Local Initiative STrENgthening: how to build up a .. (LISTEN TO THE VOICE ..)
Local Initiative STrENgthening: how to build up a new TOurism in THE Valleys and among the mOst vItal CEntres OF rural VILLAGES
(LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF VILLAGES)
Start date: Dec 31, 2008,
End date: Dec 30, 2011
For several years rural areas have been suffering from big difficulties and troubles occurred in the competitiveness, the attractiveness and the unemployment field. A problem which is typical for many Central Europe areas, characterized by marginality problems depopulation, demographical changes due to a progressive ageing of local population along with a deep lack and inadequacy of the territorial development policies.Nevertheless the territories in question are in possession of enormous natural, cultural-historical and local craft wealth. These resources, if properly exploited, could become the real economic engine of these areas. The main goal of the project is to consequently increase the competitiveness and the attractiveness of these rural marginal territories, showing unexpressed tourist potential, through the settlement and the implementation of new territorial governance tools and implementing new pilot projects inside the sustainable tourism sector. Achievements: Listen to the Voice of Villages has started its activities in January 2009. Since this period, the partners worked actively on local level and European level. In particular, University of Trento (IT) together with University of Boku (AT) formulated a mapping model that had been used by all project partners to select pilot territories. The partners, following the indication of the mapping model, selected and mapped their pilot territories to identify their tourism potentialities, stakeholders and main actors involved in decision making process. Using the information collected during the mapping process, new governance models had been proposed taking into consideration the peculiarities of each areas.With the help of the Local Guide Group (a local group in which participated the relevant local stakeholders) and following a bottom-up approach, pilot projects had been worked out in order to test the governance models proposed. The pilot projects designed have different themes: some are related with rural environment and discover of nature (to highlight the natural potentialities of some territories), other are related with thematic routes based on sacral architecture and historical track (to highlight cultural potentialities) other involve schools, kids and families in creating green excursions and renewable energies campus (to highlight human potentialities for developing families and kids tourism).Implementation of pilot projects started in April 2010 and finished in June 2011, when tourist products were ready to be tested during 2011 summer season. In this period, all partners, in collaboration with their local tourism Destination Management Organisations, defined tourism products and packages for each pilot area.Moreover, training courses for local stakeholders have been arranged in order to help them to understand how to put into practice governance models proposed for their territories. Study visits in partner territories have been organised to exchange experiences on pilot project implementation. Three transnational workshops took place: in Trento (IT) on 11/06/10, in Forchheim (DE) on 19/10/10 and Vienna on 11/07/11. An international tourism festival took place in Bosco Marengo (IT) on 05/03/11. In addition, partners attended several local and regional tourism fairs in order to promote their pilot projects and their tourism destination. The partnership also attended the London World Trade Market international fair in November 2011, through the Vital Villages Association, founded in September 2011 among the partners for monitoring pilot projects and governance model in order to disseminate results and for transnational capitalisation and promotion of vital villages and the tourist facilities they offer.
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