What is a peer review?
A peer review is a mentoring visit, undertaken by a group of international experts, in order to assess a region's policy in a specific field. Peer reviews help regional authorities to understand how well their policies are working and support them in making improvements. They provide a good opportunity for regional representatives to learn from one another.
A peer review consists of a one-week visit by a multinational team of experts to a host region which is interested in improving its tourism policies in a sustainable way. During this visit, the review team holds meetings with key stakeholders in order to ascertain the strength, weaknesses and potential of the host region's tourism policies. After the visit the review team prepares a report with a series of recommendations on how to improve the region's policies. The team's conclusions assess the region's performance against a set of benchmarks, based on international best practice. The host region then considers the conclusions and prepares an action plan, setting out how it intends to implement them.
What is the added value of the methodology?
There are many advantages to working with the peer review methodology:
- cost-efficient: the method does not require high initial costs for the implementation
- two-sided: peer reviews bring knowledge to the host region but also to the peers travelling because they can discover good practices to bring back to their home region
- Since the review is made by peers rather than external auditors, the results and recommendations are more likely to be applicable and relevant for the host region