The Green Experience
Rural territory that under the legal umbrella of the company Ruralgimia and our green experiences project, we have:
- El Rincón de Pau+Las Casuchas: accommodation where guests have the opportunity not only to stay, but also to carry out different activities, in which, among others, are its other two lines of business which are:
- Mediterranean Bike Tours: Travel agency, which carries out bike trips of several days and allows our accommodations to benefit from these overnight stays and guests of not only our accommodations, but from the rest of the territory, can also do cycling tourism activities such as Bike&Orange, which is where the next line of business comes in…
- AGC: Farm dedicated mainly to the cultivation of oranges in which apart from marketing its own production (part of it BIO), offers guided tours and in turn makes that for every traveler who makes a bike trip with us, we plant a tree which has the opportunity to sponsor and receive at home their own fruit.
These three projects, under the same umbrella, feed off each other and add value not only to each other, of course, but also to the rest of the stakeholders in a very wide area.
Presentation of the project
Our project is located in the Valencian region of Camp de Morvedre in the municipalities of Torres Torres and Algímia d’Alfara. We are in a rural territory with an important traditional agricultural weight, but it is a sector in recession. Therefore, it is necessary to create new alternatives for local development and address problems such as depopulation, abandonment of activity or environmental problems derived from the loss of traditional management of the territory.
Our objectives focus on taking advantage of local resources such as natural and cultural heritage and traditional agriculture to link them with sectors such as tourism or recreation. Our project goes beyond mere tourist services and provides the client with an experience linked to the territory and that serves as an introduction and showcase of it. With its development, the aim is to expand, develop, innovate and implement new formulas adapted to new technologies, while offering new alternatives linked with respect for the environment and a differentiated products offer. So, we set the following objectives:
- Provide added value to the territory through the tourist use of its resources.
- Take advantage of the presence of the Ojos Negros Greenway as the backbone of our cycle tourism offer.
- Link sectors such as agriculture, cycle tourism and recreation.
- Generate our own offer of activities and accommodation, relating it to our agricultural activities.
- Be an innovative and replicable model experience that favors the development of other initiatives in the territory.
The result of our work has been the creation of 10 rural accommodations, a travel agency and the development of an innovative cycle tourism offer that includes the possibility of trips throughout the Valencian territory with stages in accommodations in various Valencian regions. Today we have a network of more than 200 travel agencies around the world specialized in cycle tourism and that market our packages. Many of these agencies have signed an agreement with us guaranteeing an annual minimum number of tourists for the activity. Our offer consists exactly of:
- agricultural exploitation
- Biker’s Boutique.
- Traveler’s Café
- Biker School.
- Cycle routes.
Currently our cooperative consists of 5 members and 6 employees. We also have various recognitions for quality and our work, such as being members of the Invat.Tur and Creaturisme networks of our regional government and we participate in the Valencian Institute of Tourism Studies. Our establishments also have recognitions such as the Q certificate for tourist quality and are included in the regional offer of “Temps d’Interior”.
LEADER has provided us with various benefits. On the one hand, it has provided us with financing for the development of various projects. On the other hand, it has also provided us with support and advice during the development of our business plan. In addition, it has also collaborated in the dissemination of our philosophy and project by including us in various promotional and technical publications. Participation in activities organized by the LAG has allowed us to establish contacts and expand our local network of work and associated products.
Our project has been innovative from various perspectives. On the one hand, it has started from a comprehensive perspective of sustainable use of multiple local resources. On the other hand, it has relied on local networks of producers and the offer of new activity services. Furthermore, we have opted to become a travel agency ourselves and market this powerful offer that was being underused.
Our proposal faces various major territorial challenges. On the one hand, it helps establish population in a territory at risk of depopulation through the creation of jobs and the hiring of auxiliary services. On the other hand, by supporting the maintenance of agricultural activity we face environmental challenges in the Mediterranean environment such as the fight against erosion, desertification, the risk of forest fires and the fight against climate change. A fight that is enhanced by our promotion of the use of a sustainable means of transportation such as the bicycle.
Likewise, we contribute to giving visibility to our territory and new forms of sustainable tourism that are frequently unknown in an area dominated by coastal sun and beach tourism. To achieve this, we rely on the use of new technologies and the continuous expansion of our networks at all levels.
Our project can be transferred from two different perspectives. On the one hand, other territories can replicate our business model in whole or in part. On the other hand, our philosophy and approach of taking advantage of local resources for their valorization on a global scale through the expansion of networks and the intensive use of innovative work and communication methodologies can also be replicated in other areas and sectors.