Unlocking Potential, Preserving the Environment: Fostering growth of Outermost Regions through Smart UW Cultural & Nature Tourism
The project receives funding from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) of the European Union.
Acronym & Title: ecoRoute: Multidimensional and integrated approach fostering smart underwater cultural and nature tourism offer in Outermost Regions
Duration: 1/10/2023 – 31/3/2026
Budget: 1.176.466 €
Partners & Countries involved: 9 partners from Greece, France, Portugal, Azores, Madeira, and Martinique
EU Outermost Regions face significant challenges with respect to economies dependent on few sectors, high unemployment and low GDP. On the other hand, Outermost regions have an exceptionally high cultural, natural and biodiversity value, with tourism contributing to a significant share of their economy. However, there is still an untapped potential to reinforce tourism flows in these Regions, by combining their underwater (UW) cultural heritage with natural assets and biodiversity.
Motivated from the above, ecoRoute proposes to design and implement a multidimensional and integrated approach fostering smart UW Cultural & Nature Tourism (UCNT) offer in the participating Outermost Regions, enabling their transformation to smart UCNT Destinations, with a new ecological focus that draws on natural and cultural resources, diversifying and developing smart UCNT services for the benefit of both residents and visitors. Our work spans across multiple dimensions seamlessly integrated, particularly: Strategic, in terms of smart and sustainable Strategies and Action Plans; Policymaking & financing, in terms of applicable policy pathways and investment/financing facilitation; Capacity building, in terms of bottom-up stakeholders’ engagement and management of conflicting interests; Local Interventions, in terms of campaigns and measures supporting smart UCNT integrated in green/circular economy; Smart eco-tourism packages, in terms of addressing seasonality challenges and promoting unique assets of the participating Regions linked under a Route brand, through a multi-destination eco-tourism product.