ThreeT seeks to improve the performance of 8 policy instruments to protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage by setting up thematic trails or improving existing ones, making them accessible to all through green modes of transport and readily available information. The ultimate aim is to maximize the eco-tourism potential of heritage sites. Partners share the challenge that sustainable accessibility to those sites is limited by lack of material links open to sustainable transport modes and of adequate information to ensure their visibility. This adversely affects strategies for a place-based, sustainable development of regional economies, since the potential of those sites is not being efficiently utilised.
To address such challenge, partners’ relevant experience will be shared and jointly analyzed. A minimum of 20 documented good practices will be earmarked, tailored to the specific needs of each partner and suitably fed into the Programe Policy Learning Platform. The experience learning will ultimately result in 8 Action Plans drawn.
Main benefits for the participating regions are:
– Public accessibility and forms of sustainable enhancement of cultural and natural heritage improved
– New practices on green mobility, intermodality and innovative information adopted
– Effective system for monitoring the Action Plan to assess the actual influence of its actions on regional development strategies
– Increased competence and skills of partner staff and key-stakeholders.
The project privileges a bottom up approach for Action Plan formulation with key-stakeholders being involved in all project activities. Their contribution by implementing the planned actions is expected to act as a strong multiplier lever for benefit sharing and territorial cohesion of local communities. The Stakeholder Groups established in the project will constitute a permanent forum to ensure a durable impact related to the project issue and consequent actions planned/implemented.
Brasov County Goal within ThreeT Project
Update & Improve “County Strategic Development Plan over a timespan 2013-2020-2030” regarding sustainable touristic development.
Brasov County Strategic Development Plan 2014-2020-2030 includes 7 (seven) main development directions. In line with ThreeT goals, two of them aim to enhance the County’s cultural, natural and economic potential, such as: developing infrastructure in areas with natural and cultural potential, promoting and capitalizing on tourist objectives, festivals and events, and supporting expansion of tourism initiative.
Furthermore, together with the Ministry of Tourism in Romania, Brasov County manages the Carpathian Sustainable Tourism Platform, responsible for adapting and implementing the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development of the Carpathians within the Carpathian Convention.
The reason why the chosen policy instrument should be improved comes from the need to harmonize all the above-mentioned strategies with each other and with the ERDF policies – the Regional Operational Program – and put more emphasis on accessibility, green mobility and visibility of the existent thematic trails, to make them potential contributors to the County development in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.
Recently, Brasov County has developed several thematic trails which, however, lack sufficient visibility, accessibility and connectivity by means of transportation, interconnectivity to promote cycles and support eco-tourism strategy, safeguard of natural and cultural assets. https://www.interregeurope.eu/threet/
According to the Local Administration Law, county councils have key roles to develop strategies, programs and assure funding for their implementation.
Another key role of Brasov County’s administration is its role as cooperator and coordinator together with the local administrations of the communes, towns and municipalities in the county. It is not a hierarchic role of the county foreseen in the law, but a coordination activity of the county administration is fundamental for achieving the goals of any strategy or program.
During Phase 1 of the 3T-Project Brasov County Administration took this role very seriously and gathered not just the local administrations but many other stakeholders (NGOs, institutions, governmental and other organizations, etc.) to get involved in the project and the planning of the Action Plan.
This role the County Administration will have to play in a much more detailed and sustained way during Phase2 of 3T-Project. Creation of specific thematic Working Groups dedicated to activity domains is the key towards fulfilling the goals of the Action Plan and the strategy for sustainable tourism.
“The Conference of the Parties shall develop and adopt the Strategy on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Carpathians, which will accompany the implementation of this protocol.
The Strategy for the Sustainable Tourism Development of the Carpathians is therefore directly interlinked with the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism in order to contribute to its implementation.
The most relevant chapters in the Protocol set out the fundamentals of the Strategy and are translated into a common action plan, e.g. Article 6 concerning the participation of stakeholders, Article 7 concerning international cooperation, Article 8 concerning the promotion of the Carpathian region, Article 9 concerning the development of regional sustainable tourism products, Article 10 concerning ensuring common high quality standards, Article 11 concerning enhancing the contribution of tourism to local economies, etc.
The Strategy for sustainable tourism development of the Carpathians is to be implemented within the administrative units indicated by each Party.” (page 5 – Strategy for sustainable Tourism Development of the Carpathians)
The main elements we identified in the Region’s Strategy are not targeted towards a real sustainable development path of the region Centru. Although the word “sustainable (durabil)” is used even in the title of the strategy, there are no relevant steps described to achieve the SDG goals and target by using the SDG indicators.
The touristic sector is presented in a classical manner, industrial manner, which still counts success in tourism sector via “sold nights to tourists” and its correlation to GDP growth. On the one hand climate change is mentioned and few actions are proposed (education, promotion, etc.) to tackle impacts on civilization (mentioning air pollution) GDP growth based on fossil fuel consumption is encouraged and promoted.
The Sustainable development Strategy of Region Centru is revised in this moment and will suffer a lot of modifications in 2021. It was not relevant to be taken into consideration due to leak of fit to UNO-SDG, Carpathian Convention sustainable Tourism Strategy or 3T-Objectives.
The Action Plan does not include any cross-references based on this unsustainable strategy.
The relevance to change and update the Sustainable Tourism Strategy of Brasov County is given by the fact that it contains nothing relevant to general sustainable development of Brasov County and offers no analyze or Action Plan towards any goal of sustainable development. Similar to the so called “Sustainable development Strategy of Centru Region” former Brasov County’s development strategy emerged out of a phase where sustainable principles did not count. To improve and maximize GDP in any economic sector was the main aim regardless the quality of the proposed evolution and impact on environment.
Indicatori propusi de Centrul de Ecologie Montana in vederea monitorizarii dezvoltarii serviciilor turistic ein Judetul Brasov:
- Km of new created hiking trails
- Km of fresh marked hiking trails
- Km of new marked bike routes
- Number of increased accessible points of interest for older people
- Number of visitors per selected trails
- Number of information panels in the region
- Number of interpretation panels in a destination
- Number of local guides
- Number of eco-friendly accommodations in the destination
- Number of local gastronomic points
- Amount of CO2 consumption for tourism Buildings,
Despite the high number of visitors in Brasov County, which is after Bucharest the second biggest in Romania, tourism industry is not contributing to level income disparities in Brasov County. Mass-Touristic services are offered in few areas in Brasov County and most development strategies focus just on these sites (with long existing visiting history, like Bran Castle, Rasnov Citadel or Poiana Brasov Ski Resort), ignoring the low developed areas of the county.
Actual projects, like the construction of a new airport in Brasov County (Ghimbav) could be a trigger to increase the existing disparities between low developed rural areas and actual explosively developing Brasov Metropolitan area, if no strategic planning methods in touristic sector are applied by the administration.
As a reaction for this possible threat Brasov County’s 3T-Action Plan is designed as a trigger to guarantee that “nobody is left behind”.
Encouraging less developed areas of Brasov County to develop and implement sustainable tourism strategies on local level (based on the strategies and sustainable development pillars mentioned in the previous chapters), coordinated by the Brasov County Administration with the involvement of all stakeholders, is the main factor of success in regional planning.