After receiving certification training from the British tour operator Exodus, CSTI hosted a familiarization trip for 8 Exodus-certified guides to test tours developed by CSTI. Based on their experience, Exodus selected two tours for inclusion in their catalogue which is viewed internationally. The first tour is an 8-day trek throughout Montenegro, focusing on the north; the second is 13-day regional discovery tour that includes Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia (Dubrovnik). The tours can be viewed at http://www.exodus.co.uk/brochure-request.html in the Discovery, Wildlife and Adventure brochure (see pages 47 and 50).
This summer CSTI has supervised the first Exodus tours in Montenegro, of which one was an 8-day trek throughout Montenegro and the others were 13-day regional discovery tours. The 8-day trekking tour, entirely focuses on Montenegro by starting from the old coastal routes with their stunning views of the ancient cities of Kotor and Budva, to visits to three national parks. Guests enjoyed the scenery which is incredibly varied, from the moonscape terrain of the Adriatic Coast, to the beautiful glacier lakes and rough scree-covered slopes of the central high mountains.
In accordance to these Exodus trekking and culture discovering tours, CSTI provided support through participation, supervision, and training of the local hiking guides for this niche market. In that aspect, CSTI contributed greatly to the capacity building of local mountaineering guides that will take leadership of the groups coming to Montenegro next year.
The primary result of the project is to properly handle Exodus guests (the majority of Exodus guests come from UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand) by providing them with a satisfying experience which would lead to an increased number of trips to Montenegro and result in benefitting the local economy. In addition, by training the local guides, CSTI's for-profit partner tourism agency, Montenegro Adventures, would be qualified to directly contract Exodus, which makes a solid ground for opening part-time employment positions for the next year.