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Start date: Oct 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Activities on fluvial tourism - river, lakes and lagoons- have a great capacity to attract visitors and generate wealth in the areas where these take place. To satisfy the increasing demand for this type tourism, the investment in facilities (e.g. ports) has been increasing significantly, and these actions have not always been carried out from an environmental point of view. At the same time tourists value more and more respectful behaviour in natural spaces and water ecosystems, which need to be protected. Protecting measures not only comprise the immediate actions, but also those measures that aim to raise awareness and information amongst all the stakeholders involved (tourist SMEs, managers and owners of river ports, experts and unemployed people in this field and other related, such the environment, local community, visitors, etc.), as well as their training and learning by user-friendly tools which promote their knowledge acquisition, the exchange of best practices and the searching of new solutions within this field. EFF tourism as such gives an answer to several important needs: EFF tourism will provide to all those involved with the skills and competences to reduce their environmental footprint. Contribute to satisfy the need of preservation and sustainability of the natural spaces and water ecosystems by boosting responsible behaviours and measures. It will help users improve their professional profiles and be more competitive, enhancing their employability. Moreover, these measures lay the foundations for new business opportunities, as well as for innovation and cooperation in this field. By giving to the target group a self-assessment tool which measures their environmental footprint on the spaces where their tourism activities are developed, EFF TOURISM aims to encourage those people who a have a low footprint to share their good practices with the rest of the community and, on the other hand, it is a warning signal for those who have a high footprint, letting them be aware that their behaviour is not sustainable and encouraging them to carry out responsible and green actions. In order to achieve these objectives, a well-balanced consortium of 7 members with the right mix of skills and knowledge: experts in environmental consultancy, in regional tourism and SMEs on fluvial tourism. All the learning & training materials provided by EFF TOURISM will contribute to improve the professional profile of those If those offering professional activities in the field of fluvial tourism sector (inland ports; SMEs; and other fluvial activities), while improving at the same time the competitiveness of the sector. Moreover, the adoption of sustainable and responsible measures usually means saving resources , more effective waste management, making the businesses be more profitable and sustainable. The generalization of these kind of behaviors among all the agents who integrate the fluvial tourism sector of a given natural space lets to improve its positioning of the area as a sustainable destination increasing thus its attractiveness as a tourism destination. It will also have a positive impact on enterprise development in the areas, as the EFF tourism results can be taken up by entrepreneurs and use as input or basis for the development of new products and services in the field of sustainable fluvial tourism. The fluvial tourists, and especially the vessel owners will benefit by reducing the carbon footprint of their vessels, taking up measures to reduce the environmental footprint can also lead to a reduction in the costs related to their activity and contribute to the protection of the so-much enjoyed water-ecosystem (and generating a sense of responsibility and pride). The latter is also true for the tourists that rents a boat/vessel or participates in an activity related to fluvial tourism. Apart from increasing the feeling of contributing to a sustainable environment and to enjoying the water-ecosystems now and in the future, they possibly will demand more sustainable tourism options thus creating a spill-over effect to other tourism services and offers in the surroundings.
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