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Biosphere Experience

Developing a cross-border vision for tourism with a region-specific plan of action together with the Lungau Biosphere Park was the goal of the Interreg small-scale project “Experience the Biosphere – New Ways to a Sustainable Tourism Destination”. Both regions lack the right marketing and appropriate offers that make the idea and philosophy behind the biosphere visible and tangible. New ways of a sustainable orientation of the tourism and leisure industry in both biosphere reserves should preserve the natural and cultural area and at the same time strengthen tourism and the local economy.

Interreg small-scale project "Experience Biosphere - New ways to a sustainable tourism destination"

  • Period: 01.01.2020 – 30.06.2021
  • Project partners: Biosphere Park Salzburger Lungau & Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region
  • Contractor: Dr. Gernot Znidar (Man on the move)
  • Scientific support: Mag. Werner Taurer (FH Salzburg, program of Innovation and Management in Tourism)

Initial situation

Salzburg Lungau and Berchtesgadener Land have been designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Park and Biosphere Region. This gives them the mandate to become established as model regions for sustainable development. Both biospheres share a long tradition as tourism destinations. Today, tourism and the recreation are important economic sectors. However, the biosphere has only played a minor role in tourism in both regions so far – despite the fact that it represents the UNESCO predicate for particularly representative natural and cultural landscapes. There is a lack of proper marketing and suitable offers that make the biosphere idea and philosophy visible and tangible. However, the UNESCO designation in particular offers the opportunity to highlight the values of the region and can serve as a guarantor for sustainable and authentic (natural and cultural) experiences in the regions. Due to the great importance of tourism in the regions and its role as a cross-cutting sector that connects all fields of action of a biosphere reserve (economy, education and nature conservation), processes towards a holistic sustainable destination can be initiated and supported especially in this area (sustainable tourism destination, climate-neutral destination, etc.).

Project goals

  • Development of a common, cross-border tourism mission statement for the biosphere reserves based on the existing mission statements with an associated, region-specific action plan including resource calculation for implementation as well as a communication and marketing concept to establish the mission statement and action plan developed in the project.
  • Sustainable orientation of tourism and recreational industry in biosphere reserves in order to preserve the natural and cultural area and to strengthen tourism and the local economy and to show new ways in tourism.
  • Creation of a best practice example for the alignment of sustainable tourism in Biosphere Regions or Biosphere Parks and national tourism associations.

Project content

  • Phase 1: Development of a joint tourism mission statement based on the existing mission statements.
  • Phase 2: Concretization/preparation of the action plan (thematic areas, offers/products, resource planning for the implementation and communication strategy) with the involvement of regional stakeholders of both project regions – building on the developed mission statement and the results of the two student groups of the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences dealing with location and destination analysis, environment and trend analysis, target group analysis and organization and management. The results of the workshops will then be professionally processed and presented at a joint closing event.
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