Laura Cimó

Laura Cimó

Locations: Italy

About Laura Cimó

Tell me a bit about yourself

Well right now I live in Umbria which is in the centre of Italy in the countryside. I am originally from Rome and I have studied,lived and travelled abroad for a few years after high school. I spent 5 years in London where I did my university degree, I studied tourism management. After that I travelled to South America where I worked in travel agencies and as a tour leader. I used to guide groups all around the Southern part of South America. I lived in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia – it was definitely a life changing experience.  I then came back here to Europe and kept working as a tour leader for another 3 years.  Surprisingly, i fell in Love with my country, Italy, again. About 1.5 years ago I set up a business in Umbria with my boyfriend because we were both working as tour leaders and we wanted to settle down. He is the cyclist, bycicles have always been he’s passione, while  I was always very interested in Italian food and wine culture. We chose Umbria as our home. We love the quietness and the beautiful green countryside and amazing food.

What inspired you to work in tourism?

At the beginning I wanted to study languages but I knew I didn’t want to study for too long.  And so I thought to choose a sector where I could combine languages, travel and also practical skills for work. So that I could find a job easily once I had finished my studies.

What do you love most about your area?

Umbria is a very different part of Italy because it is sort of untouched. We have this kind of quite feeling here. There is tourism of course, but not a kind of mass tourism, so even big big groups are difficult to find here. Also the culture seems to be still intact and the people are very attached to their origins and traditions. Here was definitely a good place to offer small and local tours in a sustainable way.

Why is sustainability important to you?

Sustainability is something that we are very interested in particularly in regard to tourism. I did some experiences in NGOs which was a different sector to tourism as it was focused around humanitarianism but this has shaped my interest in responsible tourism. We definitely wanted to do the tours with bikes and do things local so that we could uphold these values. We realised that combining these values could create something nice and something that people can truly enjoy. Especially during the high season of tourism, doing the tours sustainably helps to preserve the area. These tours also help to benefit the area by attracting tourists that will spend money in the local restaurants and shops and that money will stay in the area because there are not big chain companies. By offering the tours is benefits us economically but it also benefits the local people that we work with for our experiences as well.