Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Success Story
New Entrepreneur (NE): Constantinescu Alexandru Rafael
Name of business: Daydreaming Travellers
Host Entrepreneur (HE): Giulia Tenuzzo
Name of business: Salento Bici Tour
Details of exchange:
Date of exchange: 14.09.2021 – 26.11.2021
Duration of exchange: 2.5 months
Specific activity/sector of exchange: Cycling Tours – Tourism
The exchange took place between two participants operating in the tourism industry: Salento Bici Tour (HE) – a local tour operator from Southern Italy, Salento Region, specialized in cycling and trekking tours in the region, and Daydreaming Travellers (NE), an intermediary reseller of a local travel agency in Oradea, Romania, developing new entrepreneurial skills. The match was done through the Erasmus Platform, and the mutual decision to get involved in this match was the developing process of managing policies that support the development of responsible and sustainable tourism within the business operating procedures that would directly and positively impact the region where activities are developed. Salento Bici Tour (HE) is already acting as a responsible business providing direct benefits to local entrepreneurs in Salento Region. Daydreaming Travellers is currently developing various acting strategies and guidelines to support responsible travel at the destination level. Since both businesses are oriented towards the same vision for managing their activities, a fruitful exchange would positively impact both participants.
During the exchange, there were various and distinctive activities where both entrepreneurs had to bring up their best. The exchange took place between September and November, some of the busiest months of HE, considering the favorable weather to cycle. Special attention has been paid to customer arrivals in order to ensure the entire bike equipment is well prepared, as well as the information used to brief the customers. Furthermore, proper baggage logistics had to be maintained so that bags were moved around resorts in time for customer arrivals. The NE and HE, together with the team, participated in weekly meetings in order to prepare for the upcoming week, divide tasks and responsibilities, prepare the upcoming trips and excursions, and so on.
The NE was directly involved in managing the relationships with local stakeholders (B&Bs, local restaurants, local cheese and wine producers, tourist attractions, and so on) to ensure they were prepared for customer arrivals.
The NE represented HE business at the Rimini Tourism Fair to promote the business internationally.
Benefits and Impact, from the new entrepreneur’s perspective
During the exchange, it has been concluded that involving local stakeholders in daily activities positively impacts the experience customers have in the destination. Furthermore, this provides many benefits to the local economy and international recognition of the region.
Further collaboration will be based on promoting and organizing bike groups in Italy, where the NE will be in charge of gathering the people. The HE will support NE in developing this type of business in his own country, provide contacts to support this development, and provide expertise where needed.
Participation at the International Tourism Fair has been a significant experience in understanding the means through which proper promotion and development of international relations are done.
Innovation plays a critical role in developing new ways of conducting business. In this case, developing responsible tourism in the Salento region is an innovative perspective to promote the region, bring benefits to the local economy and social life, but also to preserve the environment by reducing pollution levels generated by tourism in general. Furthermore, biking proves to be a healthy alternative to spend a holiday, accessing remote areas in the regions, to spend the day without worrying about a fixed programme. There are countless benefits cycling tourism can bring to a certain region. But in order to develop this type of travel, you need to know your target market. Therefore, the exchange was beneficial to the NE as he could gain expertise in choosing the markets that would buy these types of products.
“The experience has been a constructive one. It was an important milestone in understanding procedures that can facilitate the development of responsible tourism within the business. During the exchange I was given the opportunity to make new contacts, to meet other businesses that organise bike tours in Italy, to develop my own entrepreneurial skills.”
“Alex has been a very positive presence. We had very good feedback from clients of Alex: he has been very professional and made a positive impact on them every time there was the chance for him to be in direct contact with them. Furthermore, his presence positively influenced the English level of the team.”