One of the characteristics of a holiday that can make the experience so rich and enjoyable is that it is made up of so many different factors – the accommodation we stay in, the food we eat, the places we go to, the attractions we see.
This can bring complicated challenges for those of us working towards more sustainable tourism, as these different aspects of the tourism product are often owned, provided by, or managed by different organisations across both the public and private sectors – such as hotels, tour operators, local councils, restaurants and bars.
As a result, many of our projects involve, and are reliant on, a diverse range of stakeholders and our new programme of work in Croatia is no different. Across two villages in Split-Dalmatia, we are supporting the different stakeholders involved in tourism to work together to improve the impacts of tourism on the local community and environment. In particular, we have been working to bring together organisations from the public and private sectors, including local tourism boards, hotels, small, local businesses and regional government bodies.
Getting people in a room together to discuss an agreed set of topics may seem to be a quick and easy task, but it can often be one of the most time consuming and challenging parts of a project.
In Croatia, we have worked hard to resolve the barriers that were preventing these different organisations from working together and we are happy to report that the ongoing workshops and meetings are enabling them to find a common vision for their destination. Ane Sindik, The Travel Foundation’s programme co-ordinator in Croatia said:
“We have come to the point where stakeholders have become more open and are able to solve problems together. They understand that collaborative working can increase tourism income, improve customer satisfaction and ensure that tourism does not have a negative impact on the region.”
From now on, the stakeholders will be working jointly on a number of tourism development activities including cultural heritage valorisation, youth employment and sustainable excursion development projects.
By Thomas Armitt, Destination Programme Officer