- Title: E.E.F.Ect – European Education Fostering Ecotourism
- Running dates: September 2017 – August 2019
- Programme: Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships | Adult Education
- ID number: 2017-1-IT02-KA204-036713
The relationship between ecotourism and education is one which is concerned with ensuring that agencies deliver effective interpretations of environmental, cultural and resource management values. Education in this context is more than just a one-way transfer of information. It is about explanation, stimulation, provocation, revelation and understanding in a manner that personally involves the professionals and ecotourists.
However, this is the challenge of interpretation and a key goal for ecotourism,i.e., to enhance people’s attitudes and actions towards their environment.In this context and after a deep SWOT analysis made in each partner country (Romania, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France-Martinique), all of them with a great touristic potential, revealed common weaknesses and needs in the field of the ecotourism development:
- Natural-geographical environment: low interest to diminish the pollution, weak implementation of environmental legislation, misuse of forest fund, poorly spreading of points of collection and recycling of wastes.
- Traditional-cultural environment, insufficient investments for the development and promotion of cultural objectives, absence of databases and calendars of cultural events, poor implementation of legislation on the conservation of historic buildings.
- Technical and technological environment: lack of waste facilities in numerous tourist centers, lack of suitable and sanitary facilities in numerous tourist attractions, limited access of persons with disabilities at hotels, motels, tourist stops and places of tourist attraction, lack of tourist information, poor use of alternative energy sources.
- Social environment: vocational training in the tourism sector doesn’t correspond to the needs of employers, lack of continuous training courses in remote areas, low salaries and inadequate working conditions that favor labor migration from tourism, lack of development methods of professional careers in tourism, lack of a curricula in the field of environmental protection and ecotourism education.
- Political-legal environment: lack of public-private partnerships for ecotourism, lack of institutional structures for regional development of ecotourism;lack of support mechanisms for investors, linadequate implementation of legislation in the field of ecotourism and environmental protection.
- Economic environment: lack of marketing plans aimed at ecotourism, lack of virtual markets, Insufficient use of ICT to promote ecotourism development
This situation determined the partner organisations to involve in this exchange of practices project more than 200 youngsters and adults (students, tourism workers, tourism agencies clients aged 18 to over 65 years).
The project’s general objective is to promote the youngsters and adults environmental education, especially ecotourism education as part of the education for an active citizenship.
- OS1. To provide a nature-based, environmental eco-education experience for more than 100 youngsters and adults (students, tourism workers, tourism agencies clients) until August 2019;
- OS2. To promote a conservation and ecological ethic, in order to create stronger pro-environmental attitudes to more than 100 youngsters and adults (students, tourism workers, tourism agencies clients) until August 2019;
- OS3. To offer, through ecotourism practice experiences, a great opportunity for education as well as professional and personal growth for more than 100 youngsters and adults (students, tourism workers, tourism agencies clients) until August 2019;
- OS4. To create a space of reflection and internationalisation for ecotourism as an educational learning experience for more than 100 youngsters and adults (students, tourism workers, tourism agencies clients)in order to become more responsible professionals, tourists and citizens until August 2019.
The main activities include preparation activities, research and learning activities for adult learners on the theme of ecotourism, local projects for the ecotourism promotion, transnational project meetings, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination activities. The methodology used for the project will be implemented in 4 phases: initiation phase, planning phase, execution phase and control phase.
The main project results will be: Study of ecotourism development, Manual of ecotourism promotion, “Green Aula” experimental learning workshop.
The project will have impact at local, regional and European level, raising awareness on the natural and cultural-historical environment issues at global level and trying to improve knowledge and change attitude towards ecotourism of designated target groups (students, tourism workers, teachers, travel agencies clients, etc).