Second virtual project meeting
On 13 and 14 July 2020, the second SUSTOURISMO project’s meeting took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The meeting was the occasion for discussing the advancements of the project’s activities, in particular the analysis of the state of the art of sustainable tourism and mobility topics and of the different case studies focussing on how to improve and promote more attractive and sustainable travel solutions in the ADRION area.
Dr. Maria Morfoulaki, head of the Sustainable Mobility Laboratory of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT), welcomed all partners and introduced the technical sessions and the main goals of the project. In particular, she underlined the importance of working on these topics especially in such a difficult time for the tourism sector due to Covid-19.
On the first day, the Institute for Transport and Logistics (ITL), WPT1 coordinator, introduced the technical activities aimed at creating the common information bases for the development of all the technical activities and pilots. In particular, ITL presented the ongoing activities that are mapping existing policies and supporting schemes related to tourism and sustainable mobility at the European, national, regional and local levels. The Central European Initiative-Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES) presented the activities related to the analysis of the existing projects and experiences on the project topics, with the aim of identifying the best and bad practices in support to the pilots’ development and implementation. The Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RDA LUR) introduced the preliminary activities about a survey that will be conducted in all project’s countries in order to map the main tourists’ needs in relation to sustainable tourism and mobility promotion. All these activities are very important, as they will provide reliable and effective information for the SUSTOURISMO App, a tool aimed at helping tourists in adapting sustainable tourism and mobility behaviours. App’s design and development is coordinated by CERTH/HIT.
After the administrative part coordinated by the lead partner, CEI-ES introduced the communication activities that due to the rational of the project are strictly linked to the technical activities, engagement and commitment from tourists and local communities is the prerequisite for successful pilots in SUSTOURISMO. The definition of effective strategies and actions to promote the project on the social networks was the main topic of discussion. In order to increase project’s visibility, specific news, newsletters and social media contents will be released. Stay tuned!
The second day of the meeting was mainly dedicated to the eight case studies. In Thessaloniki’s case study, the main idea are experiencing city by foot, enhancing urban sea transport for connecting the city with the closest beaches and examining the possibility to develop a touristic card. Epirus Region pilot will focus on improving the connections between the port of Igoumenitsa and the urban area thanks to two different pilots on the improvement of the coastal line mass transit offer and the creation of a dedicated info board on sustainable transport solutions in ports. The Emilia-Romagna case study will focus on the integration of a “regional tourism section” in the existing Mobility as a Service (Maas) App and in the definition of dedicated touristic packages for tourists, improving also the information flows on sustainable mobility and tourism possibilities in the region. The Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Region case study aims at identifying and promoting effective and attractive sustainable cross-border tourism solutions, with a specific focus on bike tours. In Ljubljana, where two partners join forces, the pilot will focus on improving the attractiveness of the bike & rail path from the main train station to the local national parks, thanks to the valorisation of the sustainable circle around Ljubljana Moors. Zadar’s pilot initial plans include increasing the bike paths coverage and examining terminals to city centre interconnectivity via public transport and sustainable modes of transport. The Municipality of Tivat, in cooperation with the municipal Tourist Organization, is working on boosting the potential of the Municipality as a tourist destination by defining three new touristic packages. In Berat’s case study, the focus is on promoting the exploration of the historical centre on foot, together with the promotion of adventurous solutions and bike tours in the city and the surrounding areas. Lastly, Belgrade plans two different pilots focusing on the development of touristic packages that would stimulate sustainable tours within the city, both walking and by bike.
The meeting continued with the presentation of the stakeholders’ consultation activities by ITL, especially on the first round tables with the key local stakeholders to be conducted in September 2020. Then, CEI-ES presented the plan for the capacity building activities, including the webinars that will have to be conduced in the next months, beginning with the first one in September 2020.
The meeting ended with the Steering Committee Group coordinated by CERTH/HIT and the plan of work for the next challenging months for SUSTOURISMO.