Within the Interreg SIV project, Fund 05 is working on establishing pilot schemes in different industries that will be financed from the SIV social impact fund after its establishment. In doing so, these schemes will be tested in practice by involving the target groups of the project and by assessing their suitability.
One of the schemes is being developed in the field of impact tourism. Would you like to know more about impact tourism? Then please have a look into this month’s blog article.
Tourism will never be entirely “green” or fully socially responsible, since each tourist makes a certain negative impact. The trends of rapid rise in global tourism have brought forth the negative effects of tourism, which pose a serious global challenge. Various forms of sustainable and responsible tourism include responses to such challenges associated with environmental protection and preservation of natural and cultural heritage. Impact tourism represents their upgrade. In that context, “green” is considered as care for human wellbeing, nature and the cultural environment. As a result, we are seeking opportunities to maximize the beneficial influence of tourists and its activation – all through the model of social entrepreneurship, which is not driven solely by profit, but also follows social goals.
The purpose of impact tourism is to offer both tourists and tourism product providers a helping hand in co-creating a social footprint together, but also a possibility to create measurable social impact while responding to various social challenges. The objective of impact tourism is to integrate tourists and tourism product providers into the development of innovative tourism products, in order to bring about a footprint beneficial for resolving social challenges. By doing so, we create a global family, a community of individuals, organizations, companies as well as public and private stakeholders that share the same values, which is why we call our pilot WITH – World Impact Tourism Habitat. More at https://www.impact-tourism.net/
Slovenia is one of the leading countries in the field of sustainable tourism in the last years. The methodology of impactisation for tourism products is an additional step ahead in making tourism more beneficial for society. While sustainable tourism is mostly focused on reducing the harm, the new concept of impact tourism is focusing on maximisation of positive impacts of the tourism industry, including the role of the social economy sector.
With the use of the impactisation methodology (so called »10+1 impact indicators«) new innovative tourism products can be developed or existing products can be upgraded and their impact maximised. Activities are supported by the Slovenian Tourist Association and impact tourism is becoming recognised also at the global level.
The Slovenian tourism industry often cannot find skilled and motivated local working force to contribute to services quality and the further development of impact tourism concept and here is where we see the opportunity for the SIV project. Tourism industry and regional (Gorenjska region) stakeholders showing interest for employment of local working force in some famous tourist places as Bohinj, Bled etc. There are planned investments in Bohinj hotels, company Alpinia d.o.o. plans to rebuild three major hotels in 2021-2023 and we are involved in the process of employment and coaching the staff (housekeepers, kitchen assistants, gardeners…) in these hotels within the SIV project.