Wadden Sea World Heritage

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1 Wadden Sea World Heritage Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination Consultation version June 2013

2 UNESCO World Heritage Committee 2009 Preparation and implementation of an overall Tourism Development Strategy for the Wadden Sea World Heritage property that fully considers the integrity and ecological requirements of the property and that provides a consistent approach to tourism operations in the property. Overall aims Strategic framework for tourism planning and development (cross-sector and transboundary) Consistent communication of Wadden Sea World Heritage regional, national and international, Development of tourism to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the Wadden Sea and its sustainable use (linking tourism and conservation, enhance quality) 2

3 PROWAD Protect and Prosper Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea EU Interreg IVB project, total budget 1.3 Mio Euro (2.5 y) Ministries, National Park Agencies, WWF, Tourism and Marketing Organizations (Netherlands, Germany, Denmark) Development of a consistent sustainable tourism strategy for the entire Wadden Sea in a participatory approach ( ), Implementation Action Plan ( ). Task Group Sustainable Tourism Strategy 3

4 Project Phases 1. Desk Study (December 2011) Potential of World Heritage for tourism development experiences and best practices from other WH sites. 2. Baseline analysis (March 2012) Inventory of tourism in the Wadden Sea Region (basic tourism data, tourism management and guidance, offers). 3. Regional participation (Feb June 2012) Four workshops with regional stakeholders, Online questionnaire on sustainable tourism 4. Drafting the strategy (Oct 2012 March 2013) Task group analysed results and drafted the strategy and proposed Action Plan. 5. Consultation Phase (June Sept 2013) Distribution of the draft strategy to stakeholders for comments. 4

5 Analysis of current status 1. Tourism and nature conservation 2. Marketing and market research 3. Infrastructure: Transport, accommodation, gastronomy 4. Nature experiences and visitor information 5. Qualification and certification Strength: Well-developed tourism sector, valuation of nature values, pride of being a World Heritage site, nature management harmonized across the three countries. Weakness: World Heritage concept not yet integrated, often uncoordinated activities, high regional differences in tourism sector. Opportunities: Enhanced conservation and quality, more synergies, consistency and credibility, global recognition from World Heritage Status, Threats: Potential negative impact of tourism on World Heritage values, lack of partnership, damage of World Heritage credibility. 5

6 The Vision Ecology Nature conservation and sustainable tourism development go hand in hand across the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination. This relationship is characterised by appreciation, understanding, experience and active participation of all committed partners. Society People who visit, live or work in any part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination are aware of and appreciate the Outstanding Universal Value and the unique landscape. They are committed to preserving these assets for the benefit of present and future generations. Economy Local businesses and communities benefit both economically and socially from the high quality offers that support the integrity of the Wadden Sea and the ecological requirements of its World Heritage status. 6

7 Objectives of the Strategy 1. To ensure all stakeholders have a transnational understanding and appreciation of the values of the Wadden Sea World Heritage. 2. To ensure stakeholders take responsibility for and contribute to the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value through involvement in tourism management and product development. 3. To ensure the tourism sector provides consistent communication and marketing and promotes the high quality tourism offers of the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination. 4. To ensure nature conservation, tourism and local communities benefit from the World Heritage Status. 12 commitments to realize the objectives and an Action Plan ( ) 7

8 Action Plan Contents Recommendations from the regional workshops in 2012, Outcome of the analysis in the strategy (five work fields), Commitments to realize the strategic objectives of the strategy. Consultation phase Discussion of actions and, if necessary, amendments, Identification of stakeholders who are willing to contribute to the actions. Implementation Proposed action plan as rolling work plan for the TG-STS, Annual evaluation by the TG-STS. Task Group Sustainable Tourism Strategy 8

9 Next steps 1. Results from the consultation phase (Sep 2013) Discussion at TG-STS meeting on 24 Sept Final version of the strategy (Nov 2013) Adoption of the strategy by the Wadden Sea Board and finalization of the Action Plan as work plan for the TG-STS. 3. Official signing at the Trilateral Conference Side event at the 12 th Trilateral Governmental Conference (Tønder, Denmark, Feb ) and signing of the strategy by all relevant stakeholders. Meeting of the Ministerial Council at the 11 th Governmental Conference, Sylt

10 Perspectives The Strategy is a milestone in the Dutch-German-Danish cooperation on the protection of the Wadden Sea - a unique process, broad partnership, three countries, all levels The Strategy is an innovative approach - tourism sector benefits from World Heritage status and at the same time contributes to its conservation. - acknowledged by UNESCO World Heritage Centre as a model worldwide. The strategy will create new partnerships and synergies across sectors and countries building upon what has already been achieved by the partners. The strategy will have high relevance for the future cooperation in the Wadden Sea, a huge potential in raising the profile of stakeholders nationally and internationally, and creating new synergies and opportunities in tourism and conservation. 10

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