On the 8th of September 2021, BRANDTour (Building Regional Actions for New Developments in Tourism) project final event was held. The project of territorial cooperation, in the framework of the INTERREG EUROPE 2014-2020 Programme, was aimed at improving the territorial policies of the tourism ecosystem through the exchange of good practices and the involvement of local stakeholders.
The event was hosted by the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia, and was held online (webinar) due to the pandemics difficulties in organising an event of this kind in person. In addition to the videoconference, that allowed the participation of speakers and project partners, the event was broadcasted live on Facebook (here the streaming). Combining the two methods, almost 200 people had the chance to watch the main project outcomes.
The event started with the institutional greetings by Ms. Anita Zimele (Director of the Department of Sectorial Policies of the Latvian Ministry of Economics), who thanked the attendees for the participation and highlighted the benefits obtained by the collaboration in BRANDTour. Afterwards, Ms. Teresa Caldarola greeted on behalf of Mr. Leonardo Marras (Council Member for the Economics, the Productive activities, Credit Policies and Tourism of the Tuscany Region) who could not be present due to institutional commitments.
To conclude the opening session, Ms. Camille Milloir (Joint Secretariat of the INTERREG EUROPE) showed the main numbers of the 2014-2020 programme and the main objectives and characteristics of the new 2021-2027 programme. Ms. Teresa Caldarola (BRANDTour Project Coordinator for the Tuscany Region) made an overview of the project, explaining the main implemented activities, achieved results and themes for capitalisation.
The second part of the event involved the representatives of BRANDTour partners, who showed the results obtained in the five-year period of collaboration.
Ms. Eline De Smet and Ms. Sarah Levecque (Economic Council of East-Flanders, Belgium) stressed the principal activities of their Action Plan, namely, the culinary arts as a resource, the well-known craftmanship and the Open day at the local producers.
Ms. Margalida Picornell (Agency for Tourism of the Balearic Islands, Spain) focused her intervention on the actions implemented to mitigate the tourism crisis caused by the pandemics, such as the advertising campaign to reactivate the tourism in the Balearic Islands and the training activities for the SMEs of the sector.
Ms. Manon Luijten (Tourist Board South-Limburg, Netherlands) pointed out the Action Plan focused on the development of wine market in the South of Netherlands through the creation of a wine cluster, the development and realisation of wine routes and the strengthening of the communication and branding.
Ms. Daniela Burrini (Tuscany Tourist Board, Italy) highlighted both the main good practices shared with the partnership during the project and the activities of the Action Plan that brought to the creation of a network of Tuscan products/services and to the development of several advertising campaigns to enhance tourism.
Ms. Roula Papadopoulou (Region of Crete, Greece) showed the best practices that Crete shared with the partnership, summing up the activities included in the Action Plan that could not be implemented due to the pandemics.
In the end, Ms. Dace Butane (Ministry of Economics, Latvia) focused her presentation on the implementation of the Action Plan aimed at supporting the development of new touristic products, the improvement of the offers and services and the development of the online platform MeetLatvia finalised at attracting more international tourists.
The third and last part of the event involved several stakeholders and/or project partners representatives, who gave some thoughts about how to capitalise in the long term the project good practices. Several presentations were held by Ms. Mieke Belmans (East Flanders Tourism, Belgium), Dr. Tolo Deyá (Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Tourism, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain), Ms. Anya Niewierra (Director General Tourist Board South-Limburg, Netherlands), Ms. Sandra Tafi (Tuscany Tourist Board, Italy), Mr. George Alexakis (Regional Counsellor of Crete Region, Greece) and, to conclude, Ms. Dace Butane (Ministry of Economics, Latvia).
The event was concluded by a Q&A session, the final conclusions by Ms. Teresa Caldarola (Project Coordinator) and the greetings by Ms. Inese Sirava (Director of the Department of Tourism, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia).
In the afternoon the Project Steering Committee took place, a meeting between the project partners to keep update on the state of progress of the project activities and financial aspects. The meeting ended by taking a joint group picture, as proof of the activity realised.