The Ardennes: a well-known green destination
“Ardenne Ecotourism”, Franco-Belgian project led by Agence de Développement Touristique des Ardennes (ADTA), has just been awarded the 2018 Esperluette in Sustainable Tourism category.
The “Esperluettes” recognise good practice and innovation in tourism development agencies. The Ardenne Ecotourism project was put forward for the Sustainable Tourism category in recognition of the support it provides to professionals in developing transborder tourism opportunities with a sustainable development approach, namely:
- Running Ardenne Ecotourism club, which aims to group together tourism service providers meeting a minimum of 35% of the sustainable development criteria (approximately 30 members, of which 21 are on the French side)
- Carrying out an eco-management audit: this particularly innovative software was specifically designed for the tourism development agencies and their partners. It seeks to provide tourism professionals with practical solutions to help minimise their impact on the environment.
The latest figures for Tourism in French Ardennes area highlight that natural heritage sites are driving tourism. Tourism, with its annual turnover of 41 million euros and 1,370 jobs, represented 3.2% of French Ardennes’ GDP in 2017. In terms of paid accommodation this equates to a total of 930,000 overnight stays, an increase of 33% on 2016. The economic benefits stand at an estimated 75 million euros.
Transborder collaboration, environmental factors and local stakeholder support all strengthen French Ardennes’ positive image as an open, protected and peaceful area. The beautiful surroundings and architectural and cultural heritage attract visitors and walkers.
By Ardennes Développement, the Ardennes economic development agency - ardennes-developpement.com