Press release, July 2020
Sustainable tourism concept on the Seefeld Plateau
Green Deal as a pilot project for the region
The Province of Tyrol is supporting the Region Seefeld in a pilot project to create and implement a sustainable tourism concept, as announced by Deputy Provincial Governor Ingrid Felipe today, Thursday: "Tourism is one of the main economic sectors in Tyrol. It is therefore extremely important to orient this sector towards the future and sustainability. The Region Seefeld already fulfils numerous prerequisites for this and is being supported in this ambitious project by the Province of Tyrol with 85,000 euros as part of the 2020 economic offensive." Through the establishment of a network of municipalities, businesses and institutions as well as the active involvement of the population living in the region, this transformation process is to be developed in the project period from August 2020 to October 2022 and already implemented in the first projects. "The goal of making tourism in the region sustainable and climate-neutral is not only intended to benefit tourism businesses and guests, but above all the entire living space on the Seefeld Plateau," adds Deputy Provincial Governor Felipe.
On the way to more sustainability
Within the framework of the "Green Deal", possibilities for action are to be developed in five core areas – mobility and digitalisation, preservation of nature and culture, valuable living space, local added value and preservation of agriculture, resource-conserving tourism and strengthening of the local circular economy – and implemented in innovative lighthouse projects. The tourism association of the Region Seefeld is fully behind this development, as chairman Alois Seyrling confirms: "Enjoying intact nature is probably the most important reason for our guests to spend their holidays here. We therefore see it as our duty to set the right course to preserve this for locals, guests and employees. It is not a contradiction to work sustainably and still continue to offer professional tourism."
The tourism region has been focusing on year-round tourism for quite some time, as Seyrling adds: "Nature-friendly sports such as cross-country skiing, e-biking or year-round hikes, in combination with the good public transport connections, sustainable energy production and the Karwendel Nature Park, give us a clear head start." Christian Wandl from the Biohotel Leutascherhof has been focusing on regionality and sustainability in his business for years and is convinced of the path he has chosen: "We know how sustainable tourism works and will provide hoteliers with ready-made 'tools' while intensifying cooperation with agriculture. We don't want to be content with creating concepts or even greenwashing, we want a real change in the region and actively involve the population in this change of mindset."
Using findings for other tourism regions
The tourism region of Seefeld is particularly suitable as a pilot region due to its existing infrastructure, as climate protection officer LHStvin Felipe explains: "Every day, not only the commuters of the region use the modern railway station as a mobility hub, but also international guests who travel by train in a public and climate-friendly way. Another example is the biomass heating plant in Seefeld, which now already supplies 54% of the tourist businesses in the municipality, in addition to the schools, the indoor swimming pool and the congress centre." Building on these sustainable infrastructure projects, a forward-looking concept will now initially be developed for two years and the first concrete projects will be implemented. "The findings of this process can be exemplary for other Tyrolean tourism regions on their way to a more sustainable tourism," emphasises LHStvin Felipe in conclusion.