Healing Alps: Tourism based on natural health resources for the development of Alpine regions

Project partners

Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg (AT)

The Institute of Ecomedicine conducts translational research at the interfaces of economy, ecology and medicine and executes clinical studies on the health benefits of Alpine natural resources. It pursues transfer approaches linked to medical science for the development of innovative regional value chains in the field of evidence-based, indication-specific health tourism (e.g. scientific lead of Hohe Tauern Health). It was a key driver of the regional development initiative Alpine Health Region Salzburg and was involved in the Austrian tourism strategy development process (Plan T). The institute is represented in regional as well as Alpine-wide bodies related to health tourism: member of the steering group of the Alpine Health Region Salzburg, member of EUSALP AG2, subgroup health tourism, Austrian delegate for sustainable tourism in the Alpine Convention. Furthermore, Inst. of Ecomedicine is member of ICRET (Int. Center for Research and Education in Tourism).

Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg and HEALPS2

As lead partner PMU is responsible for the central project and network management. It also leads T1. PMU is involved in all WP, supporting the network and development of outputs with medical-scientific knowledge. PMU is also key player in communication.

Website: www.pmu.ac.at

Facebook: ParacelsusMedizinischePrivatuniversitaet

Arnulf Hartl - email: arnulf.hartl@pmu.ac.at

Renate Erdheim- email: renate.erdheim@pmu.ac.at

ALPARC - The Alpine Network of Protected Areas (FR)

ALPARC is an international organization gathering all Alpine protected areas and has been working on environmental development topics for more than 20 years. The NGO has extensive experience in project management at the local, national and international level and the multilingual team is keen to bring in experience from different educational backgrounds (e.g. biodiversity, economy and sustainable development). Sustainable tourism has been one of the first key topics of ALPARC’s work, holding a large potential for protected areas in taking for the balance between protection and use of ecosystem services. In this sense, projects like Destination Parks and WeWild have been set up on the international level, leading to a vibrant inter-parc dynamic. Close contacts to both local and international stakeholders and multipliers such as NGOs, Research, Alpine Convention, Public authorities at regional, national and EU levels assure a wide dissemination of project outputs.


Alparc leads the Work Package Communication assuring the timely delivery of all communication activities. Moreover, it will provide for the integration of protected areas' concerns and potentials in T1-T3 for developing touristic strategies focusing on the sustainable use of ecosystem services.

Website: www.alparc.org

Facebook: Alparcnetwork

Veronika Widmann - email:  Veronika.Widmann@alparc.org

National Research Council CNR - STIIMA (IT)

STIIMA took part in the EUSALP-ARPAF project HEALPS with the aim of identifying technologies and good practices for assessment and visualization of Alpine Heath assets. The continuation of the project is a new opportunity to investigate further Alpine Health resources, air ionization, presence of blue and green spaces, possibility to practice sports, altitude, flora, etc.. STIIMA, as founding member of the Lombardy Foundation Cluster Technologies for Living Environments (Cluster TAV, member EUSALP AG2), can leverage business model development and AI technologies able to: 1) identify Alpine locations resources (specific indicators); 2) foster the development of alpine heath tourism, suggesting Tourism Boards of Alpine locations how and which health-related resources can be exploited to increase their touristic flow. STIIMA & Cluster TAV will support this vision in the Lombardy Region, thus relevantly contributing to Alpine locations’ health-related tourism and business improvement. STIIMA is also member of EUSALP AG 2.


STIIMA’s major role is to develop a logic & knowledge-based tools for the assessment of the values, capabilities, services and resources of the AS Regions. This knowledge-base is used for success factors identification. STIIMA participates in all WP.

Website: www.stiima.cnr.it/en

Marco Sacco - email: marco.sacco@stiima.cnr.it

Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj (SL)

ZRS Bistra Ptuj is a regional development agency but also a research centre and has been extensively involved in EU
projects, in this period we have implemented or we are implementing more than 15 EU projects. Core activities of the institution include: promotion of sustainable regional development in the region constituted of 16 municipalities on all areas of work on a local level, establishment of links among administration, universities, research institutions and business, transfer of scientific and economic knowledge to SMEs, tourism promotion and creation of knowledge in order to stimulate touristic resources with improved skills and competencies in the region. SRC Bistra Ptuj acts as a mediator for a better development of the region, based on knowledge, innovations and expertise, thus opening possibilities to create a region of innovations. ZRS Bistra also acts as a regional touristic organization for all 16 municipalities.

Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj and HEALPS2

Participation in this project will enable not just efficient exchange of knowledge & experiences, but also mutual development of strategies that could be implemented to local level. ZRS Bistra leads T3 and is involved in all WP as knowledge provider.

Website: www.bistra.si

Facebook: ZrsBistraPtuj

Danilo Čeh - email: danilo.ceh@bistra.si

Innovation and Technology Transfer Salzburg (AT)

As Salzburg’s provincial development agency ITG coordinates and implements the technology, innovation-related policies of the regional government especially through SME support, SME Cluster Networks (RIS3-based) and knowledge/technology transfer into SMEs. It provides know-how in the realization of innovative projects and business creation, fosters collaboration, activates regional hubs and provides further services. ITG is leading the subgroup health tourism within AG 2 in EUSALP and coordinates the ecosystem of the alpine health tourism region Salzburg. ITG is lead partner of ARPAF project HEALPS, project partner Interreg Austria-Bavaria project Trail for Health Nord and associated partner in the Interreg project WinHealth. ITG's contribution to HEALPS 2 focuses on knowledge transfer and networking activities and addressing different policy levels, based on the the working links to regional/national and European (EUSALP) policy levels.

ITG Salzburg and HEALPS2

ITG will lead T3. Coordinating EUSALP AG 2, subgroup health tourism, and other health tourism networks, ITG will provide transnational knowledge to PPs and be responsible to transfer project results to different governance levels. Involved in all WP.

Website: www.itg-salzburg.at

Facebook: Innovationsservice

Bernhard Lehofer - email: bernhard.lehofer@itg-salzburg.at

University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur (CH)

The department of Entrepreneurial Management of the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, has developed a thorough academic and practical knowledge in business development, strategy development and positioning, innovation management and its implementation and integration. Methodological knowledge and training competence for workshops and seminars, service innovation and design thinking.

Frank Bau: member of EUSALP AG 3. Institute of Tourism and Leisure: Service innovation in tourism; sustainable development; tourism 4.0. ; Experience in developing and implementing innovative tourism projects using inter- and transdisciplinary methods. Embedded in practice so projects undertaken in collaboration with actors from the tourism sector and government agencies. Jan Mosedale: member of Subgroup Health Tourism in EUSALP AG 2. Andreas Deuber: member of the advisory board of the health tourism steering committee, Canton of Grisons.

University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur and HEALPS2

HTW Chur will bring its expertise in research, leading to a solid analytical basis for the project's recommendations. And it will represent the connecting Iink between local, regional and transnational actors as part of a cantonal strategic network on health tourism.

Website: www.htwchur.ch

Facebook: fachhochschule.graubuenden

Jan Mosedale - email: jan.mosedale@htwchur.ch

Association of the Route of Spa Towns in the Massif central area (FR)

AROVEMAC is an inter-communal tourist development body composed of 17 spa towns in the Massif central area. Its goal is to change the tourist image of the spa towns by positioning the member towns as tourist destinations in the wellness and health market based on medical evidence, promoting alpine thermal heritage, and developing, structuring and promoting their offers based on Alpine resources to attract tourist operators and clientele. The region launched its “Thermal Plan” in 2016 to support commercialisation of preventative health products. AROVEMAC was involved since the beginning in the design and implementation of policy instruments related to health prevention and thermalism within the RIS3 of the Auvergne region which is Preventative health and patients’ well-being. We need to share and benchmark experiences with other EU Alpine regions, to improve their performance and to introduce in our region new practices, based on new evidence-based health Alpine tourism products and services.


AROVEMAC will host 2 SC Meetings, a Transnational Workshop for the identification thermal/spa resorts needs, give input for policy recommendations, disseminate press releases to journalists and final to the stakeholders group; involved in all WP.

Website: www.villesdeaux.com

Facebook: villesdeaux

Marion Vansingle - email:  m.vansingle@borvo.com

Development centre Murska Sobota (SL)

The Development Centre Murska Sobota has been project partner, lead partner, external expert organization and managing partner of several interregional and cross-border projects focusing on tourism and/or supporting SMEs competitiveness. The Centre is the intermediary institution facilitating communication, cooperation, support and exchange between the state, particularly the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, and regional stakeholders. As the Lead Regional Development Agency, it supports and coordinate the Regional Council and the Regional Development Council. Moreover, it is the organisation responsible for the Regional Development Programme creation and in part also its implementation. The Centre has the capacity to influence the above-mentioned policy instrument through direct intervention with the abovementioned state authorities and indirectly through the regional development bodies.

Development Centre Murska Sobota and HEALPS2

The Centre is the regional development agency for the region Pomurje, which will be one pilot region of the project. As project partner it will also integrate the smart city platform (developed in EU-cross-border project). The Centre will be testing the regional development programme and will be involved in all WP.

Website: www.rcms.si

Facebook: razvojnicenterms

Simon Sukič - email: simon.sukic@rcms.si

Management Body of the Ossola Protected Areas (IT)

APO aims at preserving natural, landscape and historical features of the territory, at protecting and improving fauna and floristic species living in the protected area, and at promoting the usability of the park with tutorial, cultural, scientific, recreational and touristic goals. The park has developed many experiences in sustainable tourism’s sector through the Strategic Plan and actions of the European Chart for sustainable tourism (CETS), given to the Management Body for the years 2013-2017, and renewed for the years 2018-2022. Other experiences have been developed in the management of the hiking tourism (“slow tourism”), giving a special attention to the disabled accessibility. The Management Body put on a specific path for the disabled people in Devero Alp, called “Path for everybody” (“Sentiero per tutti”). The environmental policy document forecasts the prevention, the improvement and the guarantee for the sustainable planning and development of the
protected areas.

Management Body of the Ossola Protected Areas and HEALPS2

APO is involved in all WP and will specifically integrate protected areas’ perspective on sustainable health tourism in the Innovation Model. More precisely, it will work on the improvement of the accessibility of nature parks to people with special needs.

Website: www.areeprotetteossola.it

Facebook: areeprotette.ossola

Ivano De Negri - email: direttore@areeprotetteossola.it


Moxoff is a company providing innovative solutions to business needs based on data science, mathematical modelling and optimization. With regard to this project, Moxoff develops a proof of concept (PoC) for a mathematical model able to manage data from different sources, and to process them through advanced data science algorithms, to provide advanced analytics, forecast scenario and matchmaking features embedded in user-friendly interfaces. This is the core of a digital health-tourism recommender system, matching the information coming from specific regions and available resources with the services to be provided and target users, providing a what-if analysis tool to estimate the impact on investments from institutions on the territory, and optimize the investment strategy. Moxoff has realized more than 200 cross-industry projects on mathematical modelling and data science, in particular regarding data management, advanced analytics and forecasting models.


Moxoff role as project partner is knowledge & technology provider. It is main responsible for the Tactical Health Management Toolset, specifically to the PoC of the mathematical model-based recommender system, starting from data made available within the project.

Website: www.moxoff.com

Facebook: mathematicsforinnovation

Alessia Serafini - email: alessia.serafini@moxoff.com


Community Network Alliance in the Alps (DE)

AidA is an association of almost 300 municipalities in seven alpine countries. The implementation of the Alpine Convention on a local level is its highest goal. With this background the Network can look back on almost 20 years of experience with transnational projects in various fields of sustainable development. It is closely networking with the Ministries of Environment of the Alpine states through the observer status in the Standing Committee of the Alpine Convention. It is also cooperating with other organizations and networks operating throughout the Alps. AidA is working on the topic of sustainable tourism for several years now.

AidA and HEALPS2

AidA will foster cooperation in development of assessment tool, pilot testing of outputs in 2-4 pilot regions. It will co-organise 2 transnational conferences and will prepare a transnational workshops within the annual meetings of AidA. It will function as a link and multiplicator for Alpine communities and regions.

Website: www.alpenallianz.org

Facebook: Alliance-in-the-Alps

Stefanie Bauer - email: stefanie.bauer@alpenallianz.org