Paths and ICT apps for self guiding tours in UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Alto Molise”.
The management plan of the Biosphere Reserve set the development and valorization of network path to visitors. The fruition of path network within the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve "Alto Molise" has been implemented with a pdf guide for mountain biking, maps and a downloadable application for IOS and Android self guided tour.
The result has been extremely satisfactory in terms of interest shown, considering the number of tourists, the sustainable use of paths and the valorization of Natura 2000 sites.
The paths were located mainly in only two forests within the Reserve, with an obviously limited enjoyment for tourists and visitors.
ICT self guided tour has been implemented in IOS and Android operative system for smartphones and tablets: it is an offline (no cell and no data signal, only GPS) application realized to offer a smart guide to visitors. In the application, visitors can found information on 10 paths for trekking and/or mountain bike, point of interests, pdf guides.
The different paths cover around 117 kilometers with various difficulty levels. Each path is well described also in a pdf guided and visitors can download kml or kmz files to use with google earth app.
Tourists are the beneficiaries. Local stakeholder like manager of B&Bs and accomodation facilities provided to enlarge the use of trekking map and app.
Around 25,000 Euro.
Evidence of success
The visitors, according to some indicators provided by the host operator (agro-tourism structures, B & Bs, rural dwellings) have appreciated and used even in small groups, the material and supplied applications.
Around 1000 visitors per year use the ICT apps and ancillary guides covering seven municipalities (total area covered is around 15,000 hectares).
Expand the range of trails and mountain bike trails. The offer to tourists of routes of different difficulty level, included in the Natura 2000 network was also a need highlighted by questionnaires and interviews conducted in the Reserve in the past.
Potential for learning or transfer
The use of ICT as the Android app could represent an excellent form of promotion of the natural and cultural landscape in the Reserve and can complement the offer dedicated to a sustainable and responsible tourism.
The replication of this activity could be of interest in other procted areas and Natura 2000 sites.
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