The current Covid 19 crisis led to an increasing importance and popularity of health, nature and regional holidays. This changing paradigm provides a favourable context for the project HEALPS2 which aspires to position the Alpine Space as an innovative and healthy region for guests and locals.
Alpine resources such as clean water and air, environmental microbes on mountain pastures or even thermal waters have a high healing potential which can be used for the sustainable development of Alpine regions. Being born and raised at an Alpine farm for example provides a long-lasting protection from allergies and has long term-consequences on disease expression including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and asthma.
In the first months after project start, several touristic strategies overall the Alps were analysed in order to lay the basis for the work to come. Moreover, a multiple stakeholder approach was developed to identify success factors together with all relevant players on the regional level.
Since June 2020, the HEALPS2 project team has organized numerous regional workshops with partners from municipalities and tourist service providers on nature-related and health-promoting tourism. The workshops took place in almost all Alpine countries such as in the region SalzburgerLand and Bregenzerwald (??), in Val Müstair (??), in La Route des Villes d'Eaux du Massif Central (??), in Parchi Veglia Devero Antrona - Aree Protette Ossola (??) and in Pomurska turistična zveza PTZ (??). With the knowledge gained, the tools for assessing and bench-marking health tourism will be developed further. The next concrete step involves the finalisation of the assessment tool which will show how to evaluate presumed health effects and to define evidence-based health impacts.
ALPARC is partner of the project and leader of the workpackage communication.
For further information, please see the project website
HEALPS2 started in October 2019 and will run until June 2022 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 2.169.952,65€ - ERDF grant: 1.844.459,74€).