What’s Escapades all about?
Escapades in Greece is about authentic travel experience with premium character. We open doors of traditional family business to travelers looking for ways to experience local culture and traditions.
Hmm… Could you tell us a little bit more about it?
We offer authentic, hands on, local experiences in Greece with premium character, easy to book online. Our travel concept combines the essence of the destination, nature’s harvesting seasons and its people. Our guests look for original and meaningful experiences and ways to learn about and support the locals. With us, guests can participate in the daily lives of locals, learn how they make their products, crafts, harvest. Our travel concepts would not be possible without local hosts whom we support to enter the slow tourism industry by opening their homes, farms and workshops to travellers.
What problem/issue are you trying to solve?
1. Most travel offers in Greece are focused on mainstream activities and locations. For tourists wishing to experience authenticity away from tourist crowds, especially out off season (50% of tourists visit out of summer), there are very few options. 2. Balkans have recently emerged as tech hubs with several corporations and start-ups setting offices in the region. These companies look for ways for their teams to connect and create strong bonds closer to nature with activities fully tailored to their wishes. 3. Greece is an agricultural country, however young farmers are becoming an endangered species with just 5.2% of farmers under 35. Despite support programs for young farmers, Greece’s rural population is getting older, impacting competitiveness and sustainability of the rural economy.
What’s the solution provided by Escapades?
1. We offer an alternative travel concept to guests looking to experience authentic Greece, especially during out of season periods where travel offers are very limited and basic. 2. We offer an alternative concept for companies looking to create deeper bonds and synergies within their teams. 3. We make tourism more inclusive by creating additional income opportunities for small farm producers in link with the rising tourism trend in Greece. Our hosts, that usually have no digital presence or communication channel outside Greece, can connect to people from all over the globe, make their first export steps and get visible in social media as our targeted guests are digital savvy. We hope to motivate young adults to continue in farming business and stay in their birth places.
Sanja MalenicFounder & CEO
Sanja has lived and worked in Malaysia, Belgium, Serbia and Greece and she has travelled to more than 35 countries. She's obsessed with getting under the skin of a place, living like a local and seeking out experiences that represent the most authentic way and the essence of a place and its people. She has a strong background in project management, marketing and organizational development gained through various roles in multinational companies and NGOs.
Sanja MalenicFounder & CEO
Valia IliopoulouBusiness Development Manager
Valia has gained significant experience in managing complex energy projects in various roles for international organizations and non-profit enterprises. She has worked and lived in France, Germany, Brazil and Greece. While she was living abroad, she realized that what the majority of friends and colleagues knew about Greece were a few islands and pita-gyros! That made her incredibly disappointed, insisting that Greece has so much more to offer. In Escapades she can do exactly that: introduce travelers to the essence of Greece.