Sustainable tourism


Durable forest games in the Polders of Kruibeke

The works in the Polders of Kruibeke, while nearly done, are still underway and thus the area remains off-limits to the public. However, on Sunday 24 February 2013 we temporarily opened the area so local youth organisations from Great Kruibeke could participate in a game while learning about the many playing possibilities in the polders. Children between 5 and 9 retrieved the stolen winter supply of the forest inhabitants during 'hunger in the Polders', while children and teenagers between 8 and 18 years faced off against people who were illegally dumping their trash in the area, during ' Panic in the forest'! Sustainability was, of course, the main theme of the games. Each game had an important message about caring and showing respect for the environment. You can watch the video right here!

 

Broads Sustainable Tourism Strategy

As part of its reapplication for the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism the Broads Authority revised its Sustainable Tourism Strategy. Local tourism organisations were extensively consulted along with an online enterprise survey and face-to-face visitor survey. The document includes an analysis of the contribution tourism makes to the Broads economy and looks at progress achieved since the original strategy with proposals for revised aims, principles and strategic objectives for the next five years. Read the full report here.

 

 

Study Hike & Bike connections and accomodations in the Biesbosch

Parkschap Nationaal Park De Biesbosch had a study done towards improvement of the hike & bike infrasturcture in the Biesbosch. In an extensive and practical report a ‘necklace with pearls’ around the Biesbosch is presented, in which the necklace consists of pedestrian and cyclepaths with connecting ferries, and the pearls are resting points with information and overnight accommodations. The report in Dutch has an English summary.

 

Biesbosch has European Charter for Sustainable Tourism  

Europarc Federation has awarded the Biesbosch National Park the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas in 2012.

 

In the verification report the committee is very positive about the zoning principle in the Biesbosch, electric boating, the large amount of excursions, the excellent communication means, the promoting of sustainable behaviour and the innovative aspirations of the Parkschap. In the Strategy and Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism, which was the basis for the application there is a long list of actions to make the Biesbosch more sustainable, that the Parkschap is realising or will realise in cooperation with stakeholders. In five years time the weaknesses have to be overcome so the Biesbosch will be ready for renewal of the Charter.

 

Research on Communication about sustainability to visitors

What do we tell our visitors about our STEPs in sustainability? And how do we tell it? What do we do to influence the behaviour of our visitors to become more sustainable?

There are a lot of different aspects of sustainability. The STEP partners have undertaken a joint action in order to identify best practices on the communication of sustainability issues to visitors among the areas which have obtained the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. The results of this research show that most national parks only use traditional ways of telling people about sustainable issues and of influencing their behaviour (e.g. brochures, wardens). The STEP partners are looking for new ways of communication about this issue.

 

On February 14, 2012, there was a conference with workshops about communication on sustainability. In the morning there were two presentations:

* Sustainable tourism: an agent of change and positive deviance (click here for presentation)

* Social marketing in practice (click here for presentation)

 

The presentations were followed by four workshops:

* Creative ways to sustainable communication: social marketing in practice (presentation / notes)

* Gamification: engaging visitors with instant rewards (presentation / notes)

* Sustainable tourism: an agent of change and positive deviance (presentation / notes)

* Turning sustainable communication into a visitor experience: Inspiration for innovation in communicating sustainability (presentation / notes)

 

At the end of the day there was a forum discussion fed by the statements of the workshops.

 

 

Results of watersport users’ survey in the Biesbosch

The survey about users of different types of boats shows the moves and mooring behaviour of these users. It is the basis for measures of Parkschap and Staatsbosbeheer to diminish the pressure of recreation on vulnerable nature areas. For a summary in English of this report, click here.

 

Most sustainable visitor centre in Europe

In June 2011 an expert meeting took place in the Biesbosch to develop a set of conditions and requirements for the most sustainable visitor centre in Europe. Remarkable conclusion: this visitor cente is not a building but a framework of sustainability, set in motion by the partners cooperating in the Biesbosch. Therefore you will not find an overview of square meters, use of space, numbers of visitors etc. in the vision book that has been made. With inspiration images focus is on content, innovation, interaction, layout and identity. This book is one of the basis elements for making the existing and new to develope entrances to the Biesbosch more sustainable. You can download an English summary of the vision book here.

 

A few recommendations from th expert meeting:

- The (primary) functions of visitor centres move from support and inform to treat, meet and facilitate visitors;

- Enlarge the power of the brand through a recognisable visibility, hospitality and meeting places;

- The most sustainanble relationships (and partners for cooperation) are close: Get in touch with area and environment, companies etc. and make policy for relation and environment management.

 

 

Tourism and recreation in the Biesbosch, 2011

The population in the Biesbosch-region counts around 235.000 inhabitants. For the current situation the economic importance of tourism and recreation in the Biesbosch-region was analysed. You can download the full report (in Dutch) here.

 

In total there are 910 companies (4.000 jobs) in the T&R sector in the region. Almost half of the jobs are in Dordrecht. The biggest sub-sector (55%) is the catering industry. With the exception of the city of Dordrecht, the possibilities for a stay in a hotel are limited. The same goes for camping sites.

 

The total share of the T&R sector in the Biesbosch-area is 3,4%. Compared to the average in the Netherlands (5,9% in 2009) this is quite low. Also the share of the T&R sector in the economy of the region (along with the number of jobs) is slowly decreasing.

 

Parkschap Nationaal Park De Biesbosch wants to counter this development by working together with businesses to create a strong and sustainable tourist sector.

 

Broads Sustainable Tourism Strategy

As part of its reapplication for the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism the Broads Authority revised its Sustainable Tourism Strategy. Local tourism organisations were extensively consulted along with an online enterprise survey and face-to-face visitor survey. The document includes an analysis of the contribution tourism makes to the Broads economy and looks at progress achieved since the original strategy with proposals for revised aims, principles and strategic objectives for the next five years. Read the full report here.

 

STEP excursion ‘Best practices’, June 15 – 17, 2011

June 15 – 17, 2011, STEP partners made an excursion to best practices of STEP issues in The Netherlands and Flanders. Subjects visited and discussed were

bike & pedestrian ferries (Hoeksche Waard), camprafts (De Heen), floating tents (Eersel), visitor centres (Meinweg and Hoge Kempen National Parks), gateways and information points (Hoge Kempen and TOP Ameide (criteria, information board, project description, catalogue)) and ICT games (Bergen op Zoom). In all locations there was a presentation or a speech by the entrepeneur or organiser. Evenings were spent on presentations and discussions about gateways (Polders of Kruibeke) and visitor centres (Meinweg, Broads, ANB Flanders, Biesbosch Museum, general).

Among the 25 people from the different STEP areas who joined the excursion were entrepeneurs in the different areas, people from tourist offices and people working on the different projects in STEP. You can read the report here.

The things learned these days will be very useful for the further realisation of the different actions in the STEP project.

 

Research on Communication about sustainability to visitors

What do we tell our visitors about our STEPs in sustainability? And how do we tell it? What do we do to influence the behaviour of our visitors to become more sustainable?

There are a lot of different aspects of sustainability. The STEP partners are undertaking a joint action in order to identify best practices on the communication of sustainability issues to visitors among the areas which have obtained the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. The outcome of this research will help the STEP Partners prepare to meet the requisites for the European Charter. The survey consists of 13 questions and will be held summer 2011.

Depending on the results of this survey, suggestions will be made for realisation of one or more aspects of communication in the STEP areas (separately).

 

Strategy and Actionplan sustainable tourism Biesbosch

A strategy and action plan for sustainable tourism (click

here for plan) was made for the Biesbosch, as a preparation for the application for the European Charter. The plan was presented (click here for presentation and here

for pictures) to and discussed with Biesbosch entrepeneurs on April 18, 2011. The National Park wants to cooperate with businesses to form a kind of business platform, so there will be continuity in cooperation between the Park and the businesses in the actions to make the Biesbosch more sustainable.

 

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a practical management tool based on the principle of working in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to develop a common sustainable tourism strategy in protected areas. The Charter is coordinated by the Europarc Federation which represents around 440 members in 36 European countries.

 

The aim of all Charter projects is to protect natural and cultural heritage and continuously improve tourism in protected areas in terms of the environment, local population and businesses as well as visitors.

 

The Broads Authority was the first of the family of UK national park authorities to be awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas in 2006. Having held the accolade for five years, it reapplied in 2011 and was successful in having the Charter reawarded.

 

A workshop was held on the European Charter at the Biesbosch Information Centre, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, on November 26 & 27 2010. Read the report here.

 

Action plan for branding sustainable tourism

The Broads Authority and local tourism businesses have worked closely together to promote all that is best about the Broads in a new campaign which brands the area as ‘

Britain’s Magical Waterland’.

 

The campaign describes the Broads as “a magical place where land and water, people and nature meet.”

 

A branding strategist was commissioned to carry out extensive research and consultation in order to develop the brand. A logo and marketing ‘toolkit’ were then created for tourism businesses to use in their promotional material for the 2011 holiday season.

 

A launch for invited guests from the tourism and business community and members of the media was held on 1st July 2010 in Norwich. A series of presentations explained the thinking behind the brand and its importance. The new Broads tourism website www.enjoythebroads.com was also unveiled along with a drive to improve quality and visitor experience in the Broads through the UK’s first gold standard scheme to improve customer service.

 

 


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