Nature and Society

PROJECTS

Green impetus for holiday destinations

In recent years there has been a huge surge of interest in sustainable and responsible tourism. This can mainly be ascribed to increasingly aware and critical consumers, who wish to extend their preference for sustainable consumption to their choice of holiday. While the accommodation sector has eagerly responded to this need, the weak link in sustainable and responsible tourism in recent decades has increasingly been at the level of destinations. In many cases, the absence of sustainably-oriented policy leads to a reduction in biodiversity, nature and landscape. This has a negative effect on the destination's identity and its tourism products, resulting in fewer tourists choosing to visit.

The Green Impetus project offered destinations ways to take active steps to deal with this problem. This was done by examining possible areas of improvement related to tourism and biodiversity, and sustainability, and by expanding and showcasing good current developments and strengths.

Aim

The project aimed to implement, test and refine a number of existing programmes that provide destinations with a structured way to improve and further develop their sustainability and to communicate their efforts to the outside world. Based on the QualityDestination methodology, and in close cooperation with the participating pilot destinations, the project identified highlights, bottlenecks, wishes and areas of potential. The destinations received materials and services to work with, such as:

  • information and training materials and an online training platform which addresses the needs and wishes of the participating destinations;
  • tailor-made training on site for one or more participating destinations;
  • communication: the participation, commitment, effort and improved performance of the participating destinations were publicized through various channels.

Objectives

The project aimed to implement, test and refine a number of existing programmes that provide destinations with a structured way to improve and further develop their sustainability and to communicate their efforts to the outside world.

Outputs

  1. Training, information and capacity-building materials
    A learning toolkit was developed and made available online to create a clear overview for destinations of the requirements and specific actions for becoming a sustainable destination. Training material was made available online to give insight into links between criteria, best practices and other additional information.
  2. Tailor-made training and support
    At least one training session per destination was designed, including a suitable action plan that includes a destination-specific path to sustainability.
  3. Communication and promotion
    Each destination received a designated web page on the QualityDestination website. All measures taken towards sustainability were communicated via various media such as Facebook, the QualityDestination website and newsletters of project partners. Other promotional materials were available for internal and external communication and promotion in the field of sustainable tourism through QualityDestination and its approach.

Time frame

1 July 2014 to 1 August 2015

Partners

The project was coordinated and led by the ECNC Land & Sea Group in collaboration with the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT) and Breda University of Applied Sciences (NHTV Breda).

Support

The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs