Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Sustainable Tourism and Recreation as an Opportunity to Promote Alternative Mobility

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

STREAM was a European project supported by the European Commission in the framework of the 'Intelligent Energy Europe' programme. It was about the promotion of energy efficient transport for recreation and tourism. 


The STREAM project aimed more specifically at traffic related to tourism and recreation, also using these sectors of transportation demand as an opportunity for awareness raising about sustainable mobility in general.

Because of its growing importance and its growing energy consumption, tourism and recreation related traffic is an important target for mobility management. But this sector of transportation demand also offers inherent opportunities for more successful mobility management. Recreation and tourism, especially in open areas, are activities in which the quality of the environment at the destination adds to the quality of leisure time spent. In this context, people are more receptive to ideas about reducing motorised traffic, not only because they see the short time effect in the visited environment (traffic jams, noise, emissions) but also because of the emotional link between recreation and a clean environment. In other words: the recreational environment removes barriers for the promotion of 'soft mobility'.

STREAM establishes a strong link between, on the one hand, campaigning for behaviour change towards sustainable mobility and, on the other hand, quality of tourism and recreation. Mottos of STREAM were:

'If you come to enjoy a natural environment, why not use also more "natural" means to travel?'


'If you cycle for leisure, why not try it out in everyday life?'

The project had two main objectives:

  1. (short term objective) to promote sustainable mobility TO and IN specific recreational and touristic areas, creating a link between 'soft recreation' and 'soft mobility';
  2. (objective on a longer term) to use recreation and tourism as circumstances in which you can more easily raise awareness about the necessity of greener mobility, even in everyday life. For example why would 'cycling tourists' not use the bicycle to go to work, thus extending recreation to every day life?

To reach these goals, well highlighted demonstration and communication projects took place in seven countries and at nine destinations.

Three types of recreational environments are covered:

  • 'green corridors' (soft mobility routes in West-Flanders and in Vilnius City);
  • nature recreation and tourism (recreation areas in Belgium, mountain regions in Austria and Italy, Lagiewnicki forest in Poland);
  • coastal recreation and tourism ( Belgium, Portugal and Bulgaria).

A wide range of sustainable mobility solutions were tested and promoted. These demonstrations are also an occasion to launch broader communication campaigns about the STREAM-approach on regional and national levels.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)


These are the three main lessons learnt from the STREAM-project:

In order to make sustainable mobility for recreation more attractive, seamless and easy-to-spot multimodal routes have to be developed going to the attraction site and continuing on the site:

  • the gap between functional and recreational mobility should be eliminated, in order to reduce the investment in both areas and make sustainable transport more accepted;
  • a seamless and logical combination of sustainable transport TO and IN the recreational site should be realised. The most effective combination is to integrate sustainable mobility in the tourist or recreation package from door to door;
  • continuity in signposting and communication is necessary. This can be done by integrating the corporate identity of a recreational site in the routes leading to it.

Good, attractive and understandable communication about sustainable mobility options should be intensive and completely integrated in the recreational or tourist supply. In particular (families with) children should be addressed.

  • Make sure access information is always included in every communication about a tourist destination. This means: be an important topic in communication planning;
  • Sustainable transport for tourism leads very often to multimodal solutions. Complexity should, however, be avoided;
  • Regarding campaigns to the public, testing and prize winning activities can have a strong awareness raising effect because you are in a 'fun' environment;
  • Regarding awareness raising in general, special education actions for children of youth are easy to organise in the recreational context and effective on a long term.

The number of actors in recreational mobility is high but they need to be involved. A lot of investment should go to mobilising stakeholders, maybe by developing a legal framework.

  • The number of actors in recreational mobility is high but they need to be involved. Make sure responsibilities of private and public actors are well defined. Don’t give up if some of the partners don' follow from the start;
  • If tourist destinations are not easily convinced, you can use 'sustainability' as an element of competition between service providers, for example trough labelling or communication on good practices;
  • another solution is to communicate on a higher level than the local one, in order to increase the importance of the proje


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!