Al-Joun Forest Reserve, Jordan
Ajloun Forest Reserve is located in the north-western part of Jordan in the Ajloun highlands and covers 13 Km2. It is dominated by open woodlands of e.g., Evergreen Oak, Pine, Wild Pistachio trees. Further species of flora and fauna can be found here.
This practice example showcases the development of low impact on environment and high impact on community experiences in the protected area, aiming to extend the duration of visitors’ stay and to generate income for nature conservation and local communities. The USP of the Reserve is that it offers a slow and ecotourism experience for travellers to immerse themselves into the surrounding nature and culture through different soft and cultural activities – (easy) hiking, cooking classes, local cuisine and immersion in the landscapes by staying in the ecolodges. Some examples of the activities that can be found in the Ajloun Forest Reserve include:
A collection of trails, including: Roe Deer trail – a guided or self-guided 2km circular trail through the forest. Soap House Trail –leading through the woodlands, climbs up to 1100 m and finishes at the Soap house where local women produce soaps following traditional processes. Orjan village trail – a guided hike through wooded valleys allowing visitors to discover the local rural lifestyle of the region, accompanied by a traditional meal. Rockrose trail – a guided 8 km hike in small groups, providing an opportunity to observe diverse flowers and vegetation, depending on the season, plus offering beautiful views of the West Bank, Syria, and the Jordanian countryside, and the wine and olive press from the Byzantine and Roman eras.
Local experiences: For example, olive harvesting in local olive tree farms, organic farm experience, the farm cooking experience with a local chef who guides visitors through the process of preparing Jordanian dishes (Sajiyyeh or Gallayeh) made from local organic ingredients; The Biscuit House Experience where visitors will be guided to make their own (kusmat) bread, a traditional northern Jordanian delicacy.
Awards: Since 2018 Ajloun Forest Reserve is in the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas by the IUCN; in 2018 the protected area was awarded as one of the Top 100 sustainable destinations in the world.
Target groups: Domestic and international travellers, although the domestic group is prevailing.
Apulia Slow Travel is a small tour company, run by locals from the region, offering tailor-made tours to small groups and solo travelers to explore the rich culture and gastronomy of the southern east region of Apulia in Italy.
The USP of Apulia Slow Travel are the tailor-made and well researched experiences from a local perspective that allow visitors to connect with the visited region. This small local business is a great example of a tour company that designs its tours based on slow travel principles: clients have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the region by engaging in a variety of handpicked local cultural, natural and food experiences, by staying in authentic local accommodation (e.g., the local architectural and cultural heritage gem of Trulli) and by having enough free time during the tours. Some examples of the tours via which you can experience Apulia in a slow way include the following:
One week tour: Included is a visit to a traditional oil farm and olive oil tasting, cultural visits to quaint towns and villages. 3 full days free of activities are provided, as well as additional free afternoons or evenings, allowing time for travelers to not feel rushed.
Slow Food tour: A one-week tour in which the itinerary includes cultural tours exploring the local history and architecture; it is especially marked by immersion into authentic Slow Food places in the region with lunches and dinners planned in different restaurants in the Slow Food Movement. 3 full days are foreseen as being free of activities.
A range of additional experiences can be booked individually as extras for the private tours.
For example, wine tasting in a Trulli winery, a cooking class, or a bike tour along the ancient rural road of Via Traviana.
Target groups: Both domestic and international higher end travelers looking for slow, personalized, and authentic travel experiences. There is a special focus on solo travelers and couples, but also small or medium-sized groups.
The Amalfi Coast is a coastline stretching between the picturesque towns of Positano and Vietri Sul Mare, situated in the Campania region, Italy. It is one of Italy’s most famous tourist destinations. Authentic Amalfi coast is a project focused on promoting the hinterland of the busy and touristic coastline.
This initiative unites 94 local private, non-profit, and public actors seeking to offer an authentic and sustainable tourism alternative for the Amalfi coast. The touristic offer includes a range of soft and cultural activities, including hiking and cycling tours, cultural tours and workshops, culinary experiences, wildlife observation.
Target Groups: Domestic and international markets (focus on the German market through the partnership); higher-end cultural tourists, slow tourists. Network of specialized sustainable small and medium-sized tour operators from Germany via partnership with forum anders reisen e.v.