Multiplier Event by EOLAS

The event took place on November 14th of 2016, in Badajoz, Spain, and was held in collaboration with the annual encounter of members of the Extremadura Tourism Cluster. In total 10 representatives of the tourism sector attended the event, representing 7 different organisations. All except the members of the tourism cluster who participated are owners/managers of (micro)-SMEs offering accommodation, wellness services, leisure activities or IT applications for the tourism sector. The staff members of the tourism cluster attended as relevant stakeholders and experts on the sector and due to their capacity of transferring the knowledge and information to a wider set of relevant players. Participants were provided with the Leafl et (in English) and an information sheet on the project (in Spanish).

After a brief introduction of the project and the intellectual outputs, participants split into 2 groups to discuss responsible tourism and how they could work together to convert their establishments into responsible tourism entities and how to contribute to making the region a destination for responsible tourism. The discussion were very lively, and in the summary session, the groups shared their views and opinions. The main conclusions from the discussions were:

1. Extremadura as a region with a large part of its territory under protection, such as Natura 2000, is an area which is especially well-placed to become a referent destination for responsible tourism.

2. The vast amount of resources with respect to nature and its related activities, from bird-watching to trekking, from fi shing to mountain-biking, at the same time makes it clear that the tourism which is attracted needs to be responsible so as not to damage one of unique value propositions of the region: unspoiled nature.

3. Some of the participants shared their experiences in the fi eld of being responsible, not only with the environment but also with the local community, these where highly appreciated by the others and it was indicated that more of this type of sharing practical experiences is an asset and should be promoted.

4. All agreed that there is only so much a (micro-)SME can do by itself and that in the sharing of knowledge and experience and to collaborate to achieve results is the only way forward to really make an impact on the territory and part of it. As such all indicated that generating a working group on the topic is relevant.

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