Background and Aim
To use cultural and natural heritage and the assets from previous IIIB projects to contribute to the improvement of public health, encourage small and medium-sized businesses and contribute to improving the demographic profile of the participating regions.
By factoring in the actual impacts of climate change, the project worked with business organisations to ‘climate proof' leisure and tourism businesses.
The project used politicians and stakeholder input, national level groups and expert guidance when working with specific target groups. With gradual development, achieved through repeated testing, it was possible to produce a major toolkit of information, experiences and procedures for easy transfer of the approach and the success.
The project worked with new technology mapping to make routes accessible and attractive to new groups of users and to trial various approaches to marketing and mobilisation for the tool kit.
Nature tourism currently grows three times faster than the tourism sector as a whole. The strong economic drivers of tourism and leisure work in the cross-over between protection and promotion of nature and heritage. Deployed with insight, such drivers will aid sustainability. The project did not seek to develop tourism, but to teach businesses how to be more effective without degrading heritage assets.
It is possible to design opportunities for health into urban design. There are opportunities provided in the link between health and land use planning, such as in the new British Right of Way Improvement Plans (2007-2017).
By working with the right combination of experts on issues such as on walking, obesity and SME development, it should be possible to create a lasting effect on business development and lifestyles in the North Sea area and develop a toolkit for others to achieve the same.