'The Assembly of European Regions is set to become the reference centre in the field of eco-tourism in Europe, thanks to its Touring Nature initiative', announced Zsolt Vasile Grigorut, Manager of the AER Alba Iulia Office for Romania and South-Eastern Europe. He spoke today at the 'European Lakes Network' conference, which is taking place in the Lake Tisza Region, Hungary.
Mr. Grigorut presented to 32 representatives from various European regions the 'Touring Nature' project, which aims at developing sustainable tourism in rural areas, both via the creation of pan-European routes to eco-tourism and by encouraging an alternative type of tourism in Europe, which is set to become a valid option to mass and seasonal tourism
'This project is driven by two main targets', explained Mr. Grigorut: 'environmental protection through the promotion of sustainable strategies, and the involvement of local authorities and professionals in these strategies'.
'It is a project', he reminded, 'that is acknowledged by the UNESCO and was positively evaluated by the tourism programme coordinator of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)'.
'The second significant aspect in the Touring Nature initiative', added Mr. Zsolt Grigorut, 'is the sustainable development Label Village+, awarded by the AER. It constitutes a clear reference and guarantee for local tourism enterprises, for professionals and for the visitors'. The Lake Tisza has been awarded this label a year ago, and it is already taking part to the pan-European routes, promoted on the Touring Nature website (www.touringnature.com).
Mr. Grigorut officially announced that the AER will ask all its member regions to integrate the pan-European routes, so that in the long term- they all apply for the Village+ label.
The AER is also set to conclude a partnership with the European Travel Commission (ETC), in order to become the reference centre in Europe in the field of eco-tourism.
WEBLINK: AER Touring Nature Webpage
The Assembly of European Regions - AER (www.aer.eu) is the political organisation of Regions in Europe and their spokesperson at European and international level. Its vocation is to defend the Regions' interests in the political process and develop interregional cooperation. The AER brings together 250 Regions from 32 European Countries and 14 interregional organisations.
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