The proposed project plans to highlight and tackle somewhat some of the major problems, limitations and challenges that the European community is facing regarding eco - tourism The actions fall well in to the major priority areas of EU i.e. “Blue & Green” sectors and in fact is important for tourism and visitors, both within but also from outside EU, The issues, situation and problems are however still governed by the state of the environment now and in the future, all of which is directly affecting the quality of life for its citizens. Identification of the various “actors” involved, indirect or direct in eco tourism is also one of the major and necessary aims. To aim is to make the presently existing visitors and potential individuals or groups of eco-tourists aware of the areas and sites of prime interest. This in turn will lead to increased inward tourism spending in the respective NSR countries. The project aims also to create partnerships between organizations; public, private and in specific sectors such as the nature conservation & preservation, hospitality and tour planning) who are direct or indirect responsible for destination tourism marketing. Targeted areas in the respective NSR countries are those where eco-nature tourism offers a sustainable output to stimulate jobs and economic growth especially in rural areas.
Description Enhancing the eco-nature tourism potential of the region through cooperation initiatives in better preservation and sustainable utilization of natural and cultural heritage. The proposed project plans to highlight and tackle somewhat some of the major problems, limitations and challenges that the European community is facing regarding eco – tourism. The actions fall well in to the major priority areas of EU i.e. “Blue & Green” sectors and in fact is important for tourism and visitors, both within but also from outside EU, The issues, situation and problems are however still governed by the state of the environment now and in the future, all of which is directly affecting the quality of life for its citizens. In the North Sea Region alone there are large disparities and imbalance in the extent to which these addressed problems are tackled, achieved results and lack of universal common sense and natural actions. Thus SWOT analysis of the situation in the involved regions shall be implemented in the project. The existing problems need to be clearly monitored, identified and documented and measures must be proposed to bring about radical and lasting economic & environmental changes to achieve a high enhancement of an acceptable level of sustainability acceptability and accessibility. It is impossible and quite unrealistic to cover all areas and in all of the EU countries so it is important right from the beginning to concentrate on a few major areas where there are feasible possibilities to address the situation. These should also reflect the experience, competency and expert knowledge that the involved partners have either in their own organization or among their associated partners, stakeholders (both public and private), relevant contacts (such as external experts in nature-related actors) and areas of interest. Tourism is an important economic sector in EU as it creates both jobs and economical opportunities, not least for the tourism – related small and medium sized companies (SMEs) but also for the municipalities where tourism is important. It is also a valuable source of opportunities to involve many in the communities such as the 65+ seniors that often skilled and experienced experts in specific and relevant areas of eco tourism and who are also extremely willing and interested to assist for example with relevant information, guiding, seminars etc. The 7 countries in the North Sea Region, especially the capital cities and other areas of prime interest, attract many visitors not only from within their own country and region but also from other EU countries as well as from outside EU from example Asia and North America. The main attractions seem to be the historical and culture destinations as shown from the many cruise ships that stop off in the major coastal cities such as Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, but also the major ports in Germany, Poland and in the three Baltic countries. There is a lot of available information both on various websites but also in the form of brochures etc, although it should clearly pointed out that such information is not always or is necessarily translated into any or all of the major EU languages. The available publicity and information does somewhat touch on the green sector by highlighting the wonderful beaches, spas ands other similar places. All such activities mainly benefit the tour arrangers, larger hotels, restaurants and not the small SMEs, stakeholders and service providers such as B& Bs particularly in the rural areas. However there exists a very large opportunity to attract eco-tourists as well. For example, rambling. biking, camping, hiking and kayaking/canoe “trails”, visiting available shipwrecks, visiting nature reserves or other nature protected areas etc are seldom mentioned or highlighted despite the fact that there is an ever increasing number of people (and families) that seek to participate in such activities and in visiting other destinations. Such eco-tourists can very well and often include botanists and/or ornithologists with a prime interest in the rich fauna and flora in a specific country or region. Especially the nature in the North Sea Region is relatively un-spoilt (and unpolluted) and rich in content and certainly falls into the Green sector & Well-being. There are many areas and objects that are easily accessible even though many are “off the beaten track” and not necessarily besides the main roads and highways but which are normally signposted as well with information signboards and in some cases with suitable nearby parking area, at or near the respective sites. Many of the sites that are interested for bird-watchers and have observation towers and other sites have marked trails making observations of birds, mammals, insects and flora easy. Some of the areas in marsh or wetlands are equipped with wooden planking trails/paths and some of these are even designed and constructed for disabled persons thus making the sites completely accessible for all. Some of the sites also lie adjacent to Nature “rooms” or museums. Many of the sites are already declared as protected National Parks, nature reserves or nature protected areas. These are often listed in the region’s/country’s websites as well as in the lists over for example EU’s Natura2000 sites. Lists over typical fauna & flora species of interest are usually available in nature “museums, tourist bureaus or from local or regional nature conservation organisations and/or associations or local or regional experts. Nature conservation and creation of sustainable eco-tourism sites has often very high priority in most of the countries, regions and individual municipalities.
Through close co-operation between the Project Partners and their respective regions and through specific actions such as conferences, seminars, workshops and study visits certain important goals will be achieved: 1) Identification of relevant information to be made available regarding the easy access of eco-tourist nature sites for the eco-tourist(s). This should include the specific needs or requests from eco-nature tourists and include recommendation of touring itineraries etc. 2) Increase the attractiveness and image of the regions and municipalities as a competitive actor in regards to all-round tourism and in particular wellbeing/eco-tourism and to create good publicity. 3) Increase the capacity of the SMEs operating in this particular service sector for example in the hospitality sector or those involved, public or private, in nature conservation in the North Sea Region to offer sustainable products and services in green eco-tourism for wellbeing. 4) Attain good cooperation in the regions through cross-border co-operation, transfer and exchange of knowledge, know-how, relative already recorded best practice and other experiences between the SMEs, other private actors and public authorities, organizations and associations. 5 ) Increase in the awareness of and the need for continued nature conservation measures where there are ever present issues involving destruction or threat to already protected or potential threat to protected areas, habitats and species and thereby indirect threats to eco-tourism. 6) Creating a document(s) over the present situation and to achieve a lasting and sustainable recommendation and/or suggestions. 7) Provide for or propose suitable training to those involved in eco-nature tourism especially those who manage the sites, nature museums, tourist bureaus etc. Once this material has been obtained and documented by the appointed working group(s) it shall be summarised and translated into a common language, say English and thereafter distribute the findings to the involved Project Partners and Associated Partners for their appraisal and approval. Thereafter decide on suitable common policy regarding for example recommendations towards marketing and promotional campaigns towards attaining sustainable eco-tourism in the NSR.
What is the need for this project?
The question and issues to be addressed and asked are why and how to make all of this relevant information available to the eco-tourist? It is a well known fact that that there is an ever increasing interest in eco-nature tourism and is regarded as one of the fastest growing tourism market segments in the world, and provides a substantial and sustainable possibility for economic growth in areas, especially rural, that maybe experiencing economic decrease through increased tourism competition or other factors. Many of those involved in tourism are often unaware of the increased interest in eco-nature tourism or even which objects, destinations or sites of interest in their own region. Many also lack sufficient experience or understanding of international marketing in order to “sell in” what their regions can offer to the potential eco-nature tourist. One tends to forget that those tourists that visit an area to experience cultural or historical attractions are or could be interested also in the region’s nature and wildlife. The first and main task of the project is to be the identification of objects and areas of potential interest to the prospective eco-tourist. This would be followed by preparing the necessary and relevant documentation by compiling an inventory of which and where the green/eco-tourist objects/sites and attractions are located in each of the regions down to the municipal level where there is a lot of interesting and relevant public documentation including that on the prevailing and relevant nature environment and conservation.
Build with nature
Sustainable environmental management
MarketingmHospitalty sector, rural areas,tour arrangers, tourist bureaus, nature museums, info centr
Partners Found Already
Reliable and experienced partners from Sweden and also possibly Denmark
Experienced organisations, associations, SMEs, nature expert groups who are involved, directly or indirectly in tourism especially eco and/or nature tourism.in the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, N/NE Germany and Belgium
Deperndent on the structure of the Project consortium