The growing attraction of eco-tourism and nature tourism is leading to the development of tourism in natural areas throughout the world, particularly the rarest and most fragile of them, which are also the most attractive for tourism. In Europe, this ecotourism development is an economic challenge both for countries and regions with preserved natural capital, in particular for certain remote ultraperipheral regions (e.g. French Guiana), and for territories that are already highly touristic, such as Greece, and want to preserve the remaining natural areas through a more controlled approach to tourism development.
For several years now, a large number of eco-compatible and self-sufficient tourism development solutions have been developed. For tourist accommodation, this involves promoting the integration of the establishment into the landscape, energy autonomy, promoting low energy consumption, developing economical water supply systems, promoting sustainable consumption, reducing waste and developing local sources of recycling, while at the same time raising tourists’ awareness of these good practices.
The dissemination of knowledge through traditional face-to-face training initiatives for managers of tourist accommodation is made more difficult by the distance, the difficulty of transport and the seasonal nature of the activities, whereas progress in digital technologies facilitates communication and makes it possible to develop suitable e-learning solutions, based essentially on online self-learning solutions, with the support of tutors where necessary.
Also, a higher level of training and information for tourists visiting these natural areas should be provided, to reinforce the development of eco-actions and individual and collective behaviour of the people staying in these areas that are compatible with the fragility and exceptional nature of the areas they visit. This training can take place in the accommodation itself, but also during the preparation of trips by visitors, using adapted self-training tools.
The ECO Hosting.net project is the result of a collaborative effort between operators in the field of training and support for tourism businesses and regional networks of professionals in the field of tourist accommodation in natural environments. These actors want to propose a common European response to the issues of training and support for tourist accommodation providers in fragile natural areas and their customers, based on the capitalisation of diverse regional experiences and situations: the very isolated Guyanese forest, the Greek islands which are subject to strong constraints (lack of water) and a high level of tourism, the mountainous areas of Italy, etc…
ECO Hosting.net is a project co-financed by the ERASMUS + programme and identified under the following number: 2020-1-FR01-KA204-080534.
Managers of tourist accommodation in natural areas and their staff.
The tourists using this type of accommodation.