“A GREEN-growth approach for tourISM (Greenism)”
The Green-growth approach for tourism, ¨Greenism¨, project took a look at new activities and initiatives within agrotourism that can contribute to the development of rural areas in a sustainable way.
The consortium composed of CETS, Dolmen, New Loops, H2O, BARAFUNDA saw the need for tools to develop the agrotourism businesses which would transform rural areas into cultural hubs of preserved traditions and bring benefits both for the rural areas and for the urban ones by getting people closer to the nature and traditions while creating employability and contributing to sustainability.
In order to achieve the results, the mobility was organised that consisted of a 10 days-long course which took place in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain, and was provided by Permacultura Cantabria as their region is an important reference point in not only Spanish, but also European agrotourism. The course took place from January 23rd to February the 1st 2019 and the methodology of the course was a combination between theoretical and participative activities in which the participants were able to visit agrotouristic businesses around rural areas in Cantabria. In addition, they also acquired entrepreneurial tools for the development of projects in this field.
The course was attended by 3 adult staff members interested in the topics of agrotourism and sustainability from each of the consortium entities and was composed of five modules that allowed participants to reach the projects objectives which consisted of:
Learning about, applying and teaching agrotourism for the sustainable development of rural areas.
Identifying the keys for successful entrepreneurship in agrotourism.
Defining innovative ideas and developing new initiatives in the near future by means of international collaboration among the organisations.
The project also involved other secondary activities in order to deepen the knowledge and maximise its results. These activities consisted of:
Sharing experiences with their General Management Department along with what they learned about; the most important aspects of agrotourism, best practices exchanged and the new project proposal defined during the course. This meeting also allowed the decision-makers and participants to look for new lines and leading their actions according to their European Development Plan.
After the course in Spain, the participants organised internal workshops within their organisations. In these workshops they transferred the knowledge they had acquired and practised their new skills and capacities and they were also used as a part of an evaluation of the learning outcomes acquired during the mobility activity.
A dissemination campaign carried out by the consortium contributed to increasing awareness on the importance of agrotourism from a social and economic perspective and the numerous advantages that agrotourism brings to both rural and urban areas.
As for the outcomes, the participants gained the following:
Knowledge about agrotourism such as key elements of agrotourism, types of agrotourism activities, operation of innovative rural businesses, sustainable development, sustainable and ethical economies, etc., local strategic actions and examples of Regional Development, the incorporation of traditional cattle breeding, harvesting and fishing to agrotourism, examples of innovative initiatives for revitalizing rural areas and other techniques for rural development from a Best Practices Exchange.
Competences such as becoming trainers in agrotourism, reinforcing capacity in defining new Erasmus+ projects and reviewing and analysing European Development Plan,
Keys for a successful entrepreneurship in Agrotourism in such fields as the principles and culture of Dragon Dreaming, Dream Circle, SMART objectives and building project´s vision and mission, comprehending how can they design and plan projects to be socially and ecologically sustainable and managing different tools from this method to collaboratively design and plan sustainable projects with other adults.
Softskills such as working in teams, international communication, leadership, problem solving techniques and evaluation and reflection processes.
They could also increase their motivation, self-esteem and self-empowerment, enhance their intercultural awareness and gain confidence in international activities. As an example of a broader impact, the project gave the participants, the organisers and the local community engaged in the study visits a greater sense of the European involvement, widening influence of their role as key actor in creating connections between the adult community.
Thanks to this project, lots of people also gained a deeper knowledge about Erasmus + Programme and participating entities established new relationships with other organisations in order to be able to continue developing projects in the future.