Tourism and chocolate – both without any bitter aftertaste.
On the Chocolate Road: 4 days, 4000 meters of difference in altitude, 40 flavours of chocolate and 1,200 families who benefit from your indulgence. We already have almost all of the ingredients to this sweet recipe: high quality organic cocoa, carefully grown and fairly traded by the farmers of the El Ceibo cooperative; well groomed cocoa plantations inviting you to relax a while or to roll up your sleeves and get to work; truly unique and breath taking landscapes waiting to be explored; warm hearted and generous people who long for sharing their knowledge and cultures with you; and last but not least, delicious recipes with chocolate produce which want to be tried out and tasted.
The only ingredients still missing are know-how in the field of tourism and – as always – the necessary financial resources. We, the team of destination:development provide the necessary know-how. In order to raise the necessary funds, we need your help.
Who exactly do you support?
The cocoa farmers of the El Ceibo cooperative and their families by:
- making it possible for them to participate in the first inclusive workshop on intercultural communication in tourism;
- giving them the opportunity to present themselves individually and in a very personal manner to their future guests in a short cinematic and photographic portrait;
- making them part of a short documentary on the project and hence giving them the opportunity to be a part of the fund raising and the further promotion of their project.
Why this is important?
Because people need to understand each other before they can create something together. Sounds rather simple, but especially in a field like tourism it is much more complex than in any other business, because in tourism worlds literally collide. A profound understanding of those worlds and the expectation tied to them is a key factor for the Chocolate Road as we imagine it.
Once upon a time …
… there was an innovative cocoa cooperative, following the trails of an idea; a globe trotter at the brink of finishing her degree in tourism management in need of a topic for her research paper and a newspaper article about a chocolate president with a blueprint of a theme road about cocoa in his back pocket.
3 years, a field trip to Bolivia, numerous exciting interviews, a Master’s thesis and many, many e-mails and skype calls later it is settled: The dream of the Chocolate Road will become reality – though the El Ceibo cooperative and our help; mine and the help of my team from destination:development.
The face in front of the camera ...
… is mine. I am Kerstin, the globe trotter who had an open and enthusiastic ear for the idea to design a tourism destination out of the blue and into the green. I mean, how often do you get the chance to develop a whole destination, especially under such unique circumstances and in accordance with all rules of sustainability? Exactly, so I took it. Ever since, I am working hard and with great enthusiasm to make the dream of the Chocolate Road come true.
What makes me the right for the job?
First of all my enthusiasm and love for the project and the people behind it; and of course my team, because great things can only be achieved together. A Master’s degree in intercultural communication in German/English/Spanish and another in tourism management come in quite handy, too.
And these are the faces behind the scenes:
A well combined, colourful crowd full of knowledge and energy with a common dream: responsible travelling to responsible destinations.