Title of the project: Creation and transnational promotion of an outdoor tourism product linked to European Greenways
Acronym: “Greenways Outdoor”
Project duration and start date: 18 months: June 2015 – November 2016
Short description of the project
- The “Greenways Outdoor” project consists of the creation and transnational promotion of an outdoor tourism product linked to European greenways, and the capacity building of SMEs located in their vicinity so that they can tailor their services to the demands of customers and so become more competitive.
Greenways are independent non-motorized routes, mainly using disused railways and canal towpaths. Safe, accessible and very attractive, they provide easy access to areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. mountainous areas, by way of tunnels and viaducts). There are thousands of kilometres of greenways in Europe with a great potential for development, and they are a very useful tool for the development of tourism in rural areas.
- The general objective of the project is the diversification of the tourism offer in Europe by generating new products relating to greenways and capitalizing on existing ones, thereby improving the competitiveness of the European greenway-based tourism industry, together with the joint promotion of greenways tourism products to make them better known internationally and so attract more visitors. The aim is also to strengthen public and private cooperation in order to facilitate the creation and promotion of the greenways tourism product.
These objectives will be achieved through a combination of different actions and events organized into various work packages [WP] and directed at SMEs, tour operators, public administrations, and other organizations interested in greenways, as well as the end customers themselves.
PROJECT ACTIVITIES and EVENTS:
[WP 2]-DIVERSIFY TOURISM OFFER (coordinated by the Spanish Railways Foundation):
This Work Package is focused on diversifying the tourism offer. To do this it is essential to strengthen the capacity building of SMEs around greenways so that they can create new tourism products and take advantage of existing ones. Attractive events will also be organized to capture new customers, events that can be replicated in the future at other greenways. The actions and events that will be carried out to this end are:
- Production of a European catalogue of outdoor tourism products based on Greenways. The catalogue will include greenways products designed within the framework of the project together with others already available on the market, to cover the best examples of greenways and as many European countries as possible.
- Production of a European catalogue of professional services on Greenways (accommodation, restaurants, places to see, etc.). It is open to establishments around greenways that want to promote their product and their market.
- A methodology for creating tourism products around greenways will form part of the workshops and the tutorial that will be produced during the project. Tour operators and SMEs located around greenways interested in promote their product can contact us at: info[at]aevv-egwa.org (ref: Outdoors) and we will be happy to inform them about how to participate.
- Meetings with companies in order to help them improve customer orientation and the competitiveness of their enterprise. Web tutorials with relevant advice for enterprises will also be accessible on line.
- Sporting events at greenways, to help capture new customers. A guide/methodology for organizing and evaluating mass sporting events at greenways will also be produced; the aim is to help new promoters organize mass events properly in an attractive, safe and environmentally friendly way.
- Greenways Outdoor + wellness… map; to reinforce the appeal of greenways with complementary leisure activities to relax after an active day out.
- Fam/Press trips will help show tour operators and journalists the appeal of greenways as a great tourism product.
- Meetings with public-private stakeholders to promote their collaboration. Public administrations will be informed of the need for public-private cooperation.
These activities will jointly enhance the competitiveness of SMEs around greenways in Europe, by improving their offer and customer orientation and facilitating their inclusion in tourism packages, while promoting greenway-related entrepreneurship and business culture, and facilitating access to international markets (fairs).
[WP 3] – BETTER INFORMATION & MARKETING (coordinated by Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien (Belgium)
Tourism related companies and greenways promoters need to provide good information and well-directed marketing to attract customers. This work package focuses on how to provide good information and marketing to tour operators and greenway end users. The following actions will be developed for this purpose:
- Participation in reference trade fairs. Partners from Greenways Outdoors will participate in at least 6 reference trade fairs on a global, European or national scale, which will include meetings with tour operators plus participation in outdoor marketplaces and/or roadshows with tour operators. (See fairs calendar.)
- A workshop entitled “Greenways: Attracting new customers and selling the product” will be an opportunity to learn from successful experiences in greenways. It will be organized jointly with a technical visit by bike to a top greenway tourism product. (Vennbahn, Belgium), 19-20 May 2016).
Best practices guide: Top ten tips for the marketing and communication of the greenways tourism product will be produced, taking advantage of the lessons learns at the workshop. It will show tour operators and tourism businesses how to provide good information in order to sell their product better. The repercussion of these activities will be reinforced with a fam/press trip.
- Reverse visit and workshops on greenways. This consists of the preparation of a technical visit for greenway managers and other stakeholders, whether participating in the project or not. Thanks to this action, greenways stakeholders (SMEs, associations, greenway managers from public administrations, etc.) will have the opportunity to learn on site about greenway management and tourism promotion at different European greenways, such as: “Ecopista do Dão” (Portugal) and VV de la Sierra (Spain), both of which have won awards from the European Greenways Association, as well as new greenway developments in Latvia and the Po delta in Italy.
[WP 4] – PROMOTION AND COMMUNICATION [coordinated by the European Greenways Association]
Joint promotion and communication under a common brand is essential to attract visitors to greenways as a whole; publicizing the common features and attractiveness of greenways in general benefits all stakeholders. This is why the third main group of actions focuses on communicating greenways’ appeal as a tourism product and the benefits they represent for stakeholders and tourists. The following actions and events will be carried out:
- Workshops and conferences; mainly organized as part of a global thematic event so as to engage international multipliers, even from outside Europe, and with the involvement of other organizations.
“Greenways: great outdoors without borders and barriers” (Fitur International Tourism Fair/Madrid, 21 January 2016)
Pan-European workshop focused on the promotion of sustainable tourism and greenways as a tourism product (venue to be confirmed)
European conference focus on the tourism product in the framework of a European conference on Greenways, EuroVelo and Cycletourism; in cooperation with ECF (venue to be confirmed – October, 2016)
- Awards and campaigns to promote European Greenways as an outdoor tourism product
Award for the best outdoor tourist product on European greenways to promote the development and marketing of high quality, integrated outdoor tourism products related to greenways and to give visibility to these initiatives. The award ceremony was held in Namur, 15/October/2015)
European photo competition: award for the best photos reflecting the practice of outdoor activities on greenways, by different groups. (will be launched early 2016).
Greenways outdoor campaign, to encourage people to practise outdoor activities on European greenways and to foster sustainable mobility. This will be organized within the framework of the European mobility week (September 2016).
- Creation of a new website, which will be the reference website for European greenways; it will be travel-oriented with an up-to-date and dynamic format. Press releases, articles in newsletters, and posts on social networks will be used to disseminate all activities carried out within the framework of the project and to attract more users to greenways, plus a brochure on the European Greenways Outdoor.
- Finally, Greenways Outdoor partners will take part in in various events in different countries to present the project and to publicize and encourage the generation of a greenways-based tourism product.
10 partners from five countries (European Scope, Spain, Belgium,Italy, Latvia, Portugal) :
European Greenways Association (EGWA) (co-ordinator)
Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE),
Fundación Vía Verde de la Sierra;
Vidzemes Tourism Association;
Comunidade Intermunicipal Viseu Dão Lafões;
Gruppo di Azione Locale (GAL) Polesine Delta del Po;
Subbetica Bike’s Friends.
Learn more about the partners in this SHORT DESCRIPTION!
Implementation period : June 215 – November 2016.
Budget : 320,000- € .
Disclaimer: The content of this web represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.