When talking about travelling around the world, we may refer to many types of travellers. On one hand you may find those who love the slow travel concept, while you could meet people that prefer being surrounded by nature. We could even talk about luxury travel. However, we wanted to bring into the table the idea that really catches Javier Garcia’s interest. That’s to say, the sustainable tourism in Madrid.
FYI, he developed this cultural, educational and touristic project in 2016, without leaving aside the most valuable part, which is the social aspect. Thus we wanted to ask him several questions about Cooltourspain. What are the steps that he achieved in order to fight for a better world? Do you think that every human being has room for improvement?
To start with, let’s give our readers a glimpse of what they’ll read along this article:
- How could we define what sustainability means?
- Every little thing matters
- Examples of responsibles actions
Why did you decide to allign Cooltourspain with the sustainable tourism in Madrid?
By the time Cooltourspain was born 6 years ago, I also worked as an English language tutor & teacher. I did not only taught my knowledge to students who wanted to improve their reading, listening and speaking skills, but I also offered visitors the opportunity to visit my city differently. That was the first moment for my personal sustainable tourism approach in Madrid.
It was in 2017 when I first volunteered for a group of adults. In this sense, thanks to a former student whose little sister was Down Syndrome, I met a dozen adults with the same DNA configuration. That was an unforgettable experience! I share my time with them talking about graffiti. We all participated on a free street art tour around Lavapies, talking the artistic festivals present in the neighborhood, and analyzing the problems that the society faces in the XXI century. However, that wasn’t all. We had the chance to spray paint in their facilities too.
Consequently, taking this story into account, I could affirm that Cooltourspain was already taking the lead at that moment. We did it because our contribution to a social cause. That’s our core values. We love helping others, using our time wisely, promoting the real free tour concept. If only people cared more about others, we could live in a better world.
How could your visitors commit to responsible and meaningful travel?
To start with, I should mention that we differentiate between a traveller and a simple tourist. Don’t you? To us, committing to the sustainable tourism in Madrid would be the perfect way to act as a traveller, interested in the local scene, its people, and their struggles. There’s a lot to do, and even visitors could take their part into changing the world.
For instance, you could commit with the local communities by meeting NGO’s and offering your time to a volunteering project like ours. Then, why don’t you book a table at restaurants which use proximity trade products, instead of big chanes? What about participating at experiences which do not promote massive tourism? I.e not joining tours which count with only 1 guide for more than 18 participants.
Above all, our readers should know that just for the fact of booking our daily street art tours in Madrid, they’re partly contributing to the cause. Not only because they will discover the Spanish capital city differently, but also because their money will be later reimbursed on the guided visits we offer for free to people. Have you ever heard about the 2030 agenda?
Street art tours and other sustainable tourism options in Madrid
Cooltourspain’s sustainable tourism options in Madrid do not limit themselves to contemporary art. That’s to say, graffiti and street art. As a matter of fact, we use feminism and labor-related components to talk about people’s rights. You should join one of our guided visits to explore the hidden and not well known stories from our ancestors. (Re)discover the Spanish history.
For your information, we first hosted our feminist tour in Madrid because of our fight against a patriarchal society. Today, the experience still counts with the same spirit, raising the group’s voices in favor of the ones who suffer domestic violence. We believe that education is the most powerful tool to talk about injustices.
Apart from that, Emilio is an LGBTQ activist who shares his architectural knowledge with our guests, talking about the history that is hidden in the faccades and other building walls located in the city center. It’s a great way to talk about relevant events such as the Spanish Civil War and its impact into the city. Could you recall any famous construction works which were damaged because of fire/bombs?
What are the organizations that have collaborated with our project?
So far, we’ve hosted free activities for groups of people who may suffer, or might be under a risk, because of several reasons. More precisely, our sustainable tourism in Madrid has already offered the opportunity to discover its streets alternatively, to users who visited us from:
Thus if you are by any chance reading this article, and you belong/work at any of these associations, NGOs, we’d then suggest you to contact us. Please do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending us a whatsapp message to +34638399784. We’re just a click away from partnering with your organization. Would you be interested?
Why is ‘Madrid Convention Bureau’ interested in Cooltourspain’s sustainable tourism approach?
Without noticying the value of our sustainable in Madrid, we attended Barcelona’s IBTM fair. In other words, one of the largests events in our country focused on professional tourism, DMC and MICE. It was there where we met other international, national and local colleagues. Among them, we greeted a member from Madrid Convention Bureau, who invited us to a formar meeting at the city hall.
From the beginning, we had a clear idea. That’s to say, integrating the local communities into the services offered to worldwide visitors. What we did was simple. We grouped them together, so that the final customer actually get to put into practice what we believe sustainability officially means.
Both Cooltourspain and MCB called that a ‘legacy’ activity. A different way to talk about it, would be by creating an impact for the local citizens, by the people who visit us. Isn’t that an activity which best helps the purpose?
Are your official guides committed as well?
Taking into consideration that we pay a lot of attention to what our services want to transmit, we only count with certified and licensed guides. They work for professional guiding associations such as APIT or CEFAPIT. So that’s what you should expect, only 100% quality experiences. To us, the sustainable tourism in Madrid might also be a chance to walk around the most important cultural highlights in town.
They share our values, and that’s the reason why he hire them. We promote 5 stars activities, even for those who cannot afford to access a museum like Museo del Prado, or Reina Sofia. Don’t you see that money might be a barrier for education? Consequently, if we educated people, then we will be challening the world with global citizens worried about others. The official guides are committed towards excellency.
What’s the most important feature within the sustainable tourism in Madrid?
From our point of view, taking people out of their common routines might be challenging. However, if that helps them evading from the daily life situation they live in, the better. Achieving it, it’s no hard thing for our team of professional guides as they engage groups with questions. The sustainable tourism in Madrid is one of the topics discussed, and participants will have to share their opinion and justification with others.
Later, you could also find out that we’re proud to support local community related projects. That’s where we come from, and we believe into the self-sustained system. We collaborate with an NGO called Culturas Unidas, localted in Lavapies district. Among others, migrant family members and low-socioeconomic groups usually attend their services. So we’ve partnered with them to run these legacy experiences.
They join our street art guided visits and the graffiti workshops. On one hand they discover the city with a different point of view, and on the other, they get to spray paint with local graffiti writers and street art artists. Participants decorate on both walls and 100% cotton tote bags designed with recycled stencils and water colored markers.
Last but not least, what are you trying to achieve?
Javier Garcia shared with us his idea. According to his words, “What I am really willing to make is a change into people’s lives. I remember once that a 13 years old kid said that he would like to bring her sister into the tour in the future. And she did. We all enjoyed the activity and at the end they personally thank me for my time. At the age of 12 and 13!” That’s a real example of sustainable tourism in Madrid. Children enjoying because of a volunteering programme.
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the sustainable tourism in Madrid
We believe that if you want a change to happen, that has to start with you. Then, we took the lead onto the purpose of modifying people’s hapiness. That’s how we believe the sustinable tourism in Madrid should be. What do you think? Leave us your comments below. We’d be happy to read your thoughts.