Cobblestone Freeway delivers far more than just standard, run-of-the-mill travel tours. To innovate cultural tourism, & travel Vince Rees, Cultural Specialist & Travel Enthusiast, developed Eco-Ethno Tourism: a unique travel approach combining elements of rural exploration, folkloric experiences, environmental care, and cultural apprehension. The individual concepts of eco tourism and ethno tourism intertwine and form a cohesive style of tourism that focuses on presenting travellers to the heart and soul peoples of a nation who embody that nation’s culture.

Eco tourism, also known as green tourism, rural tourism, or small village tourism, is an approach to cultural travel that values the exploration of village and folk heritages located in rural settings. In close association with the increasingly popular “slow movement,” a cultural shift towards slowing down life’s pace, eco tourism focuses on allowing travellers to experience a simpler, more “handmade” way of life. Through the visiting of locations outside of major urban centers, travellers get the opportunity to witness how life once was or how life could have been while also encouraging rural communities, through tourist dollars and expression of appreciation, to sustain and continue on old-world traditions and culture. Vince strongly believes that pride is the first step to preservation.

Ethno tourism, on the other hand, is simply the exploration and experience of a nation’s traditions, architecture, dialect, and overall culture. While Cobblestone Freeway takes its travellers through monumental cities, world-renowned museums, and historic landmarks, Vince favours the cultural experiences that can be discovered outside of city limits and beyond the tourist attractions and staples. Large cities offer a glimpse into the culture of a nation, of course, but Vince assures travellers will find the purest experience of cultures concentrated and rooted in rural settings. Says Vince, “it was in the villages and small towns where artisans and artists mastered their crafts centuries ago, and travellers can discover and experience first-hand the food, music, dance, traditions, architecture, and culture of a nation preserved and untouched by time in those rural locations and communities”.

Vince believes Eco-Ethno Tourism is interconnected in its foundation in that an ethnic group cannot exist without an ecosystem to support it. Beyond that relationship, eco tourism and ethno tourism intertwine to form a rousing travel approach that combines the visitation of rural and folk heritages with a focus on extensive cultural experience. Cobblestone Freeway also strives to allow travellers the experience of the “slow movement” through Eco-Ethno Tourism’s attention to detail and prioritization of interaction with old-world communities. “I like providing travellers enough time at each destination to truly soak up the local culture. I want you to stray from the tourism standard of taking a photograph of the Eiffel Tower and moving on to the next country and instead enjoy a thorough experience of each location,” says Vince.

In its essence, Eco-Ethno Tourism aims to present travellers with the heart and soul peoples of a nation who embody that nation’s culture. They collectively personify the food, music, dance, tradition, and culture of the old world as well as offer a special glimpse into humanity’s past. Vince recollects that his passion leading up to the development of Eco-Ethno Tourism likely emerged during his time as a young Ukrainian dancer. While performing on stage he would imagine life back in the historical periods of when these dances and performances were originally arranged. This enticed him to travel to Ukraine in the early 1990s after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in an attempt to discover the last remnants of the historical periods he once envisioned. Vince found that time moves much slower in rural locations where old-world traditions and cultures can be found, which led to his aspirations of sharing these awe-inspiring destinations with others while they are still present and available. He does not shy away from the unfortunate fact that cultures are continuously changing and disappearing in the modern world.

Through Eco-Ethno Tourism, Cobblestone Freeway offers travellers insightful cultural journeys through outstanding locations untouched by time. The travel tours can be life changing, profound, and even emotional experiences for those who attend. In a world that is constantly speeding up and progressing, it is important to slow down and experience the simplicity of how life was in the past. Eco-Ethno Tourism is an innovating approach to cultural tourism that ensures travellers with experiences of the new, old way of life.

Experience Eco Ethno Tourism with Fall Fantasy and Balkan Journeys, now booking for September 2016.

Contact us today to learn more about these and other amazing travel experiences.

Cobblestone Freeway Tours combines awe-inspiring experiences of the old world with the comfort and modernity of the new. Founded in 2011 by Vincent Rees, devoted cultural specialist and travel enthusiast, Cobblestone Freeway has since grown into a global company offering travellers unique and handcrafted cultural experiences around the world in a variety of destinations.

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