Get to know For Play, Star Awards winner 2019

Photo: For Play

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Congratulations! Star Awards 2019 winner “Innovation”

“For Play” is the EUROPARC Star Awards 2019 winner in the category of “Innovation”. This category is a special recognition for its exceptional creativity and foresight. They are pioneers in transition to Sustainable Tourism in Coastal dunes Natural and Regional Park, Italy. 

The blue of the sea, the red of the land and the green for innovation

For Play is a young company that allows visitors to explore the region of Coastal dunes Natural and Regional Park, based on the principle of sustainable mobility. Using a fleet of colourful and snappy electric cars, they set a new way of circulating in the region.

Sustainable, funny and affordable. The best way to bring out the richness of the country.

Electric vehicles produce zero emission and zero noise, being in total respect with the environment. The little cars are the ideal way to move, slowly and safely, throughout the maze of narrow streets bordered by stone walls of Ostuni and the ups and downs of Itria Valley.

Besides, the cars and the itineraries provided allow the visitors to spread and discover new places and assets that are not normally visited. This benefits both tourists and locals:

  • It offers an alternative to the traditional beach-tourism, they can appreciate nature and traditional practices in a respectful way,
  • The project makes available historical sites, such as private areas, unreachable by other means, thus, presenting new realities of the territory
  • Deseasonalisation of tourist flow and decongesting the beaches during the summer peak
  • It promotes the possibilities and importance of Sustainable Tourism and mobility
  • Enhance the local development through promotion and collaboration with local businesses
  • Provide an alternative for reduced-mobility collectives to discover the region

Itineraries with awareness

On your own or with a qualified guide, For play shows visitors the cultural, historical and natural wonders of the territory. The itineraries range from tours through vineyards and olive trees to natural or culinary journeys. In this way, they promote local producers, farmers, and businesses. Creating a strong network that stimulates the growth and development of small communities, is also respectful towards the environment.

For Play owners. Photo: For Play

The activities are supported and complemented with explanations and instructions on how to behave when in natural habitats, their peculiarities, and threats.

This has attracted residents and locals, that also use the services. With their engagement, a network of charging points has been developed to facilitate mobility and reassure users as they travel.

A growing network

Beyond businesses and producers, For play also collaborates with schools to engage the youth in the understanding of carbon-reduction. Scientists and events sensitize the society about respecting the territory. And the Park operators themselves use the cars when needed.

An online public voting is now running, to select one winner out of the five awarded, who will be invited to present their business at EUROPARC Conference 2020VOTE NOW!

Get to know Hotel Caminetto, Star Awards winner 2019

Photo: Hotel Caminetto

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Congratulations! Star Awards 2019 winner “Communicating the Values of my Park and my Business”

“Hotel Caminetto” is the EUROPARC Star Awards 2019 winner in the category of “Communicating the Values of my Park and my Business“. Their communication efforts reflect their commitment to sustainability and account for a big contribution to Adamello Brenta Natural Park (Italy). In this category. EUROPARC has evaluated the consistency and dedication to sustainability, and the ways of engaging the visitors to value and enjoy the area.

The hotel that educates its customers in sustainability

The communication policy of Hotel Caminetto aims to make the guests fully aware of the place, culture, and nature that host it, and hence, to value it. For instance, they constitute the model of being a sustainable hotel committed to respecting the environment and protecting natural resources without giving up comfort. Thanks to that, it has been awarded several labels that recognize its environmental quality.

Sustainable lifestyle tought in the hotel can encourage the visitors to continue it once at home.

Photo: Hotel Caminetto

Hotel Caminetto allows guests to experience a real sustainable holiday, by informing and encouraging them to perform certain actions and practices in and out of the facilities. This includes information about waste management, energy consumption, sustainable mobility and appropriate behaviour during walks to see flora and fauna.

With the support of well-trained staff, they offer a sustainable experience by changing the towels only on request or renting and providing material such as backpacks or reusable bottles to prevent littering. In the kitchen, the hotel supports local economy throughout the use of local food products and their promotion to other stakeholders.

The environment as a host and protagonist

An essential part of its communication policy is the promotion of activities in Adamello Brenta Natural Park. Those activities are aligned and contribute to the Park’s labour, such as the guided tours provided only by guides certified by the Park. The visitors that are attracted by the traditional ski season, have the opportunity to understand other alternatives for tourism that is more respectful towards the environment, and with less seasonality.

Thanks to the “Parco Card“, that is free of charge and funded by the Hotel, the visitors are encouraged to discover the natural heritage. The Card allows them to attend guided excursions, access the Park Houses, and gives them free use of shuttle buses and discounts in many local and traditional businesses. The guests that are committed to sustainable mobility and use the card for public transport instead of the car even receive a discount.

A history of commitment

Photo: Hotel Caminetto

For more than 14 years, Hotel Caminetto has been committed to applying an environmental culture that they believe in. They are nowadays ambassadors and safeguards of natural heritage and encourage the rest of the community throughout articles or meetings.

They are strongly involved with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, proving to the rest of the business community that sustainable tourism is a durable and exemplary alternative for snow and ski tourism.

An online public voting is now running, to select one winner out of the five awarded, who will be invited to present their business at EUROPARC Conference 2020VOTE NOW!

Outdoor Activities for Inclusion: new toolbox available

Source: Toolbox Outdoor Activities for Inclusion

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“Outdoor Activities for Inclusion” is a multi-stage project that aims to expand the use of outdoor activities as a tool supporting inclusion in youth work. It has been launched by the Oivanki Outdoor Education Center (Finland), with support of the Erasmus + programme.

A toolbox of outdoor games and activities for inclusion

The toolbox, created in 2019, is a collection of outdoor activities that can be used to improve inclusion, especially in youth work. The first part gather examples of national games from 9 countries, the second part lists implemented activities in those countries. In the last part, you can read about the Lessons learned and Tips from the implementation stage.

The project improves the level of key competencies and skills of youth workers, young people and also promotes social inclusion.

The project aims to:

Source: Toolbox Outdoor Activities for Inclusion

  • acquire and improve competencies for using outdoor activities as a tool for inclusion in youth work;
  • acquire and improve competences on empathizing and defining the needs of target groups;
  • acquire and improve competences on developing, prototyping and testing outdoor activities supporting the inclusion in local communities;
  • acquire and improve competences on involving youth in developing Erasmus+ projects supporting inclusion through outdoor activities, and
  • develop and disseminate a toolbox of outdoor games and activities supporting the inclusion.

Download the toolbox

ToolBox Outdoor Activities for Inclusion

About the coordinating organisation

Nouriso-ja luontomatkakailukeskus Oivanki is an Outdoor Education Centre. It is a non-profit organisation based in Kuusamo and owned by the town of Kuusamo. It runs as an LTD-Corporation, with a separate budget for youth activities supervised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Finland.

Get to know Sud Randos, Star Awards winner 2019

Photo: Sud Randos, ©Gregory Rohart

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Congratulations! Star Awards 2019 winner “Building my Community”

“Sud Randos” is the EUROPARC Star Awards 2019 winner in the category of “Building my community“. This association of tour operators brings a unique experience for the visitors and an opportunity for developing the community in Cévennes National Park and beyond. In this category, EUROPARC has evaluated the contribution to the cultural and social fabric of the community.

Following the steps of locals

Culture and traditions are at the core of stays and experiences that Sud Randos organises. They bring visitors and tourists together in direct and intimate contact with locals businesses and workers. Therefore, farmers, artisans, craftsmen, artists, and local nature are the protagonist and objects of discovery for the tourists. By this mean, they strengthen the community and support traditional preservation practices  with new incomes.

Each experience carry a relationship of fair exchange, acquaintances and true awareness.

They take care of each detail in their infrastructure, making sure that most parts of the equipment, material or food come from fair trade, local businesses, and organic production. Habitats, species and potential environmental threats are taken into account when setting itineraries, seasonality, numbers of participants and ways of transport.

Photo: Sud Randos

Their impact on local development is also addressed by their hiring policy, giving job opportunities to students, for example.

Raising environmental awareness

Photo: Sud Randos, ©Chantal Breuillaud

Natural heritage has been deeply rooted in their know-how for many years. Sud Randos has a strong connection with Cévennes National Park. Withing the region, they have collaborated and launched several projects entirely focused on the protection of sensitive areas. Networking and community involvement are outstanding characteristics of this organisation.

Agropastoralism, management of karst habitats, wetlands, fresh water ecosystems, forestry and Natura 2000 sites are just some examples of issues they cover. Moreover, Sud Randos support the Forest Protection Office in the management of species at local level. Recently, they set up a reception place in a sensitive area to educate visitors.

An online public voting is now running, to select one winner out of the five awarded, who will be invited to present their business at EUROPARC Conference 2020VOTE NOW!