Innovation in Rural Tourism
Start date: Dec 1, 2012,
Many European rural mountain communities are facing challenges, exemplified by local population unaware of how to profit from local resources, leading to economic stagnation, migration, degradation and loss of natural and cultural resources or their exploitation by third parties. Research shows that Rural Tourism (RT) is an important way of economic development and diversification of rural livelihoods in the mountain areas - centres of natural and cultural heritage. But in many EU areas RT is still lacking. The gaps are: poor knowledge of the locals of ways to use local resources for RT; low awareness of market and actors, poor coordination and communication within communities and among communities on the national and regional level, poor awareness of ICT tools and lack of specific VET opportunities for residents and local public and private enterprises.The new digital media offers many possibilities for the tourism industry.Moreover, successful sustainable development initiatives require informed, representative participation and involvement of the local community; empowerment of the local population can be effectively facilitated by a third party, such as the project consortium.The project seeks to develop an innovative ICT tool-set and training method for management, distribution and marketing of tourism products and services (including an e-learning platform, sharing platform, desktop/mobile application). The ICT products and training will enable rural communities to use the new digital media to develop sustainable and beneficial RT products comprehensive and cooperative way. The project will test the method, train communities it in Poland, Romania, Italy and Austria to use the tools, support pilot RT developments in each community and connect them in the final experience exchange and networking conference.
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