The STAR Cities project presented the results of three years of cooperation at their “Sustainable Tourism Management for Riverside Cities” conference on 26 November 2021. Hosted by project partner NECSTouR the event attracted over eighty participants from across Europe.

Conference themes included; Engaging Locals & Communities, developing new tourism products, better marketing strategies, and improved governance systems & stakeholder co-operation. Environmental & sustainable tourism was another key issue featured.

As the collaboration comes to a close (for now) attendees also heard about the STAR Cities Conclusions and policy recommendations and their Good Practices Guide developed through the project.

The conference showcased good practices, from Paris, Ljubljana, Hamburg, Rome, Kaunas and further input from The European Travel Commission on Sustainable Tourism, the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, the “Barcelona Declaration” and more good practices from NECSTouR partners: Veneto Region and AMBIS University.

Of great interest to NIWE members in attendance was discussions about the future of the Riverside Cities network within the new Interreg Europe programme, including for example, new project ideas targeting green mobility development for rivers.

STAR Cities is an Interreg Europe project which brings together seven partners to improve the regional policies in five European cities.

Some of the STAR Cities partners are also members of the Riverside Cities European network, led by Val-de-Marne Tourism and Loisirs (Leisure) bringing together local regions wishing to develop or redevelop recreational activites along rivers or waterways in an urban environment. The network plans to apply for the “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certification to ensure recognition of the role of rivers in the emergence and the development of popular leisure activities in Europe.

NECS Tour is the European Network for competitive and sustainable tourism.

“….the voice of European Regions committed to sustainability – economic, social and environmental – as a crucial driver of destination competitiveness. Since 2007, it has provided an integrated approach to tourism governance and acted as an important link between regional and wider European levels of government, while developing interregional cooperation through European Projects.”