Meet TheVagar team: the Portugal Biosphere Consultant
Today we spoke with our expert consultant, who told us a bit about her experience with us. Adriana Travasso is a mother, a person who is curious about various subjects, a lover of trains and loves to know everything that is new in the Centre of Portugal, as far as tourism is concerned.
1. Tell us a bit about the work you do at Biosphere Portugal and how you identify with its purpose in implementing sustainability in Portugal's tourism business.
Biosphere Portugal, responsible for Certification in Portugal, is the only company in our country to grant certification in terms of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. Therefore, sustainability is not only about the environmental aspect, because this is perhaps the easiest to implement. Tourism businesses should value two major potentials in their surroundings: the local economy and society. If, on the one hand, these make the product more dynamic and differentiated, on the other, a circular economy is being created. In this way, society feels an integral part of the tourist experience of visitors. So, for me, it makes every sense to work with the certification of companies that value what they have around them, contributing to the enrichment of both parties: tourists and local residents.
2. How did the opportunity to work towards sustainability at TheVagar arise?
Besides Marta and André having been my degree colleagues and having a close friendship, ever since I got to know the project I was sure that we could breathe sustainability into it. This can be seen in details that go from the reconstruction of the building, to the choice of decorative materials, to the reuse of spaces, among many other examples that are aligned with the Biosphere standards.
3. What mostly motivated you to get into this project and why?
For its dimension and ambition, but also for the owners' vision. Every piece of land, every spring of water is thought out and optimised to the maximum, as is the concept that is lived here.
4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced at TheVagar and how did you overcome it?
Work on Certification before the project was actually up and running. The collection of some evidence was only possible after the opening of the space, but there were other themes that we were developing in the meantime. We focused, in particular, on Digital Economy and implemented very good ideas, which make TheVagar a consistent and sustainable project.
5. How do you describe the relationship you have established with Marta and André, as well as the rest of TheVagar team?
Listening carefully to Marta and André's dream for this space allowed me to understand, from an early stage, the determination they put into it on a daily basis. Their concern for sustainability has always been present. In addition, the young, dynamic and versatile team at TheVagar transmits a proximity to the consultant, everyone is receptive and interacts with the ideas that are discussed, whether in terms of good environmental practices or in terms of the operation. Therefore, I can only evaluate this relationship as very healthy and happy.
6. How has TheVagar allowed you to grow as a professional?
It allowed me to consolidate the idea that anything is possible. That we should put our maximum effort into a project. That rigour and ambition can actually make us successful professionals.
7. What was your main concern when implementing sustainability in this mountain range and how did you achieve it?
Transparency in the communication of the message to the client. Every idea, every action that Marta and André have in terms of sustainability, should be passed on through the company's communication strategy, showing concern for future generations, whether through agricultural practices, the reconstruction of the house or the operation. The solution is to adopt a careful, rigorous and well-thought-out marketing strategy, which we are always designing, analysing and restructuring based on this principle.
8. According to your vast experience working with tourism companies, what distinguishes TheVagar in terms of sustainability?
It's exactly what I said before: here we don't want to "just recycle rubbish". Since the first day of work in this company, I have seen this in every employee and in every idea of Marta and André. The construction materials, the decorative objects, the trails through the mountains, the water that is scattered along the paths and, above all, the involvement that the client will have during his stay regarding sustainability.
9. More than a TheVagar partner, do you consider yourself a TheVagar customer?
Absolutely. Working in the area of sustainability, I am increasingly looking for places that effectively care about their "footprint", but at the same time seek to "make" the customer think in a more conscious way. TheVagar invites its customers to slow down, to reflect on their busy lifestyle, on which sustainability is also based, as it goes far beyond environmental practices.
10. Tell us about the most unexpected episode you' ve had in the implementation of the sustainability concept at TheVagar that you would like to share with us.
I think this is the funniest one and one that will last forever. Since we started working during the construction of TheVagar, our "office" was always different in each session, that is, as the works progressed, we had to leave one space to go to another, so that the builders could do their work. In addition, the desk and chairs we worked on also varied. We sat on buckets of paint and sacks of cement. The work always flowed normally. The highlight was when the workers, during their break, invited us to have a good cup of coffee with them.
Thanks Adriana! Without you TheVagar wouldn't be so lively!