Mission Statement

History

Our Own Expedition is a local agency with over 20 years of experience in creating unique trips for travelers; it was founded in 1994 by Auron Tare, during a time when only adventurous travelers dared to visit Albania.  We are the only tour operator in the country that evolved out of “sharing our story:” about how Butrint National Park was created by the leadership of Auron Tare and his committed staff.  Auron was instrumental in creating Butrint National Park into a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a Ramsar protected area. Today, Butrint is the ideal model of sustainability in the country and well recognized around the world. We aim to protect, promote, and preserve all of the nation’s historical and cultural sites throughout all of our tours.
Our Own Expeditions’ reputation for organizing customized tours, exclusive events, and authentic experiences is unprecedented. One of the first expeditions organized was with the Smithsonian Museum. We have worked with Save Venice FoundationNational Geographic, British Museum, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Religious Science and Environment Foundation, UNESCO, World Bank, Oak Foundation, Packard Humanity, and USA National Park Service, and many more. We are actively involved with developing sustainable programs with organizations such as BCTV by developing “voluntour” projects in the south.

“We are more than just another Tour operator. Our mission is to bring the proper type of tourism into Albania as well as learn from the mistakes that other countries struggle with today. We practice Geotourism in everything we do”. Recommended by publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Herald Tribune, The Independent, Daily Mail, CNN Traveler, New York Times, “our tours are focused on the interest of our guests as well as introducing the cultural and natural beauty of the country. We strongly believe that today’s travelers seek a purpose by exploring a new culture, discovering the past or experiencing the beauty of a site” – (Auron Tare).

Our Own Expeditions

…is a specialized tour operator that focuses on providing an authentic Albanian experience while preserving our cultural heritage and respecting our natural resources. We are committed to the highest quality satisfaction for our guests while giving back to the local community. We promote, preserve and protect our culture heritage with every tour that we operate.

Being a responsible tour operator is the essence of our tours. Aside from creating impactful experiences we are also local consumers.  That is why OE is committed to being a responsible consumer. All of our tours we seek out SLOW FOOD members who are committed establishments/persons that have collectively made the choice to influence the way local food is cultivated, produced and consumed. This Slow Food movement is just  one way of protecting our local culture. What better way of doing that than offering wholesome food that is grown locally in harmony with our nature, climate and seasons. This is a sure recipe for providing good healthy food, tastier food with the best quality.  Our Own Expeditions  strongly promotes the Slow Food Movement in Albania.

Protect, Preserve, Promote

Geotourism

Our Own Expeditions is a boutique travel operator that believes in geotourism principles. As Country Directors of the Western Balkans Land of Discovery  (www.balkansgeotourism.travel) web-portal created by National Geographic, we champion geoourism principles every day, through every tour. Our work is most gratifying when we can share the history, food, wine, arts, music, ancient traditions and the natural wonders of the country with our fellow travelers. Whether you are a history enthusiast, engage in adventure travel, want to experience the true local culture or consider yourself  a “foodie,” we will create something special for you or your group. Our ongoing current tour offerings reinforce our deep commitment to historic preservation and sustainability. We are excited to share with you our exclusive tours and programs designed, each and every time, in collaboration with our guests.  
Our Own Expeditions has been actively involved in developing sustainable programs since the company started. Long before all the sustainable associations and organizations around the world started certification programs, Our Own Expeditions was already doing it. We have built two grade schools and one hospital with the support of Shin-Tu Foundation from Japan. Today, over 25 families benefit directly from the “handicraft center” that has been established in Butrint National Park. Every tour, excursion, program and event we offer gives back to the local community. We are using local hotels, service providers, local produce and more importantly engaging the local people (villagers, local professionals, students etc.) by training them as an extension of our team. Albanians around the world are known for their strong family unit and warm hospitality. We operate our company the same way.  

Sustainability

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