Siena, Toscana (I), 20th October 2011
Over the last three years, PRESERVE promoted the improvement of regional tourism policies, especially cultural and natural heritage. Having the Assembly of European Regions (AER) as the lead partner, this INTERREG IVC project allowed 13 partners, coming from 11 different territories in Europe, to exchange experiences, improve capacities and knowledge, identify and share best practices to improve local and regional tourism strategies.
“Tourism plays a crucial role in our regions: 9,7 million European citizens depend from the jobs and services if creates. PRESERVE is a symbol of what can be achieved thanks to interregional cooperation and to the tremendous diversity of our landscapes, monuments and traditions”. underlined Michèle Sabban, AER President.
Today, in the region of Toscana (I), Eurobic organised the PRESERVE closing conference in cooperation with AER, and presented the final results of the project. The “Preserve Best Practices” publication, a sample of successful examples of sustainable tourism projects, was unveiled at this occasion.
Some concrete examples, among the 24 best practices
From the region of Carinthia (A), the project “Nature Experience Carinthia”: the main success of this project was to foster a strong and innovative partnership between a wide range of different tourism stakeholders, including public and private actors, which allowed for an improved cooperation and led to a comprehensive and integrated strategy for sustainable tourism.
An example of best practice from Tuscany is the project “Ospiti di valore”, thanks to which the Province of Siena has succeeded in creating a network of tourist organisations, joined in a common respect for the values of the Terre di Siena, and raising the awareness of tourists and citizens of the need to protect the environment and the cultural heritage and identities that characterise this territory in the landscape, the art and the harmonious living.
What the partners said:
“Eurobic Toscana Sud participated in the project as a representative for the Tuscan territory, which is at the forefront of sustainable tourism practices” explained Massimo Umiliati, President of Eurobic. “Besides the peculiarities of each territory, what the project showed is how tourism, in Europe, is connected to economic development. Each European district represents one of the most beautiful territories of the world. This is the reason why it is so important to work for tourism sustainable development: territories should be valorised without perverting their nature”
“Tuscany Region is delighted to participate in this event, also to get new ideas and inputs from the results of the activities of PRESERVE” stated the Regional Minister for Tourism, Cristina Scaletti. “Since 2009 we’ve been working on the project “Sustainable and competitive touristic Tuscany”, which seeks to combine growth and sustainability. We believe that it is necessary to work for a regeneration of our touristic products, to be offered under the brand Tuscany. This evolution has to be based on the responsible use of resources, the enhancement of the identity heritage, the harmony between tourists and residents and the quality of work. The Region is following this path. For example, at the European level, Tuscany is one of the founders of the European network NECSTouR, and holds its presidency. Within this association, a lively exchange is active both among the participants and with the European and international institutions. It seems to me that there really is a great similarity between the targets and the actions of PRESERVE and those of NECSTouR” she concluded.
“Sustainability and excellence are employed, and not from today, as guiding elements for the local policies and the actions of the Province of Siena, on all fronts. They also qualify our touristic offer and reward us in the global competition. The attention that we pay, at all levels, to a land so beautiful and so fragile, like ours, represents, therefore, a great added value for the tourist of today, more and more aware, alert and sensitive to these issues.” stated the Provincial Councillor, Anna Maria Betti.
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