spanish only) .
It is part of our DNA to partner with local businesses and individuals to give people an authentic experience of what the region they are visiting, is all about. We bring the people on tour together with the locals and by mid-week everybody knows everybody. This is a key differentiator of Go Cycle Tours; as founder, I leverage the relationships I have built locally and my direct involvement in each of these areas and bring it as a cornerstone piece to our tours.
All elements of our tour involve and support, locally owned businesses/individuals (hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, guides, cleaning services, transportation, other activity and service providers (spa, ziplining, horseback riding, etc), food and beverages including local breweries and wineries) to build our tour package. We purposely stage our tour out of one place to make a bigger impact on the local economy and reduce our carbon footprint driving from point A->B->C, etc.
We state that once you arrive, you only need your bike and feet to move around for the rest of the week as all rides, restaurants, activities are within walking distance. If there is a need to move people for hiking departure points, cultural or winery visits, we hire one or two vehicles (locally) to transport all people.
As cyclists and hikers, we are already keenly aware of our footprint on the environment and limiting our carbon impact. Go Cycle actively promotes reusable drinking bottles, encourages conserving water at hotels by reuse practises, etc. (as our accommodation partners do), collecting any waste or packaging when in nature and recycling/disposing of it correctly. We typically will do coffee/snack stops and lunches at cafes/restaurants, when possible, along the way to avoid consuming any prepacked foods and to support local businesses.
Our guides will brief participants on regional park, wildlife, and other preservation practises avoiding and respecting any restricted or sensitive areas.
We also strive to reduce the use of paper and printing in our office opting for e-brochures and digital media to promote. We do print a very small quantity (under 500) of one-page leaflets for people who are less digitally connected.
Go Cycle has promoted charity projects (Trampled Rose), our cyclists have attended local gastronomical events and awards ceremonies, supporting local initiatives such as the mountain broom festival in Gredos in June. We promote the local Tapas Festival via social media and all activities related to our local partners. We have agreed to promote a crowd-funding initiative to be launched in Gredos in the new year. We do tours of the UNESCO sites near our tour bases. We visit local breweries and wineries (small, off the grid projects) that promote recovery of old grape varieties and brewing or winemaking traditions. We also try to provide a connection between the different regions where we stage our tours in order to bring people in different regions together so that ideas and experiences can be exchanged and leveraged.
* The objective of ASENORG was to identify, promote and elaborate offerings around the key differentiators of the North Gredos region, involving its local businesses. These differentiators centred around cultural or geographical attributes such as the mountains for outdoor adventures, transhumance as a cultural practices to migrate cattle, gastronomy, dark skies, or the variety of birds or spectacular mountain broom. Different leaders and businesses aligned with each area to build out a strategic plan to promote these regional treasures with the objective of attracting more sustainable tourism and fighting depopulation of the area. For more information https://turismogredosnorte.com/