Partners recognised that outdoor tourism had the potential to further growth; at the start of the project outdoor activities were starting to rise in popularity as tourists began looking for more memorable and exciting experiences on their holidays. The project wanted to make sure that local communities and businesses were ready to gain from the opportunities this would bring, while being able to reap the benefits of sharing best practise.
The outdoor tourism project aimed to understand the issues that prevented growth for businesses in the outdoor sector and address the challenges through cross border support, whilst it explored new and innovative approaches to marketing the outdoor tourism sector. The project also looked to develop a link between local communities in Wales and Ireland and their natural environment, to inspire their communities to take part in recreational and voluntary activities and to aspire to work in the outdoor tourism sector.
AIM & OBJECTIVE 1
To foster business
development in Outdoor Tourism
The project recognises the potential for growth within the Outdoor Tourism sector, and realises that businesses are key to maximising growth. The project will therefore engage with current and existing businesses as well as new and emerging ones. We wish to learn from the sector what the barriers are and what is preventing businesses from growing. In understanding these issues and working with local businesses the project aims to broker in the relevant support from mainstream services, as well as identifying a 30 businesses to work with on specific issues or projects.
It is intended that the learning that ensues from working with businesses will be shared across the sector and across borders with joint Ireland/Wales workshops to disseminate and debate good practise.
If your business operates within the Outdoor Tourism sector then
AIM & OBJECTIVE 2
To support employment opportunities in Outdoor Tourism, including the development of an accredited outdoor instructor training scheme
The project recognises the need to create employment opportunities for local people in the Outdoor Tourism sector in both Ireland and Wales, especially at instructor level within activity providers. Statistics confirm that there is a skills shortage within our local populations when it comes to this type of work. To help bridge this gap we intend to develop a new apprenticeship Framework in Wales through working in partnership with Skills Active (sector skills council). In Ireland we are looking to develop recognised training programmes for outdoor instructors which will be compatible with the skills levels and content of the Welsh programme. The project intends to work with employers, training providers and individuals in developing a broad base Frame work that works for everyone.
If you are interested in further details, and potentially employing apprentices
AIM & OBJECTIVE 3
To develop Innovative
initiatives in Outdoor Tourism
The project looks to develop innovative joint marketing initiatives that will support the Outdoor Tourism sector in the partner areas. The first step in this process is to undertake a study on the combined Outdoor Tourism potential of each of the project partner areas. This would be through -
1) A baseline study of the Outdoor Tourism providers
2) Assess the potential in each area for Outdoor Tourism
3) Make recommendations for a joint Marketing Strategy document. Blue Sail were appointed to conduct the study and the report is the summary of the findings, analysis and recommendations. Outdoor Tourism is defined for this project as comprising 'visitor participation in outdoor activities either as part of a holiday or day trip, or as the main activity'. The report can be downloaded here:
More detail can be found in the working papers that were produced on:
1. Market Data & Consumer Research -2. Regional & National Marketing - 3. Trends - 4. Comparator Research -
Based upon the findings of the study the project will then look to develop and agree a Joint Marketing Strategy for the Outdoor Tourism sector for the partner areas. The strategy will be used to inform the joint communications and promotional tools used to promote the partner areas in an international context.
The Outdoor Tourism Joint Marketing Strategy -
AIM & OBJECTIVE 4
To engage with local communities in outdoor activities by encouraging volunteering and creating enthusiasm for participating in Outdoor projects
The project recognises the importance of engaging and inspiring our local communities to get involved recreationally in Outdoor Activities. Therefore the project will deliver tasters sessions so that communities can sample activities that they would not normally do. The project aims to create a route way into clubs for people wishing to continue with activities. The project will do this through development training with volunteers from clubs, and from the community. This will have the impact of clubs being able to accommodate more people from the community. The project also looks to provide training and skills for local people so that this can support individuals to progress as either a competent participant or a competent volunteer.
The project is also charged with provide a report assessing the impact on Equality and Sustainability that the project has/could have on the sector. Catalys were commissioned to undertake the Equality Impact Assessment and Sustainable Travel UK were the Consultants looking at the Sustainability Impact Assesssment.
Details of these reports can be viewed here:
The project have taken on board the recommendations made in those assessments and are looking at working towards these in the future.
If you are interested in trying out some new activities