It is called STEPPA Sustainable Tourism in Enterprises, Parks and Protected Areas. The project funded by the European Union and presented by ten European partners who have combined their experiences in the sustainable tourism sector.
The protected areas that participate in the European project are united by the fact that they have adopted the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST).
The project started in June 2010 and ended in December 2011.
- University of Joensuu-Tourism Studies Center (Finlandia), leader and scientific partner of the project
- Leeds University -Sustainable Tourism Department (Great Britain), scientific partner
- Europarc Federation (European Parks Federation with 411 members from 36 Countries: protected areas, government departments, non-governmental organizations and companies that deal with nature protection)
- Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime (Italy)
- Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta (Italy)
- Consejeria de Medio Ambiente of Andalucia (Spain)
- Nationalparkverwaltung Harz (Germany)
- Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (England)
- State Nature Conservancy of Slovak Republic (Slovakia)
- Latvian Country Holidays (Latvia)
The project aimed to implement the sustainable tourism strategy envisaged by the Charter. In particular, to promote and strengthen cooperation between parks and tourist businesses operating in the protected areas. Companies that adopt strategies linked to sustainability are more competitive on the market, and have a greater awareness of how a protected area can offer a more attractive product on the market.
In the case of Pnab, the Park Quality hotels were involved with the activation of projects based on sustainability.
In the summer of 2010 we carried out a survey on the demand and on the tourist offer to identify the existence of a link between sustainability practices and the competitiveness of companies on the market.
The project also included the drafting of the Italian manual of ECST Part 2 to which the Pnab worked in synergy with the other six Italian parks that have adopted the Charter. Part 2 aims to actively involve tourism businesses in the sustainable tourism good practices. In the case of the Adamello Brenta Nature Park the Park Quality hotels.
With the launch of the project, a promotional campaign was started to enhance the international network created with the STEPPA project. This gives visibility, on a European scale, to the parks and businesses involved, through communication tools such as a dedicated website, newsletter and brochures.
The project required the organization of four meetings, one of which was hosted by the Adamello Brenta Nature Park from 29th to 31st March 2011.
The project enabled the Park to obtain important funding to continue implementing the sustainable tourism strategy that began with the adoption of the ECST(2006). But above all to network with other European partners that are working to find out new opportunities for soft tourism attractive for the market and sustainable for the environment. Projects like this allow the Park to interact actively with entities geographically distant but dealing with the same problems. It is important to make a critical analysis and share common solutions to identical problems.