The Adriatic Route for Thematic Tourism project has been financed in the framework of IPA Adriatic CBC Programme 2007/2013 – Measure 3.3 Communication Networks

The total budget is equal to euro 1.784.484,22

Adriatic Route project started on October 2012 and will end on March 2016

Five Countries are involved for a total number of 6 Project Partners

In the framework of European policies on tourism, IPA CBC Programme financed the Adriatic Route Project for Thematic Tourism. As competition between tourism destinations increases, local culture is becoming an increasingly valuable source of new products and activities to attract and amuse tourists. Gastronomy has a particularly important role to play in this, not only because food is central to the tourist experience, but also because gastronomy has become a significant source of identity formation in postmodern societies.

Other than gastronomy and culture, alternative forms of tourism include also rural tourism, religious tourism, eco-tourism, sports tourism etc.

Benefits brought by the development and promotion of those forms of tourism are significant:
Prolongation of tourism season
Expansion of tourism activities (i.e. differentiation of the tourism product)
Promotion of local identities
Creation of sustainable and high-quality jobs
Attraction of high-income, educated and sophisticated tourists.

Furthermore, alternative forms of tourism seem to represent a continuously growing market segment which is expected to account for 20% of all travel, set to grow faster than any other segment. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) predicts that most of the increase in European tourism receipts in the next decades will come from alternative forms of travel.

The lack of a systematized approach for the promotion of the whole territory combined with seasonality and massiveness of tourism in many Adriatic areas, implies that alternative forms of tourism have not been thoroughly examined and exploited in the cross-border area, leaving thus a lot of space for formulation and implementation of relevant common initiatives. Furthermore, the lack of accessibility to touristic information along with the limited number of communication media used for the promotion of tourism/cultural/natural resources highlight the need for a more integrated ICT-based approach.

There are few initiatives currently on the promotion of tourism/cultural/natural resources through the web that however put emphasis merely on the resources themselves and have mostly a pure local/regional focus. Unlike them, ADRIATICROUTE aims at combining those resources with the available transport infrastructures, since accessibility is among the key criteria for selecting a tourism destination, as well as to embrace the whole Adriatic area through common presentation and promotion and facilitate transfer from one region / country to the other.

ADRIATIC-ROUTE aims at promoting cultural, gastronomic and other alternative forms of tourism in the surrounding countries of the Adriatic Sea basin through the use of multimodal transport systems. The ultimate goal is to increase mobility in the participating regions for thematic tourism purposes, while at the same time promoting accessibility from one region / country to the others.

This goal will be achieved through the development of an Adriatic Web-GIS platform that will bridge cultures and transport systems of the participating regions.

The project also promotes joint ventures in the tourism sector while the cooperation actions proposed concern cultural and natural heritage, training, institutional capacity building and investment promotion.

The Lisbon Treaty provides a new framework which allows the Commission to undertake necessary measures in order to complement the action of the Member States in the tourism sector, in particular by promoting the competitiveness of Union undertakings in that sector. The specific measures in the tourism sector will be especially aimed at: encouraging the creation of a favourable environment for the development of undertakings in this sector; promoting cooperation between the Member States, particularly by the exchange of good practice. Furthermore, in the Communication (COM(2010)352), Europe is the world’s no. 1 tourist destination, with the highest density and diversity of tourist attractions. As a result, the tourist industry has become a key sector of the European economy, generating over 10% of EU GDP (directly or indirectly) and employing 9.7m citizens in 1.8m businesses. Tourism contributes to: employment and regional development sustainable development an enhanced natural and cultural heritage shaping of a European identity. Tourism is also an important means of promoting Europe’s image in the world, projecting our values and promoting the European model – which is the result of centuries of cultural exchanges, linguistic diversity and creativity. EU policy aims to promote tourism so as to maintain Europe’s standing as a leading destination, and maximize the industry’s contribution to growth and employment. The Lisbon Treaty specifically acknowledges the importance of tourism in Article 195.