News & Activities

PRESERVE Final Conference & Steering Committee Meeting - Siena (Tuscany)

Final Conference & Steering Committee Meeting, Siena, 20 - 21 October 2011

"INNOVATION & SUSTAINABILITY IN TOURISM - Regions present their ideas & solutions"


Tourism plays a crucial role in the European economy generating more than 5% of the EU’s GDP and still showing significant growth potential. Being an important source of income and employment for all regions ranging from urban to rural and peripheral, tourism contributes to regional development and inclusive growth. However, the growth of tourism cannot be taken for granted. Facing high international competition, tourism has to adapt to new challenges and opportunities. The long-term competitiveness of the European tourism sector depends on the sustainable nature of its development and the improvement of its performance through innovation.

The goal of the conference was to explore the ideas, problems and solutions of regions related to innovation and sustainability in Europe. In this context, we took a closer look at the developments at the European level related to tourism and to provide good practice examples on the topics of sustainability and innovation from which other regions can learn. The objective was also to present the major outcomes of the INTERREG IVC PRESERVE (Peer REviews for Sustainable Eco-Regions Via Europe) project, which aimed at improving effectiveness of regional tourism development policies and supporting sustainable tourism.


Opening Session: Tourism in Europe - New challenges, opportunities and results: keynote speeches

The Lisbon Treaty provides the EU some new competences in the field of tourism to complement action at national, regional and local level, enabling the drawing of a coherent framework for action. This was illustrated by the publication, by the European commission of a Communication on “Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe”. This first session provided an update on the latest developments at the European level and discuss how European tourism policy can promote sustainability and innovation in tourism. In this respect, the performance of tourism projects funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) was also discussed.

Thematic Session 1: Innovation in tourism: paths to economic growth & development

As economic growth, competitiveness and development largely depend on the creation of new products, processes and services, innovation has become the heart of most successful businesses. Tourism needs to embrace the principles of innovation and innovative thinking to remain a competitive, vital and dynamic sector. This session therefore aimed to discuss different aspects and examples of innovation in tourism, its impact and obstacles, and the best ways to facilitate innovation in tourism.

Thematic Session 2: Sustainable tourism development: what can PRESERVE bring to other regions

Many examples show that tourism can become a threat to the beauty and diversity of the European landscape, rather than a vehicle for economic growth and job creation, and thus may aggravate the new challenges facing the EU at this time. As the quality and attractiveness of tourist destinations is strongly influenced by their natural and cultural environment, tourism’s competitiveness and growth depends on its sustainability. Therefore, this session discussed ways and best practices to improve sustainability in tourism and presented the main outcomes of the PRESERVE project (Peer REviews for Sustainable Eco-Regions Via Europe).

South Tuscany Business Innovation Centre Eurobic welcomed PRESERVE partners and local stakeholders to the final PRESERVE conference and Steering Committee meeting in Siena on 20 - 21 October 2011. 

Address: Cassa Integrazione Assistenza Siena
4, Via delle Arti, 53100 Siena



Please address any questions to:

Anna Schober
T: +32 (0)2 880 95 64
F: +32 (0)2 880 95 64

Valentina Scagliola
T: +39 (0) 577 99501


Press clippings



User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log in on the website: