The TOUREST project kicked off in Lamia, Greece, on March 2018, and the partnership met again in the city of Split, Croatia, on September 2018. The Project partners discussed the project progress and set the time plan for their upcoming activities.
The Lead Partner of the TOUREST project is the Region of Sterea Ellada (RSE), which is responsible for managing the financial and technical aspects of the project and ensuring Quality Assurance. RSE is also overseeing effective liaison with the ADRION programme authorities.
During the previous months, Project Partners have been performing analytical research and evaluating territorial data, in view of finalising an effective SWOT analysis and an identification of good practices from high-volume tourism areas. The relevant activity leaders have prepared specific methodologies upon which the partnership has based their data collection tasks through surveys and desk research. These methodologies are tackling the issues of investigating sustainable tourism water management needs and policy context in the partnership areas, to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and to detect the beneficial impact of the adoption of water efficiency solutions by the tourism sector in the partnership coastal areas. In a nutshell, the TOUREST methodologies have set a solid framework for the Partnership to collect good practices and case studies regarding sustainable tourism water management.
At this stage, a Good Practice Guide has been finalised by HEP-ESCO, which has consolidated all Partners’ relevant input. The Partnership has also completed a Strategy for the Policy Learning and Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Water Management for Public Authorities. At the same time, the University of Ljubljana (UL) has been focusing on preparatory activities related to the design and development of a Digital Online Tool, which will empower SME tourism organizations to assess and improve water management within their environment.
As regards dissemination efforts, the Region of Crete (RoC) has been working on the Communication Work Package of TOUREST, designing the promotional materials’ templates for the project and delivering the TOUREST Communication Plan. Following the guidelines set forth in the Communication Plan, Project partners have taken actions for the promotion of TOUREST to increase its visibility. RSE has engaged both local and nationwide media in their efforts to disseminate the scope of the project. In a similar manner, RoC has been publishing press releases in local newspapers, their institutional website and local news sites. TECLA has also been promoting the project to their network of associates through various social and institutional channels on a bimonthly basis.
Partners also had the chance to actively engage in the promotion of TOUREST in fora and conventions. In October 2018, representatives of FLA held a lecture on ‘Water Sustainability Management in Tourism Areas’ and presented the main objectives of the project in the Politecnico di Milano. The University of Ljubljana participated in the national event “Water days”, in order to promote the TOUREST project activities. HEP ESCO has been systematically promoting the TOUREST project through their network, and they had the chance to present the project to stakeholders and 3rd parties in Croatia, during the Sisak Energy Day and in the CENTRAL Conference on Green Building and Sustainable Development.