Sustainable transport in Tourism
There is a great need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of local transport systems in touristic regions in order to cope with the growing problems and most importantly to put emphasis on the use of alternative sustainable transport modes and/or mobility measures.
‘Greening’ seasonal traffic is not simply a task of the authorities: the main players of the transport sector, environmental organisations and the economic/touristic sector should join forces with local/regional authorities to ensure sustainable seasonal traffic. Sustainable transport is after all a market opportunity for the touristic sector, since consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the need for sustainability.
For this reason the STARTER project (IEE funded) has implemented Local Travel Plan Networks (LTPNs) and is in the process of implementing innovative mobility measures in 5 regions suffering from a steep seasonality of transport demand: Noordwijk (The Netherlands), Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain), Kos (Greece), Werfenweng (Austria) and the Balaton region (Hungary). The travel plans of these sites and an inventory of best practices will be available by the end of March 2013 on the project website. The first results concerning the effect of the measures on the local transport systems will be made available in the fall of 2013.
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Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Tourism (WERT) project
Many studies remark on the importance of women in the development of the tourism sector in rural areas in Europe. The Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Tourism (WERT) project has aimed to meet the needs and build the skills of women entrepreneurs involved in rural tourism and crafts as well as to improve the quality of training provided by the vocational education sector. The project was designed as a collaborative partnership between eight training institutions and networks from six countries across Europe: Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Spain and United Kingdom. The training course was piloted with target groups in partner countries and evaluated. The target groups were women entrepreneurs involved in rural tourism, crafts and food production and women who wish to enter the sector in order to become economically active and independent.
The project life span is over (October 2010 – September 2012), but its impact continues. A group of women entrepreneurs from Finland who participated in the pilot visited UK women entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and help each other to develop their businesses.
The WERT project has been supported by the European Union through the Leonardo da Vinci programme.
Training classes in Project Management and Sustainable Tourism
After launching on 14th November 2012 the Project Management for European Sustainable Tourism (“PM4ESD™”), currently it is being fully implementing across Europe. This project provides a new management methodology for the tourism sector. PM4ESD™ is based on PRINCE2® (Projects In Controlled Environments), a structured method for effective project management. PM4ESD™ is certified by APMG International. The qualification is aimed at project managers and aspiring project managers in the tourism industry. It is also relevant to other key staff involved in the design, development and delivery of tourism projects, including: Project Board members, Team Managers, Project Assurance, Project Support and operational line managers/staff.
The first training course took place successfully with fifteen delegates in Évora (Portugal) on 25-27 February. Next training courses will take place in Naples (Italy) 3-5 April, Barcelona (Spain) 8-10 April, Brussels (Belgium) 22-24 April and Leeds (UK) 10-12 June.
This initiative is funded by the European Union Life Long learning Programme through the project Training for European Sustainable Tourism (T4EST) managed by the project consortium partners: Frigento Municipality, JLAG, Leeds Metropolitan University and NECSTouR.
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ECOLNET: an initiative to create a strong Ecotourism in Europe
The ECOLNET project (Sep. 2010 – Sep. 2013) aims to create a European Ecotourism Network (EEN) to bring together a variety of stakeholders and develop innovative evaluation tools and learning products for sharing knowledge among the network and facilitating quality certification through the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS). The basic part of EETLS was developed by a previous Leonardo da Vinci project in compliance with the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and refined/finalised by ECOLNET.
The action is guided by five main objectives: 1) create a network based on a “community of interest”, 2) create an integrated methodology for evaluating quality standards of ecotourism services, 3) introduce a set of practical, cost-effective online evaluation tools for assessing compliance with the EETLS quality standards as well as create online learning tools to train the main stakeholders to use them, 4) create career opportunities for tourism professionals and employment prospects for SME staff in the ecotourism and sustainable tourism fields and 5) enrich the curricula of higher education and vocational training institutions in tourism.
ECOLNET has 12 partners from 9 European countries that are also founding members of EEN.
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