Floriculture tourism as asset for a region: new income for nurseries, interesting experience for tourists.
Being an important plant nursery region, East Flanders wanted to stimulate and to create more tourist offers (eg cycling and walking tours, visits etc) telling and showing not only the tradition but also the actual importance of plant industry and its impact on tourism and vice versa. We needed the plant nursery industry and the tourism industry to work together more often and more intensively.
The project succeeded in getting the plant nursery industry, the tourism industry and the public tourist sector work together on creation and promotion of floricultural tourist offers.
12 000 maps with walking and cycling trails were created and distributed. The trails were also downloadable on the thematic website that was created.
A flower tapestry event was organised and counted 22 000 visitors , 30 hotel/restaurant/bar owners were trained as Floricultural tourist ambassadors, 8 ornamental growers created and promoted an offer of company visits for tourists. In every participating community 2 flowered welcome signs were installed.
Except for the temporary event, the other creations were implemented and still exist.
All partners involved in the project, plus tourists and visitors in the regions. Thanks to better told stories on tradition, thanks to bringing this in tourist communication, thanks to offering new possibilities the plant nursery industry as well as the tourist partners and the visitors, inhabitants got more and better experiences to offer or to get offered.
Plant nursery tradition (well known products)
The spending budget in 2,5 years time was 85 000€. Different colleagues were working on the project; in this project period they spent together almost (90%) the equivalent of 1 fulltime job.
Evidence of success
12 000 maps wth walking and cycling routes through the ‘flower region’ were distributed. 22 000 visitors were present at the flower tapestry event; , 30 hotel/restaurant/bar owners were trained as Floricultural tourist ambassadors and are now able to inform their clients/tourists better on the floricultural assets of their region, 8 ornamental growers created and promoted an offer of company visits for tourists. In every participating community 2 flowered welcome signs were installed.
Potential for learning or transfer
Similar projects with tourism and regional produce working together are potentially successful in other regions too. Tourism can offer more visibility for regional products. An important success factor is, to make sure that the producers believe in the added value of tourism for their own business. It is important that they really want to work together with the tourist partners, i.e; that they not only expect help in promotion/marketing to get their business better known, but that they realise they need to create a better experience in order to offer a qualitative visit to tourists. Otherwise it could hamper a long term viability of the cocreated tourist offers and experiences.
Especially in businesses that are not spontaneously linked with a tourist experience (as e.g. food and drinks do are) the ability of the producers to create tourist experience at the location of their businesses is necessary for success.
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