To make HIT the main and integrated Research Pole in the fields of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Tourism in Greece and among the top 10 relevant nodes of technology and expertise in Europe.

On July 6 and 7 2021, the fourth SUSTOURISMO project meeting took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The meeting was the occasion for discussing the progress of project’s activities, focusing in particular on the finalization of the SUSTOURISMO App and of the related local tourist packages to be launched in the next weeks in all the partners’ areas. The goal is to have all touristic packages active on the App and ready for tourists’ usage for Summer 2021.  

 4thproject meeting

Zadar, the hosting partner, opened the first day by welcoming all partners and presenting a virtual tour of the city of Zadar showing the main tourist attractions. The video is available on YouTube at the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmEzsZkqovw

Dr Maria Morfoulaki, head of the Sustainable Mobility Laboratory of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT), introduced the technical session and the main goals of the meeting. In particular, she focussed on the main challenges all partners have to tackle in the following weeks for launching effective and interesting touristic packages and finalizing the SUSTOURISMO App, which will be available in all the seven project countries from July 2021. 

After the introductory part, a large discussion was dedicated to the finalization and optimization of the local touristic packages. In particular, the discussion focussed on how to best coordinate the App information and rewards sections in order to provide touristic and sustainable mobility integrated packages able to respond to specific local needs. In particular, each partner presented flow charts summarizing the organization of all the different solutions that will be launched in the next weeks and tested for at least 10 months under real life conditions.   

At last, RRA LUR presented the results of the SUSTOURISMO survey aimed at capturing tourists on the spot (mainly foreign, but also domestic visitors) and identifying their mobility needs in the pilot cities and within the ADRION area, as well as tourists’ environmental behaviours. The result of this activity emerged from a statistical analysis of 2.623 surveys. The main lessons learnt regard the tourists travel behaviours and the role of new technologies in finding the touristic and mobility information in an unknown touristic area. In relation to the tourists’ behaviour aspects, data show that within the city, walking and private vehicles were the preferred modes of transport. Most visitors of the ADRION region chose a specific transport mode within the city because it was the most comfortable and fastest way. Heavy traffic was highlighted as the biggest difficulty encountered during visitors’ trips within the ADRION cities. In all destinations private vehicles were the most commonly used mode of transport, while rented vehicles and interurban public buses were also popular for trips outside the city. Another important monitored aspect is the growing importance of the digital technologies in the touristic sector. Most visitors of the ADRION region got information regarding their stay through an online search. About 75% of the responders were willing to use a mobile App to get touristic information. Visitors are more likely to use the mobile App if they get a reward.

The second day of the meeting opened with a detailed presentation of the last internal release of the SUSTOURISMO App coordinated by CERTH/HIT. The App will help tourists to make responsible travel choices scrolling down the attractions of the city, the sustainable mobility options and the attractive tourist packages, collecting points and receiving gifts for each sustainable action taken. The discussion among partners helped collecting the last adjustments needed to further improve the App functioning before its final launch on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Following the SUSTOURISMO App presentation, the Institute for Transport and Logistics (ITL) presented a methodology for the App monitoring and assessment, both in the trial period and during its real life usage. In particular, ITL presented the KPIs that will be monitored and the procedures to adopt for analysing the comments and the suggestions provided by the App users, as well as how to translate these comments in action for a constant improvement of the App.

Once the session dedicated to the SUSTOURISMO App development and monitoring ended, ITL presented the preliminary results of the second rounds of local Round Tables aimed to involve the main key local stakeholders in the development of the SUSTOURISMO App and in the finalization of the local touristic packages. In this second round, interesting suggestions were collected at local level and the bases for more structured collaborations were defined. The third round of the local Round Tables is planned for the beginning of next year, in order to monitor together with the key local stakeholders the main results of the local actions and the potential strategies to improve the users’ experiences, supporting to reach the local and cross borders sustainability goals.

The following presentation held by CEI-ES dealt with the capacity building actions. After the first capacity building seminar held in November 2020 and the second held in April 2021, a third event will take place by the end of September 2021 to getting closer to the tourism-sector-related stakeholders and fostering a fruitful learning process. More information about the upcoming webinar will be available soon on the project’s social media. CEI-ES also presented the progress of the communication activities. Follow SUSTOURISMO social media (Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook) to stay updated with all the project’s news and activities, as well as with the innovative ideas on how to promote sustainable tourism and mobility in your territories.

The meeting ended with the financial and administrative management activities and the Steering Committee Group coordinated by CERTH/HIT, where the plan of work for the next challenging months was settled. The ADRION JS took also part to this last part of the meeting and provided suggestions and recommendations for reaching in due times the SUSTOURISMO key objectives.

Stay tuned on the several news coming up in the next months and monitor the App store and the Google Play Store in order to actively participate and win with the SUSTOURISMO App!

This announcement has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of the announcement is the sole responsibility of SUSTOURISMO PP3 (Institute for Transport and Logistics) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union and/or ADRION programme authorities.

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