This pilot aimed to introduce sustainable mobility into the management of recreational destinations both on the Belgian seaside and in the rest of Flanders.
Background & Objectives
A study from the Flemish Ministry of Tourism highlighted that only 5% of the visitors of tourist and recreational destinations arrive by green modes, although most of the destinations can be reached easily without a car. A quick overview of information brochures and websites showed that for most of the destinations only car accessibility is explained.
In a first phase, managers of tourist destinations were contacted in order to present the possibility of co-operating in the STREAM-project (funded by Intelligent Energy Europe). This marketing effort was made in close co-operation with the Flemish Tourist Board ‘Toerisme Vlaanderen’ and the non-profit organisation ‘Toeristische Attracties’ (organisation of tourist attractions). After this mobilisation effort, and apart from the pilot site of Puyenbroeck, 16 destinations, 3 of which were coastal destinations, agreed to co-operate.
In a second phase, the 16 recreation sites were consulted to develop a mobility policy. More precisely, the following services were delivered:
- tailor made multimodal accessibility information for website, brochures and other materials promoting the recreational site. This information highlighted possibilities for soft mobility (bicycle, bicycle & train, bicycle & tram, park & bike)
- analysis of the mobility and accessibility situation of the site, in view of a tailor made set of recommendations, including a cost-benefit calculation, on how to increase the part of green modes in the modal split by implementing soft and cheap actions.
Where necessary, on site surveys were conducted in summer 2007 in order to define the existing mobility patterns.
Some attraction managers proved difficult to convince to operate real changes. A legal framework would probably generate more concrete actions. Since it would be applied to all destinations, it would take away the argument that time invested in mobility management is time lost for the core business and competition with other destinations.
All 17 destinations participated in a general awareness campaign to the Flemish public in the summer of 2008. The campaign was about the results of the STREAM-approach in Flanders and sustainable mobility for recreation in general. Every week during July-August 2008, 2 attractions were highlighted, events were organised at the sites and a lottery was organised among visitors coming to the site by sustainable transport modes.
Several mass media channels were used to attract attention to the events:
- national media. During 8 weeks in July-August 2008, the tourist show of the national network “één” gave special attention to the 2 attractions of the week and the campaign;
- the campaign website www.deleuksteweg.be which also had a specific lottery linked to it and all the access information of the 17 sites;
- the promotional channels of the attractions and the project partners (Provinces and Tourism Board of Flanders). Links to the campaign were put on the websites of the partners;
- the promotional channels of the National Railway;
- flyers and postcards distributed by promo teams at the entrance of the sites.
The project has inspired not only attraction managers but also Flemish Region policy makers to integrate sustainable mobility for tourism in their policies.
- The electric boat package in Puyenbroeck (7 days in August 2007) was so successful that some candidates had to be refused. It had also a lot of local media coverage.
- For the Puyenbroeck event with the special bike parking, up to 20% of the visitors arrived at the event by bike. For the event with the extensive extra bus service, up to 50% of the visitors came by bus or by public transport.
- As a result of the general campaign with the lottery, 1903 persons tried out sustainable transport to go to one of the attractions. 25% of them stated they had discovered a new transport mode thanks to the campaign. For 30%, the tested sustainable transport mode replaced a usually used mode of the car.
Collected within the STARTER project - http://www.starter-project.eu