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Integrated Tourism in Rural Areas valorizing Culture and the Environment (I - TRACE)
Date du début: 31 mai 2006, Date de fin: 30 mars 2008 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

I-TRACEs main objective is to define and mainstream a shared strategy for Integrated Quality Management (IQM) of public administrations to support rural planning for the implementation of sustainable tourism. This strategy is based on the identification of criteria for the definition of a network of tourist routes to promote and valorise their natural and cultural resources through a comparative analysis of the partner areas. The rural areas in the partnership have a great potential for tourism as an engine for sustainable development. The areas involved are all close to coastal areas and regional airports attracting great numbers of visitors unaware of this tourist supply. Cities are within easy distance providing opportunities for high-quality short breaks. The IQM approach is a management process: it focuses on visitors by improving the quality of what, in terms of cultural identity, services and environmental dimensions, is provided for them and influencing their behaviour. Actions must take advantage of natural and cultural assets which have important positive spin-offs. Traditional agricultural activities or local artisan products are essential elements in an integrated strategy. The integrated approach aims to have a positive impact on the territorial planning of activities for the tourism sector and the local economy, represented by visitors and local population, as well as natural and cultural heritage. The need to mainstream IQM in rural areas is due to the dispersed and disparate nature of the destinations and their components: a lack of collaborative working has led to narrow approaches, a lack of linkages, the compartmentalisation of heritage and duplication of effort and resources. IQM promotes a holistic approach with joined-up thinking and planning and the sharing of knowledge and best practice between transnational partners. The partners will share strategies and tools to improve their individual results. Each partner has unique characteristics which provide added value to the transnational partnership. Moreover, the IQM approach will engage all local economic stakeholders: raising awareness of the value of rural areas, it will experiment pilot actions with local stakeholders for integrated promotion initiatives. The main activities are: • the identification of thematic itineraries coherent with market segments in the light of product/market purchasing models and the competitive strategies of leader territories in rural tourism in the Mediterranean; • training local authorities on involving local operators on the optimisation of supply; • cooperation for shared promotion/marketing activities and the adoption of a joint IQM model for public administrations for the implementation of rural tourism. Expected Results: • the promotion of transnational thematic tourist routes; • a transferable model for sustainable rural tourism; • the identification of interventions needed to guarantee awareness and accessibility; • a transferable pilot quality charter agreed with local operators to certify quality and sustainability; • a shared marketing plan; • a management model of territorial marketing



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