Sustainable development of tourism in the Ardennes
French Ardennes are not yet well-known in the region, in France they have a slightly negative image. If people know Ardennes, it's only because of the nature that expands through territories of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Hence, the French Ardennes have an issue of its image, while the Belgian Ardennes have a need of refreshing their image in order to attract more tourists.
These two forces and needs to lure more tourists resulted in an Interreg project - Ardenne Ecotourism. The organisers focused on the question - what do the tourists need when going on vacations? Accommodation, places to visit, places to eat (preferable local cuisine) and means to move. Hence, how can we make tourism as sustainable and responsible as possible?
Having kept these questions in mind, the project built itself on the following steps:
1. Support for tourist service providers,
2. The valorization of local products in restaurateurs,
3. The development of cross-border routes.
The project and financial support from Interreg goes most importantly at legitimizing their work as an cross-border actor. It also supports the development of cross-border routes, creation of job places, which is crucial for a region that suffers from a high level of unemployment. Finally, Interreg allows making many sessions of trainings to increase the quality and competitivity of professionals in tourism sector.