SHAPE partners has facilitated networks of stakeholders involved in heritage management, tourism and community development to develop ecotourism initiatives that preserve rather than damage natural and cultural heritage
Ecotourism is usually described as a form of nature-based tourism with transformative and sustainable values at its core. It represents tourism that is well-suited to the wide, open spaces of northern Europe where our partners are based. Here, for the most part, tourism development is very low key, with much drawing from its wild-land characteristics and contexts.
However, the core elements of ecotourism entail responsible and sustainable economic activity that generates employment, taking account of the real needs of local stakeholders. It seek to do this while conserving the ecosystems, natural and cultural assets and communities which often co-exist (and can struggle to survive) in these remote and beautiful areas.
Though the partner areas ostensibly offer differing landscapes, histories and cultures, they are bound by the unique characteristics of the NPA region: the wide open spaces, low population densities, and colourful, far-reaching cultural histories that are such a draw for many contemporary consumers.
Browse the list of initiatives to know more about the process and products developed in each area.