Title: Development of (e-) bicycle tourism, in a nature conscious and sustainable way to promote local biodiversity
- University of Western Macedonia (LB)
- Municipality of Berat (PB2)
- Municipality of Florina (PB2)
Priority Axis: 2. Boosting the local economy
Thematic priority: 2d. Encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage
Specific Objective: 2.1 Preserve cultural and natural resources as a prerequisite for tourism development of the cross-border area
The project aims to tangle common challenges for both areas, which relay on two region specific aspects:
- An obvious lack of touristic facilities that can attract visitors outside the winter season.
- The fact that the existing tourism, is mainly appealing to social groups that exceed the age of 18, with only a small percentage of visitors being children or/and adolescents.
Considering the exceptional geographical features of the areas and their natural and cultural heritage, this proposal provides a unique opportunity to address these problems in a cost-efficient way. The envisioned project targets actions in 2 cross-border regions, that both exhibit a season-specific touristic peak during a small winter period. The importance of the project becomes evident in light of recent climate changes, predicting a shortening of this period in the following years. This project aims to develop bicycle trails, designed to capitalize on the unique geographical features of these regions, while promoting their natural resources & bio-diversity.
The main objective of the project is the agro-touristic development of the two cross-border regions, through the construction of biking routs & an action park. From an environmental perspective, all planned actions are minimally-invasive and tailored to promote & protect the natural heritage of the involved regions. The aim is to attract a variety of tourists over the entire physical year, through the following 2 key-features:
- Construction of protected mini-botanic gardens along the routes, to highlight the bio-diversity of the regions, and
- integration of fully autonomous solar charging stations, “sheltering” these hotspots, to support e-bike.
The project outputs are expected to significantly encourage cultural & natural tourism. Since all actions will be directly implemented into the natural environment of the regions, no specific beneficiary can be identified. All project outputs are designed to further the touristic development in the wider area. Providing growth of the local restaurant sector, promoting the organization of new touristic activities (i.e. organization of bird watching tours), attracting bike rentals, increasing regional hotel coverage etc.
To ensure the timely execution of the project, as well as the successful implementation of the deliverables, the methodological approach will follow 5 well defined Work Packages covering from Project Management/Coordination, Communication & Dissemination up to Pilot operation and evaluation, through the dissemination actions and good practice transfer among the project partners. The added value of this project can be summarized into:
- increasing the tourism flows and
- boosting local economy of the two regions.
This is largely expected to contribute to a growing awareness about the natural assets of the regions, involving young people and entrepreneurs in the preservation of local nature and last but not least contributing to the development of regional policies, regarding sustainable environmental/touristic management.