Total budget: 533.307 EUR
“Innovation in Rural Tourism – InRuTou” was a project implemented by RoMontana Association in partnership with IMC University of Applied Sciences from Krems (Austria), UNEP Vienna – Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (Austria), EURAC – European Academy (Bolzano, Italy), SCIENTER (Italy), SEED (Switzerland), University of Bournemouth (UK), Ekopsychology (Poland) and Green Dossier (Ukraine). The project was funded by European Commission through a grant within the Lifelong Learning Programme. The project aimed for developing and testing a set of innovative tools and models to facilitate the sustainable development of rural tourism in mountain regions, by consulting target communities and training selected opinion leaders as multipliers in the community, becoming trainers for local tourism operators with varying degrees of experience and education, thus enhancing planning in the rural tourism.
Information and communication technologies including eLearning, the online sharing platform, desktop and mobile applications as well as the training method facilitate the integration of knowledge and the exchange of experience among local stakeholders in the community, facilitating the creation of innovative solutions such as new networks of tourist services providers, connections between communities and the international tourism market, or the development of tourist offer in rural areas. This Vocational Education and Training program, based on information and communication technologies, through innovative technology tools and curriculum, supports the emancipation of rural communities, encouraging public participation and strengthening the role of tourism innovators operating in the region, transforming these actors in “opinion leaders” (according to the selection during the public consultations) in the communities they come from, and to train other actors in the community as well.
- Creating digital tools and training materials to be distributed free of charge to European Rural Tourism Stakeholders (Tourism Innovators);
- Valorization of local tourist resources in the European Rural Areas (Waldviertel in Austria, Carpathians in Poland and Romania, Apennines in Italy) by supporting the local population in the use of the technological tools created to promote the heritage and the development of local tourism products;
- Promoting a comprehensive view of tourist attractions in selected localities through on-line and mobile technologies;
- Exploitation and valorization of tourism as opportunity for economic development, using New Media technology as a basis for the creation, management and promotion of initiatives in rural tourism;
- Involvement through participation, information and awareness of the inhabitants from Romania, Poland, Italy, Austria and Ukraine in the process of development and improvement of living standards;
- Increasing information among the inhabitants of rural mountain areas on international, regional, national and local tourism, about the involved processes and how to influence them;
- Improving knowledge, skills and attitudes of local stakeholders in Romania, Poland, Italy, Austria and Ukraine, needed for sustainable development in mountain communities;
- Greater accessibility for rural tourism actors to new planning, communication and training mechanisms (e-learning platform) with a special emphasis on the networking;
- Encourage public consultation, networking and governance processes by creating local, regional or national partnerships. Those involved have shared access to innovative initiatives through on-line communication technologies;
- Training for rural innovators with the help of local opinion leaders selected from public consultations and trained as multipliers of the rural tourism training program;
- Support to communities in creating a rural tourism pilot product using the technology developed by the project;
- Transfer of the developed technology and the innovative methodology to other areas of the European Union and its neighbourhood.