Improving Governance systems & Cooperation of stakeholders: good practices and policy recommendations

Rivers are a common good and should be managed through strong partnerships, with a strong committment not only to management, but stewardship of these delicate ecosystems.

River tourism involves a complex network of stakeholders, as well as different local authorities and management systems. All STAR Cities partners’ regions share a common challenge: how to bring together key stakeholders and engage them through a joint strategy, working towards a common goal and vision – managing river tourism in the best and most sustainable possible way. Cooperation with various stakeholders coming from public, private, and non-governmental sectors, as well as cross-sectorial collaboration, are crucial in this process.

STAR Cities selection of good practices

PartnersGood practicesDescription
HamburgKurs Elbe joint strategySix tourism regions have joined forces to jointly develop tourism along the Elbe, from Hamburg to Wittenberge.
Lazio Region/RomeAgenda TevereAn association of NGOs and citizens that aims to collaboratively retrain the urban trait of Tiber River in Rome.
HamburgElbe Cycle PathThe cycling route stretches along the river Elbe, one of the most untouched rivers in Europe, and through Hamburg region.
HamburgDay-trip Tourism Campaign22 regional DMOs have joint forces to promote lesser-known destinations for day trips in and around Hamburg. 
LjubljanaBarjanka cycling raceEvent in the Ljubljansko barje Nature Park connecting sport, tourism, culture, nature, and education.
LjubljanaRegional Destination Organization of Ljubljana RegionUnits 26 municipalities in developing joint tourism products, strengthening of collaboration in planning, design and marketing.
NECSTouRThe Vltava, a river full of experiencesJoint strategy introducing the Vltava river and its surroundings as one attractive tourism destination in Czeck Republic.
Val-de-MarneCap sur la Marne joint strategyImplementation of joint actions by 4 DMOs along 50km of Marne river : tourist activities, events, communication and promotion. 

SAGE Marne Confluence /

Nautical Trails label

A local planning tool for a balanced and sustainable management of water resources in a specific river basin. /

Development of secure river routes for canoes, in collaboration with water sports clubs, tourist offices, and local authorities.


Policy recommendations to increase efficiency of river tourism management and enhance cooperation:

  1. Rivers should be better positioned strategically in governance models
  2. Rivers need focused & cooperative river tourism strategies
  3. Build trust: first through pilot actions, then move to strategies
  4. Rivers have the potential to become tourist destinations
  5. Projects that come from residents or work for them in the first place are the key to success
  6. The evolving roles of DMOs – from marketing to management

Learn more on the Good Practices Guide