From December 5th to 6th, HEALPS2 partners met in Salzburg (AT) to identify the first important actions to be developed for the project’s starting phase.

The 11 partners of the HEALPS2 project met for the first time in order to launch this new cooperation for the promotion of nature-based health tourism for the development of Alpine regions. This unique cooperation between NGOs, universities, protected areas, public institutions and private companies aims at combining the knowledge and the technological approach developed by researchers and experts from the private and public sector with the knowledge of the territory held by associations and public organisations, for the best planification of the future development of marginal Alpine regions.

The main objective of the project is to develop a model for a sustainable exploitation of Alpine natural resources for health and tourism purposes. The implementation of the model in pilot regions will serve as test phase confirming the feasibility of the innovative approach and integrating the needs of local stakeholders. On the one hand, innovative and mathematical research will be of fundamental importance, while on the other hand, the link with the needs and fragilities of the territory will be kept thanks to the presence of local authorities, NGOs and protected areas. This will allow for an implementation approach oriented towards sustainable use and preservation of Alpine natural resources.

Work package 1 will build on the outcomes of the EUSALP ARPAF Project HEALPS and has as major objective of getting a deeper understanding of health tourism policy making and product development identifying strategic success factors. To this purpose, the characteristics of some touristic Alpine regions will be analysed through a qualitative/quantitative approach. Afterwards, an innovative digital mathematical tool will be developed in order to produce a semantic model of Alpine health resources.

On these bases, work package 2 will focus on the setting up of an efficient quadruple regional and transnational stakeholder engagement as well as on enhancing the use of IC-Technologies in tourism development. A further objective is to develop an Alpine Health Tourism Innovation Model based on the inputs of the previous work package.

Finally, work package 3 will ensure the dissemination of the outcomes of the project through the Training Toolkit, which ensures the implementation and continuous usage of the tools developed for the development of Alpine regions.

The ultimate objective of the project is to favour the positioning of the Alpine Space as globally attractive health-promoting location.

HEALPS2 is an Interreg Alpine Space project and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.