Aquitaine Nature Days and ecotourism routes

Project information

Index: 0500R2
Priority:2: Environment and risk prevention
Sub Theme:Biodiversity and preservation of natural heritage (including air quality)
Location FRANCE SUD-OUEST Several cities in Aquitaine Aquitaine Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2008-07-01

Topic of the practice

Tourism and Biodiversity : Open days and eco-tourism routes based on the discovery and the better understanding of biodiversity

Good Practice Information

Aquitaine Nature Days” are an event organized since 2008 by the Aquitaine Region in the framework of the already existing “Aquitaine Nature Network”, which is a network of managers of remarkable natural sites. During “Aquitaine Nature Days” around 150 free events are proposed to the general public (and more particularly families) on the 30 remarkable natural sites involved. The events consist of on field animations to attempt to raise public awareness of ecological issues The offered animations are varied: site guided tour, fauna/flora watching, walk, exhibition, cooking workshop…In addition, 5 ecotourism routes are proposed to visitors on different geographic spots in Aquitaine. These ecotourism routes consist of suggesting to visitors to broaden their local discoveries and to visit; organic farms, cultural heritage sites or sports structures.
Aquitaine Nature Days” aim at showing general public the natural Aquitaine region richness and raising
awareness of nature and biodiversity (knowledge and issues).Moreover, the eco-tourism routes helps different local players (managers of sites, local facilitator, service providers of hostels, restaurants, museums, sportive activities, organic farmers… ) to better know each other, to work together. This aims at building long term partnership between them and to develop local ecotourism. In addition, this action contributes to raise local players’ awareness of nature and biodiversity.
This action is a good way to present natural sites and to enhance their image. It can easily be replicated, if there are interesting sites to visit and if the network of restaurants, accommodation and manager of natural site agreed to collaborate.
Cost: human ressources (managers of the natural sites, Aquitaine Region coordinator...) and external expertise of an communication agency. Communication actions and intellectual services =230 000€

Evidence of success

This action helps to increase of the environmental knowledge (local and general) of the visitors,
to raise public awareness of ecological issues (including biodiversity preservation),
to enhance the image of the “Aquitaine nature network” and improving understanding of the work of the site managers,
to develop of cross-disciplinary work between local players and to develop of local eco-tourism.
After 3 years, this event is really running well. Sites managers are enthusiastic. « Aquitaine Nature Days » are eagerly expected by General public, local players and media.
Aquitaine region was the 1st region to organize this kind of event and it has been transposed to other French regions.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Sophie Kerloch

Regional council of Aquitaine

Annex completed on: 02-21-2011

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