EUSAIR TSG 4 Sustainable tourism is ready for upcomming Calls for Proposals
Press release - Zagreb, 06/10/2021
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports Republic of Croatia, coordinator of the EUSAIR Adriatic-Ionian Macro-regional Strategy's Sustainable Tourism thematic pillar and project partner in the EUSAIR Facility Point project, held the 16th meeting of the EUSAIR Sustainable Tourism Thematic Group on 5 October. In addition to the mandatory operational and technical part of the meeting, the meeting was used as an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of public sector representatives of all 9 EUSAIR countries in the field of sustainable tourism and culture, through exchange of information and knowledge, presentation of research results, monitoring and evaluation, innovation and announcements of thematic events. Beside the representatives of all 9 EUSAIR member countries, the meeting was attended by the guests from the European Commission, Danube and Alpine Macro-Regional Strategies, project development experts, innovation experts, monitoring and evaluation and communication experts engaged in the Facility Point project.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in its role of coordinator of EUSAIR thematic pillar 4 Sustainable Tourism, has actively worked with the project partners for more than a year on the development of macro-regional strategic projects that could be transferred from the project documentation to life with the support from European funds and programs.
Sustainability in curricula - form, fashion or a real desire for change?
"Progress in education in tourism sector has been slow, and sustainability is included in the curriculum of educational institutions more for form or fashion, than for real implementation and social change" - concluded Renata Tomljenović, on behalf of the Institute of Tourism, an expert engaged in developing project documentation for selected EUSAIR strategic projects while presenting one of a total of 7 projects on which the Ministry is working. The conclusion was based on the research on the position of the topic of sustainability in the educational programs of European educational institutions. Therefore, the goal of the future transnational project DES-AIR is to contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of EUSAIR countries by increasing the quality of education for integrated and sustainable destination management, smart specializations, diversification of tourism products, innovation and strengthening human capital through the development of innovative and quality educational programs within the lifelong education of future and / or existing stakeholders of the tourism sector.
Knowledge base on sustainable tourism and positive practice case studies
Monitoring and evaluation are always an opportunity for learning, and Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, from the Institute for the Development of International Relations, engaged in this field, pointed out in her presentation that just finished a knowledge base on sustainable tourism in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region will be a useful tool in the further development and implementation of topics and projects of sustainable tourism in the entire area of the macro-region. The database includes an analysis of 165 projects funded by EU funds, 182 research institutions and / or studies, 28 networks and 19 stakeholder groups.
Cultural routes as a driver of sustainable tourism development
Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute for Cultural Routes, reminded the participants of the importance of the Council of Europe cultural routes in building a European cultural identity and informed them about the current situation of the routes in the Adriatic-Ionian region. He pointed out that out of 45 cultural routes certified by the Council of Europe up to day, 24 of them pass through the Adriatic-Ionian region, but that the number of participants and stakeholders is even more important, 300 of them, who actively participate in the development and maintenance of cultural routes and doing this contribute to social and economic development of the area. "Cultural Routes were an innovative initiative 30 years ago, but they have not lost their relevance even today. By connecting several countries, routes encourage an understanding of how much we share both history and culture by encouraging the construction of a European cultural identity,” concluded Dominioni.
An insight into the activities of the Alpine (EUSALP), as well as the Danube (EUSDR) macro-regional strategies were given by the representative guests from these strategies. Bernhardt Lehofer announced the upcoming two-day conference "Healing Alps" which will be held on 8-9 October. The conference aims to position the Alpine region as a globally attractive health destination with a dynamic regional economy, especially in a post-pandemic context, with a focus on nature-based tourism and health promotion. Irine Cozma, Coordinator of Priority Area 3 "Culture, Tourism and People-to-People Contacts" of the Danube Strategy announced an interesting workshop on promoting sustainable socio-cultural tourism through cultural and cycling routes, which will take place on 12 October.
Next week is European Week of Regions and Cities
Nadine Lakhal from DG REGIO shared with the participants the latest activities of the European Commission and announced the European Week of Regions and Cities, which will be held in Brussels.
The European Commission has launched the process of developing the Tourism Transition Pathway. With it, the Commission presents several possible transition scenarios towards a more resilient, sustainable and innovative tourism ecosystem, collectively called "Vision 2030". These scenarios are described in a working paper illustrating how this pathway can be created after recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The online consultations have been completed, and the completion of the entire procedure is planned for December 2021.
The European Commission has also established cooperation between EUROSTAT and the 4 largest and most popular online platforms Booking, Airbnb, Expadia Group and Tripadvisor. The goal is to complete the database of short-stay stays in destinations, better understand the collaborative economy and develop evidence-based policies.
An online guide through EU funds for financing tourism projects through the new programming period 2021-2027 has been prepared and is available to the public to be used. The guide can help to find appropriate funding for the projects and contains links to relevant EU program websites with the latest information and more details on the programs. Those interested can also be inspired by concrete examples of projects funded by previous EU programs presented through the guide.
The European Week of Regions and Cities will be held in Brussels from 11-14 October. This year for the 19th time and within the umbrella theme "Together for Recovery“. The participation is available onsite and online.
ReRouting Tourism Conference
At the end of the 16th Thematic Steering Group meeting for the pillar fo Sustainable Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Republic of Croatia announced a three-day international conference "ReRouting Tourism" to be held in Rovinj, 24 - 26 November. The conference will be thematically oriented towards a sustainable approach to the EUSAIR area with special emphasis on sustainable tourism.