Many of us consider Romania a place where people and nature have learn to coexist in harmony, by minimizing man’s often harmful influence on the environment. Fortunately, Romania owns the widest virgin forest areas in Europe and the largest populations of brown bears and wolves on the continent, as well as rural communities which have managed to preserve a traditional lifestyle. However, Romanian economy becomes more competitive year after year, and the transformations undergone by society are inevitable, therefore differences between countries become less and less evident, in a constant competition of markets and statistics.
The increasingly fragile environment we live in urges us to assume the principle of responsibility at all levels. Rolandia is one of the few tour operators on the Romanian market involved in the promotion of responsible travel. Actually, our activity revolves around three basic principles:
Passing on the cultural heritage
Nowadays, regional identity is ever so often challenged by foreign influences as part of a globalization process that tends to bring about socio-cultural uniformity, by imposing behavioral patterns. Beyond the apparent advantages, long-term losses are significant and they are more visible in communities distinguished by unique traditional elements which have been preserved unaltered for hundreds of years. In this respect, we encourage local communities to identify authentic aspects of culture and civilization inherited from previous generations, elements conferring authenticity and encompassing the cultural and spiritual heritage. In creating holiday packages, Rolandia focuses on high-quality services, exquisite sights and original experience with a view to reveal the genuine, unspoilt, cosmetic-free Romania. The appreciation of tourists will certainly support the social and material conditions for this type of tourism and reinforce the locals’ pride and feeling of belonging to their community. In fact, Rolandia takes a step forward and actually involves the locals in the tourist activities whether it’s about accommodation, traditional means of transport, sampling local cuisine or attending various workshops.
Customs and traditions, crafts, traditional dances or folk costumes, all contribute to forging the identity of a Romanian community. The type of tourism promoted by Rolandia highlights the above mentioned values and has a say in raising awareness on and preserving the cultural heritage. Among the benefits, the members of the community become more interested in preserving their local heritage, find the necessary resources for a balanced lifestyle and become motivated not to leave their home. Moreover, the holiday packages provided by Rolandia facilitate the tourists’ interaction with the countryside dwellers – local artisans, craftsmen and craftswomen; moreover, foreign travelers have the unique chance to get a hands-on experience of traditional crafts: they take part in workshops displaying traditional techniques for processing clay and wood, sample traditional cuisine or attend special events such as a wedding or a christening mass. Tourists can also buy souvenirs such as handmade or artisan objects and they’re invited to try the tasty traditional foods, supporting the local economy.
Rolandia promotes the principle of preservation which focuses on the relationship between man and nature, encouraging traditional agricultural activities with a minimal environmental impact. In this regard, visitors are asked to respect nature and attempt to reduce their impact on natural and cultural objectives, by following a simple set of rules.
Along with preserving the present day’s customs and traditions, it is important for a community to ensure the unaltered passage from one generation to another, but also to anyone who takes an interest in the local culture. The frail balance between prosperity and sustainable development tends to jeopardize the traditional lifestyle; however, when original, genuine aspects of local identity are threathened to be erased by globalization, it is time to take steps. This is why Rolandia makes it its mission to encourage those activities and practices that help maintaining traditions and do not interfere with the community’s balanced lifestyle. Prior to their visit, tourists are informed about relevant customs or local rules of conduct.
Starting from these three principles, Rolandia offers an innovative, genuine experience travel for tourists who choose Romania as their destination.