by Sandra Coumans
FRH Network development officer
End of April, the Europetour team had the opportunity to meet in person for the second time.
Both Lilian Grootswagers and I were there on behalf of FRH. This time we visited the town of Waidhofen in the so-called Mostviertel, about a 100km West of Vienna.
It was once again an inspiring gathering, and entailed two days of presentations, discussions, visits to the area, and a great opportunity to accumulate knowledge about ways to develop local rural tourism. Last but not least, everybody got to know the Mostbirne, a specific kind of wild pear, which is from there and which the locals are very equipped to process in many different delicacies, such as wine,marmalade and even mustard. As a backdrop to all of that, there was the magnificent landscape and some very nice weather to be enjoyed!
The main focus of the meeting itself was twofold. First of all, FRH presented the survey results and its subsequent analysis, which we had carried out together with the project partners. It turned out to be a very intense analysis because of the density of data gathered through the survey. And after having worked online together for multiple months, everybody enjoyed being able to discuss the implementation of the survey in person and share their experience face-to-face. After all, our focus lies on rural areas which all have their own way of functioning and have their own way of getting in touch with. This resulted in a survey response rate of about 12% of which we are very proud.
The second aim of the meeting was to disclose the training needs of stakeholders in cultural tourism across Europe, based on the earlier presented survey results. Europetour very explicitly chose a bottom-up approach with regard to the survey, making it neither exhaustive nor scientific, but instead resulting in underlining the most relevant issues currently being discussed in the development of rural cultural tourism. FRH has now passed the baton to E-C-C Verein für interdisziplinäre Bildung und Beratung, who will develop the training modules.
The main outcomes of the survey will be published soon!