International Food and Activity Tourism
Start date: Apr 30, 2010,
End date: Mar 31, 2013
Tourists are increasingly demanding linked & coordinated activities of higher quality not only at local level but also regionally & internationally. Local food linked to active tourism is increasingly popular but demand is for products of high quality with an authentic experience. Few operators can provide all that is demanded in todays markets thus necessitating linked or complementary products, for micro-business this means working together, cooperation & joint marketing. The range of local food & active tourism products & services (local food, nature, culture, heritage & active tourism) is quite wide in Häme & Estonia but they frequently lack this coherence & complementarity; international linkages (networks) are absent or weak there is little product development activity especially in terms of marketing & promotion for the regional/international tourism markets The INTERREG IVA Programme places strong emphasis on economic competitiveness and innovation although links between education & entrepreneurs are weak & cross border exchanges require stimulation. Additionally stress is placed on the need for supporting real, vital cooperation, focusing on solving common problems in co-operation, increasing business start-up, entrepreneurship and co-operation networks. The project aims to raise stakeholder confidence & awareness of the factors behind starting-up and/or diversifying in food & active tourism business. Through network development, training in awareness of customer preferences, market information & increased B2B opportunities, entrepreneurs will be incentivised & encouraged to identify new opportunities thus addressing the clear need for an increased participation and role of small and medium sized enterprises in the Central Baltic Programme economy. The project has been designed to provide an integrated programme of training, exchange of knowledge, experiential learning and support to increase the capacity of partners to develop networks and assist companies become competitive and create new innovative international food & tourism products & services suited to international customer expectations. Training and experiential learning will provide stakeholders with skills and knowledge to ensure the creation of a sustainable cross border marketing and producer networks offering high quality international local food and active tourism products Long term sustainability will be ensured through effective integrated communications and marketing activities to increase the awareness of entrepreneurs, tourists and the general public of project outputs, new local food and active tourism products and services, tourist routes and marketing materials via website, articles, editorial & an international conference. Achievements: The project InFAcTo stimulated SMEs to develop joint food and tourism activities and services in order to increase the number of international tourists in the region. SME entrepreneurs and employees require better skills and contacts to become more competitive to attract tourists and to fulfil international customer expectations. Through market research, the partners have created the basis for further product and service development as well as marketing efforts. The entrepreneurs have participated in training, received mentoring and taken part in benchmarking trips to increase their skills in tourism product and service development as well as networking.
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