Start of participation process in the Great Walser Valley: workshop with local and regional stakeholders in the UNESCO biosphere reserve

Feb 12, 2024

Author: Kathrin Schwab, alpS

On January 24th, 2024, actors from the network “Sustainable Tourism Development Great Walser Valley” met at the biosphere park house to pave the participatory way of transition towards sustainable tourism in the region. Main goal of the three hours workshop was to shape a common picture of the challenges to be faced by tourism today. Furthermore, we aimed to establish a core group of devoted stakeholders that is willing to support the process with its time and implicit expertise.

In the first part of the event, we presented the TranStat results to date, namely the outcomes of the social network analysis and a SWOT analysis for tourism in the area. It was important to offer the participants the opportunity to verify the results on the basis of their expertise or to expand on them if necessary. We also addressed the question about how we could get stakeholders to participate in the core group, who are not currently involved in the topic, but who are considered important for the process.

The focus of the second part lied on strengthening the team which we consider an important prerequisite for the participatory approach in TranStat. Using the “rich-picture-method”, we illustrated the most important elements and challenges for tourism in the region as perceived by the participants, being lack of a functioning local public transport system in the valley and of course the economic difficulties for the three local ski resorts due to climate change related lack of snow.