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Final Report Summary - CONCERTOUR (Concerted innovative approaches, strategies, solutions and services improving mobility and European tourism)

CONCERTOUR is a Support Action aiming at creating and reinforcing synergies between transport research and tourism services in Europe, encouraging co-modality and contributing to the improvement of tourism competitiveness. It is planned along 21 months of duration and organised into six work packages. Improving accessibility as lever for sustainable development and competitiveness of European tourism and economies is certainly of major importance. CONCERTOUR key words were: accessibility, sustainability, equal opportunities and concertation and proposes new concerted concepts encouraging transport co-modal approach guiding travellers through 'the stages of whole itinerary'.

Conclusions and their potential impact and use

1. A better knowledge of tourist needs (WP3) affects seasonality. This aspect will consequently require new professionals and can bring to more stable employment during the year. Furthermore a deep knowledge on emerging tourist needs at tourism destinations can be a first significant step in finding better services not only focused on the tourists' needs but also to the type of destination and contributing to promote a responsible tourist behaviour.

2. The best practices identification and elicitation and knowledge exchange (WP5) is important in terms of awareness on what has been already done. The six case studies - selected among best practices - are some very good examples on how tourism can be considered as fundamental opportunity for social and economic development. The CONCERTOUR handbook helps tourism policymakers to assess the transport supply at their respective tourist destinations, as well as the tool for the development of a range of transportation strategies and measures to influence the destination choice of tourists. This tool if fully deployed can be a valuable database of EU practices which can be consulted to link tourist needs and available solution facing that specific needs and could generate economies of scale in terms of focusing new EU research only where needed.

3. Activities done in WP4 can support a better integration of transport modes (co-modality) and information (e.g. common signs and a special attention to people with special needs) to tourist will have a huge impact in terms of better accessibility.

4. International cooperation and the cooperation with non-European transport hubs, could be extended to door to door intermodal travel solutions starting outside Europe. At the local level, coordination between infrastructure managers (e.g. airport managers, stations), transport service providers (public transport, regional and national rail services, taxis, public bikes, etc.) is fundamental.

5. The project throughout the action plan can help stakeholders in:
- providing recommendations on how to improve structural elements and supporting services for tourism,
-providing recommendations on how bottlenecks can be removed and manage tourist traffic flow,
-suggesting actions to remove physical and/or psychological barriers to travel,
- providing governments input on how to create incentives for cooperation and infrastructure development,
- suggesting coordination and (de)regulation initiatives where needed,
- providing guidelines on how to develop and promote sustainable tourism,
- supporting in facing important policy issues in order to assure continued and sustainable tourism growth, in turn generating employment and other valued benefits of such an economically important sector.