Although many projects could be beneficial for practitioners, they often do not succeed in transferring their findings into practice. This is counteracted by platforms where information about various projects are shared and fruitful exchanges of participants take place. On November 21st, an event in Salzburg aimed at bridging the gap between theory and practice by assembling people with academic, political and economic backgrounds to discuss how tourism could profit from border-crossing EU-projects in the Alps. Andreas Haller, Annemarie Polderman and Leonie Hasenauer from the ÖAW/IGF participated in the meeting that was organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy, the Innovation Salzburg and the Paracelsus Medical University.
The ÖAW/IGF team took part in the event very willingly due to several reasons. On the one hand, it was a possibility to inform about TranStat (which is funded by the Interreg Alpine Space Programme), also giving an impetuous for others to develop sustainable futures co-creatively. On the other hand, the ÖAW/IGF team got a deeper insight into different perspectives and approaches to sustainability in the tourism sector. After sections with presentations, each of the presenter got a separate table where further discussions took place. The meeting not only demonstrated an awareness about the need for alternative paths of development in ski tourism destinations but also that stakeholders felt unsure about which direction to go and what steps to take. TranStat’s exploration of alternative, sustainable development strategies will therefore be of great interest to various people involved in the tourism sector, regional development and beyond: Since tourism is a major driver for local economies in the European Alps, and provides people in rural destinations with jobs, getting an orientation for the definition of future steps will be of relevance to a broad public.
Included in the meeting’s program were presentations of a broad spectrum of projects, of which a booklet that can be found on the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy‘s website gives an overview.