Seven Local Action Groups (LAG) cooperated in the years 2010-2013 to launch a new concept of sustainable socio-cultural tourism in rural areas.
Following LAGs participated at the LEADER transnational project “CultTrips”:
Luxembourg: LAG Redange- Wiltz – LEAD Partner
Austria: LAG Urfahr West & LAG Oststeirisches Kernland
Estonia: LAG Raplamaa
Finland: LAG Joensuu Region & LAG Central Karelian Jetina
Italy: LAG Valle Umbra e Sibillini.
The project was intended to meet increasing demand for individual fulfilment through an authentic experience, particularly in the fields of culture and tourism. The planned project thus sought to develop a differing cultural tourism approach, as opposed to traditional cultural tourism, away from mainstream tourism and as part of regional development. Therefore the approach aimed to focus on the participatory involvement of the local population, with a strong focus on sustainability. The key was to create good relationships between guests (tourists) and locals, promote intercultural learning and experience local traditions through authentic activities.
Infos from Cult.Trips 1.0: www.culttrips.org
1. Development of a transnational cooperation network to expand the idea of Cult.Trips to other European regions, strengthen and relaunch the existing Cult.Trips offers (=socio-cultural experiences within the participating regions/villages) based upon the existing Cult.Trips manual (from previous project Cult.Trips 1.0.).
External Management of transnational platform and European network of Slow Business / Culture > creating the position of the ‘Transnational caretaker’.
2. ‘Qualification through motivation’: Development and implementation of a Quality management program for the local hosts / businesses (Cult.Trips-Academy).
3. Implementation of a 3-year marketing & sales plan according to the concept of the “Customer Journey” and with focus on the stages before and during travel (Awareness, Inspiration, Research, Planning, Booking, Anticipation, On-Site-Experience).
The objective of the upcoming transnational cooperation project is to purposefully use the socio-cultural and touristic potential of Europe’s manifold cultural heritage. Furthermore this project should promote the exchange of people from various rural areas (with fewer tradition in tourism) in the EU with their different cultures. With this the project wants to make an active contribution to the realization and revaluation of the local’s cultural identity and promote the intercultural dialogue (as continuation of project Cult.Trips 1.0).
Additionally, this project not only wants to create and establish touristic potential for European rural areas, furthermore aims for local, national and international marketing and sales activities. Only the successful distribution of socio-cultural tourism products and local experiences guarantee the success and sustainability of this project (Cult.Trips 2.0).
Our vision for the year 2020+: “CultTrips as a contribution of regional development is an innovative, European Slow Travel experience, that brings together travellers and local hosts and therefore guarantees added value in rural areas.”