The project aims to establish relationships with local entrepreneurs for visitor centers management, ensuring public services delivery associated.
In the late 1990s, the Ministry of Environment defined a strategy for public use in protected natural areas. One of its objectives was the promotion of the participation of the local population through the undertaking of actions that generate benefits.
- Make activities in protected areas economically attractive and sustainable;
- Guarantee quality and homogeneity of the services provided;
- Fix the population in the natural spaces.

Granting companies the use of public infrastructure associated with the natural space for their own benefit, forcing them to continue offering the original use for which the infrastructure is created through a public bidding process.

Provide to natural areas with an infrastructure for:
- Provide information to citizens;
- Carry out training and dissemination activities and provide other ancillary services;
- Cafeteria, shop of local products and activities of nature-based tourism;
- Model contract specifying the quality and quantity of services to be provided, awarded by public tender to the technical and economically most advantageous offer,
-Monitoring through indicators of the correct performance of the aspects included in the tenders.

As a counterpart, the government guarantees:
-On-line Reservation center and satisfaction questionnaires;
-Presence and profiles in social networks, newsletters, Google adwords;
-Training to local workers;
-Merchandising products;
-Adaptation of activities for people with disabilities.

Resources needed

This settled practice devotes 17 full-time employees from the Regional Goverment of Andalusia for all the region and around 78 local collaborator entrepreneurs.

Evidence of success

It guarantees a quality public service, with an economically attractive model for local companies, designed according to the policies defined by the Regional Government of Andalusia.

Difficulties encountered

Local businesses search that find this business model attractive.

Competition with other administrations (councils, town halls,...) including hiking associations, etc. that carry out activities in the natural environment for free.

Potential for learning or transfer

A public-private partnership is possible for the purpose of developing an economic activity that is sustainable in natural spaces.This model of managment can be easily adopted by other european regions with public use infrastructures (visitor centers in protected areas) as a means to develop the local economy, the own dinamyzation of the center and the provision of environmental services.

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Main institution
Regional Government of Andalucia
Andalucía, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 1998
End Date


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