European Greenways Association (EGWA) to coordinate
The Project was presented in a workshop dedicated to Greenways’ best practices, organised in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), 27th April 2012.
The project fits in with the call to “promote transnational thematic tourism” products in the European Union to develop sustainable tourism. For the first time, greenways have been included in the grant programme of the European Commission’s General Directorate of Tourism (2011), indicating that they are an area regarded to have great potential and value for the development of sustainable tourism within Europe.
The aim of the project is to promote and increase international awareness of European greenways as excellent facilities for cyclists, walkers and people with disabilities and to greatly improve sustainable tourism choices in Europe.
The presentation of the European “Greenways” Project took place in Vitoria-Gasteiz last April 27th in the context of a workshop dedicated to best practices for greenways and during which a number of noteworthy international examples were presented.
Isabel Muela, General Director for Tourism of the Basque Country, accompanied by the director for economic development of the city of Vitoria and the president and director of EGWA, presided at the meeting.
Prior to this event, on April 26th, a meeting was held to address the internal co-ordination for the launching of the project, involving a technical visit to the Salburúa Nature Interpretation Center and the Vasco-Navarro greenway, which passes through Vitoria, as well as to its visitor centre. The fact that this start-up meeting was held in Vitoria at the initiative of Basquetour, a partner in the project and co-ordinator of the event it is due to its being European Green Capital in year 2012
The “Greenways4Tour” project includes the launch of the European Greenways Observatory (EGO) - a web platform aimed at a wide audience (both greenway users and providers).The EGO will include as many European Greenways as possible, describing their location and the main features of these routes. Members of EGWA and other interested institutions will have the opportunity to provide key data about their greenways which will be gathered on this unique web platform, initially available in three languages: English, French and Spanish.
As part of the initiative, guides to good practice will be produced covering a number of areas:
· greenway promotion and other communications concerning greenways;
· accessibility, with recommendations on how to facilitate greenway usage by all types of user;
· greenway services, giving guidance on the necessary provisions for cyclists and people with disabilities, focusing on the facilities and accommodation nearby.
It will also include a short video, newsletters on the project and workshops to help promote greenways at international and local events.
As well as EGWA, the consortium team includes Milan University in Italy which specialises in web information systems; the Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE) which promotes greenways at a national level in Spain; the NADECE Partnership that is developing a national greenways programme in the Czech Republic; Basquetour – a regional Spanish authority in charge of tourism -; the EUROGITES Association in France representing rural accommodation providers all around Europe; Consorci Víes Verdes de Girona in Spain and Comunidade Intermunicipal da Regiao Dao Lafoes (CIMRDL) in Portugal - both supra-municipal organisations managing greenways.
With a budget of some €160,000 over 12 months, the “Greenways4tour” project represents a big step forward for EGWA and for greenway promotion and development in Europe with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism.
More info : Mercedes Muñoz, Directrice AEVV
email@example.com Tf: + 34 91 151 10 98