Promoting the valorisation of natural footpaths in Alto Alentejo region through their digitalisation, using Information and Communication Technologies.
AFN develops around the valorisation and promotion of nature tourism and its protection and develops in areas classified as Protected Areas or that are integrated in Natura 2000 Network.
AFN intends to support the valorisation or increase the offer, namely in the context of cycle, pedestrian and spiritual paths, which contribute to the international positioning of the region as a competitive destination for these activities practice.
The project elects the pedestrian and cycle routes present in the territories of CIMAA´s 15 municipalities, to start a process of valorisation of the territory as a destination for the practice of cycling & walking and capable of generating new and innovative tourist products with high potential, which contribute to the consolidation of the existing tourist activity and foster the emergence of new business initiatives that promote the creation of jobs that induce the settlement of local populations.
The project also developed:
- Digital pedestrian routes (portal and app);
- Data collection for the tourist flows analysis (sensors, app, site and social networks);
- Resources integration, in a strategy to attract tourist flows that generate economic activity (app, portal, social networks);
- Accessible routes to tourists with special needs (audio-guides, video with sign language).
More than a tourism project, AFN has the potential to be a structuring vector for the region development and to boost the region as an innovative destination.

Resources needed

Investment around 1 million €;
- Financing thought national and regional programmes – AFN integrates the inMotion strategy;
- Involvement of several entities: 15 Municipalities, Regional Tourism Entity, Natural Park, Alentejo managing authority, etc;
- Human resources;
- External services.

Evidence of success

- Public entities support;
- 41 Routes duly signposted and with a total 615km, which can be travelled in a total autonomy and security way and with the support of ICT tools;
- Natural.PT Award in 2016;
- Identified as one of its national anchor lines for the practice of Walking by Portuguese Tourism Authority;
- Presence in several events – 10 at national level and 5 at international level;
- Creation of the Alentejo Feel Nature Brand.

Difficulties encountered

- Creation of a project that allowed the creation of conditions for the opening of an inland region to less explored touristic aspect;
- Have the support of public institutions;
- Find the necessary lines of financing;
- Routes maintenance;
- High level of resources regarding promotion actions.

Potential for learning or transfer

ICT have precipitated the redefinitions of traditional business models in the tourism sector and are recognized as a great opportunity to work on the tourism notoriety of a region in potential markets. The experience adquired can be transfer to other public entity.
The implementation of this project involved the region 15 municipalities, which was fundamental, and contributed to the infrastructure of it with a set of pedestrian routes to support a tourism niche, based on the product “Walking”.
The landscape, villages, towns, people, endogenous products and events contribute to the enrichment of the project and Alentejo Feel Nature brand was consolidated and recognized by different national and foreign entities.
The product "Alentejo Feel Nature" (AFN), is now recognized in the country and abroad and was implemented in a public infrastructure. Additionally, the brand promotes the region values and the landscape in national and international markets.

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Project
Main institution
CIMAA
Location
Alentejo,
Start Date
January 2014
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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