SHAPE project focused on a transnational set of sustainable heritage areas (SHAs) with diverse experiences of sustainability and regional cooperation involving stakeholders in heritage management, tourism, and governance. In these SHAs, the partners worked with local stakeholders, their organizations, and the institutions which support them, and incorporate their activities into regional strategies for sustainable development.
Ecotourism is an area of sustainable tourism offering visitor’s experiences and discovery of natural and cultural heritage while preserving regions’ integrity. It fosters the respect toward the culture and nature, reflects sustainable business practices, and thus creates local socio-economic benefits. Ecotourism also respects and recognizes local cultures, traditions and values.
The SHAPE begun in each involved SHA, addressing local challenges for sustainable development by mapping assets, building on existing activities, and helping those who are developing ecotourism initiatives. Project partners and stakeholders shared the outcomes transnationally through meetings, learning journeys and thematic networks. The resulting knowledge and tools are now incorporated into this open-access eService, designed to evolve and be used across the NPA region and beyond after the project ends.