A mountain town, a seaside resort, an island of immense biodiversity, the largest lake in Central Europe and a historic island in the Mediterranean, all of these spots are highlights of Europe's rich landscape attracting tourists from around the continent and around the world. Although the ski slopes of Werfenweng in Austria may attract different tourists than those visiting the historic island of Kos in Greece for the summer cultural festivals, these destinations along with the three others included in the STARTER project all share a common problem: high touristic activity during a specific season. More visitors means there is more traffic congestion on the roads. Traffic contributes to high energy use, traffic noise and air pollution, which leads to negative health and environmental effects, increased risk of traffic accidents, low-quality transportation services and damage to the transportation infrastructure. STARTER was developed to encourage more sustainable solutions to meet the seasonal demand for transportation and mobility services created by tourism in five different European tourist destinations, including the Balaton region, Hungary; Fuerteventura, Spain; Kos, Greece; Noordwijk, The Netherlands and Werfenweng, Austria.
'Greening' seasonal traffic through emphasing alternative sustainable transport modes and mobility measures requires cooperation between the transport and tourism sectors, environmental organisations and economic development agencies and local and regional authorities. STARTER works by engaging various stakeholders in the development of Local Travel Plan Networks (LTPNs). A LTPN is a group of organisations that come together to share resources and ideas for creating a package of measures that will encourage more sustainable travel choices and reduce reliance on the car to meet the goals of the participating organisations.
Through STARTER, the adoption of a common strategy for managing the challenges of seasonal traffic demand will be implemented through developing Local Travel Plan Networks (LTPNs) whose measures will result in 10 percent energy savings.
Sustainable transport is a solution to health, environmental and economic problems caused by seasonal fluctuations in travel demand that align with the goals of the European Commission. The STARTER project will result in 10 percent energy savings through specific measures developed by each Local Travel Plan Network (LTPN). In the five regions participating, STARTER will increase awareness and knowledge of LTPNs and mobility management among policy-makers, transportation providers, tourism bureaus, economic development agencies and users of transportation services. The knowledge developed will be shared here on the project website but also through reports, journal articles, workshops and conferences.
Positive effects expected to be realised through STARTER, include those listed below.
Increased local cooperation: Stakeholders will engage in a fruitful consultation and dialogue about accessible and sustainable transportation. The main task of the target groups united in the LTPN is to investigate and apply the most appropriate mobility policies in their region and to support the embrace of relevant measures and actions.
Implementation of innovative solutions: Acceptance and development of new or improved energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly mobility policies and measures among local stakeholders who make decisions within their regions, companies involved in the tourism sector, inhabitants and visitors of these regions in order to encourage a shift to less energy-intensive transport modes and increase the efficiency of the entire mobility chain.
A sustainable transport system: The mobility policies and measures to be promoted in STARTER aim to minimize unnecessary individual car trips, while promoting alternative modes of transportation. These effects will create a mobility environment where traffic is reduced hereby reducing emissions and usage of fossil fuels. This will result in better traffic flow and higher quality of life.
Long-term solutions: Special emphasis will be put on how to mature LTPNs into networks that are economically independent. LTPNs will improve mobility, reduce energy and become viable without the financial support of governmental organisations so their impact will be felt after the completion of the STARTER project.
Market Opportunity: Consumers are becoming more conscious of the need for sustainability and places demonstrating a commitment to this type of transportation may have an advantage in attracting tourists and providing them
Five tourist regions are targeted in the STARTER project: Noordwijk (NL), Kos (GR), Fuerteventura (ES), Werfenweng (AT) and the West-Balaton region (HU). These five regions are quite different: they range from coastal to mountain sites, from typical summer to winter locations, from mainland cities to islands. Through this diversity, the project aims to reflect a significant part of the European touristic locations to produce transferable results.
Implementation of innovative mobility measures in five regions suffering from a steep seasonality of transport demand, which will contribute to achieving a more energy efficienct transport system and less car-dependant 'lifestyles'. Target: 10% primary energy savings and 10% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
- Cooperation between local/regional authorities, the touristic sector and other local stakeholders in a fruitful consultation and dialogue about accessibility and sustainable transport.
- Increased acceptance and take-up of new or improved energy efficient and environmentally friendly mobility policies and measures.