More than 40 experts from municipalities, ministries, tourism organisations, NGOs and universities from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia were gathering for the 2nd project EcoVeloTour workshop and learning interaction event in early September in Tulcea (Romania).
Presenting guidelines and interactive checklist
The workshop focused on the recent published outcomes of the project: Guidelines for ecosystem service-based ecotourism and the Guidelines for sustainable bicycle tourism and the first mock-up of the interactive EcoVeloTour checklist was presented and tested.
These guidelines form the backbone of the strategy development and the field tests in Ecotourism development and serve as background materials in awareness raising activities. The BOKU-ITS team developed an interactive EcoVeloTour checklist to support both activities. On the one hand the checklist is an instrument to collect feedback from project partners and external stakeholders. On the other hand, the final version of the checklist will be an essential part of the EcoVeloTour e-learning platform.
Two introductory presentations about the guideline for sustainable cycling tourism and its relation to real life touristic projects were given by Lukas Hartwig (BOKU-ITS) and Ernst Migbauer (Invent GmbH).
Checklist in practice
After a brief introduction of the mock-up of the interactive checklist by Paul Pfaffenbichler (BOKU-ITS) and Anna Biedersberger (University Passau) participants were involved in a hands-on exercise.
Hands-on exercise at the 2nd learning interaction in Tulcea, Romania
Six groups representing the regions Budapest – Rákos creek (HU), Ruse (BG), Kosice Tokaj (SK), Eurovelo 6, 11 & 13 in Serbia, East Bavaria (DE) and Tulcea – Danube Delta (RO) were formed and supported by the questions of the checklist the participants carried out a self-assessment for their region. The checklist helps the users with concrete, practical and detailed questions, e.g. How easily can tourists travel to your region in eco-friendly way? How do you assess the maintenance of the bike routes? Is there enough information about bike rental services?
Based on the feedback of the testing team, the interactive EcoVeloTour checklist is seen as a useful tool in development of ecotourism strategies and services. After some fine tuning, the checklist will be available for the public.
Assessment of the usefulness of the interactive checklist