1. Opening of the Meeting and Adoption of the Agenda
Document: TG-STS 13/1-draft agenda;
The secretary, Harald Marencic, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants. A list of participants is in Annex 1. M. Schneider, Ms Bauer and Ms Bijma did not participate because illness, Mr Christensen, Mr Zijlstra, Mr. Hogenhout and Mr Eichner cancelled their participation on short notice.
The proposed draft agenda of the meeting was adopted without amendments. The agenda is in Annex 2.
2. Summary Record TG-STS 12 The meetingadopted the summary record of the TG-STS 12 meeting without amendments. On the occasion of the minutes, the composition of the TG-STS was discussed. In order to be able to carry out the tasks, the meeting recommended:
A representative of the Dutch tourism and marketing organization should be appointed as member of the TG-STS,
A second Danish person should be appointed, e.g. as substitute to ensure a continuous representation by Denmark,
A chairperson should be appointed by the WSB as soon as possible.
3. Announcements Germany
Annual “Fachtagung –Naturerlebnis im touristischen Angebot” in Husum on 13.11.14, about 130 participants, a.o. presentation STS and action plan, PROWAD stand, more info and download of presentations: http://www.nationalpark-wattenmeer.de/sh/service/publikationen/fachtagung-2014/2662
30th anniversary of the Schleswig-Holstein National Park in 2015 will be celebrated with monthly events,
Workshop about volunteers in nature conservation by Schutzstation Wattenmeer on 4 March 2015,
30th anniversary of the Schleswig-Holstein National Park in 2015 will be celebrated with monthly events,
Presentation of the new Schleswig-Holstein Government tourism strategy. One key theme is “Sustainability” in which the WS/World Heritage and its STS has been integrated.
6th Migratory Bird Days took place with over 300 events, about 12,000 visitors, 1,500 at final event, WSFI signed, guest from Banc d’Arguin, Klaus Töpfer will be patron.
5th World Heritage Forum in Neuharlingersiel with over 60 participants, PROWAD stand. Special guest was the WH Dolomites. More information and download of presentations at http://www.nationalpark-wattenmeer.de/nds/misc/weltnaturerbeforum-fand-grosse-resonanz/2682
The preparation of the new tourism strategy for Lower Saxony is still ongoing.
The Dutch Wadden Sea Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2015, and will continue with the World Heritage weeks in the 3rd season. Training of the guides to be knowledgeable about WH content. The use for the official WS/WH logo in the editorial context of the new program will be examined.
Mr. Herman Verheij expressed his unhappiness with the selection of photographs in the Dutch version of the tourism strategy.
A proposal for a “fish migration river” across the Afsluitdijk is currently discussed in the Netherlands. In that context a Visitor center is planned.
The preparation for a new Interreg A project (EDR) has started (Province Friesland, Merk Fryslân, OTG). Therefore, it was proposed to share the project ideas of the partners within the TG-STS to support each other.
A survey by the Cultural Agency revealed that the Wadden Sea is the best know World Heritage Site in the Netherlands.
The 3 Provinces are implementing a framework of tourism in the coastal zone (mainland) which covers also joint marketing of the Wadden Sea World Heritage nationally and internationally.
A press trip for German journalists will be organized by Merk Fryslân in 2015.
4. Sustainable Tourism Strategy Project
TG-STS 13/4.2-1 Cluster SH Aktionsplan Nachhaltiger Tourismus WNE (24.9.2014)
4.1 Tourism Strategy After the last editorial changes were submitted to the secretariat in October and November, all four language version of the STS have now been finalized and can be downloaded as PDF from the website. The German version has been printed, the Dutch and Danish versions will follow after the print proofs have been checked (done for the Dutch version).
The preparation of a 2-page info sheet on the strategy (in nutshell) for communication to the stakeholders (motivation, aims, messages, action plan how to engage, regional groups, with statements by IUCN and UNESCO) is ongoing. ACTION 1: A draft will be circulated by the CWSS by 15 January 2015 with the aim to have it printed by end of January.
The STS should be communicated actively by the TG-STS member organizations in the regions and by the members of the regional World Heritage working groups within their networks. In Annex 3 is an overview of the working groups and the involved persons and organisations. ACTION 2: To be completed by TG-STS members.
Communication of STS should be enhanced by:
Inspiring stories from local level, commitment from a local VIP,
Exchange of case studies and best practices, as well as products,
Small meeting on local level (dialogue instead of conferences or workshops)
Involvement of new partners in concrete projects on the ground (e.g. glocal flyers in NL),
There is an urgent need to enhance communication and integration with regard to World Heritage and the Sustainable Tourism Strategy on local and regional level to jointly realize the potential and benefits of World Heritage,
That the role of the TG-STS is seen as head/central point of exchange to inform about local and interregional activities. To a limited extent, the necessary activities of implementing the STS can be carried on project level (e.g. regional EU funds, PROWAD follow-up project),
On mid- and long-term, a more effective work structure with sufficient resources should be established to meet the new tasks resulting from the WH status. The role of the proposed WH foundation and a WH centre (§ 7, 10 TD) is an important element to safeguard funding and pooling of resources, including a trilateral coordination, such as a trilateral World Heritage destination manager.
The meeting further agreed to intensify the exchange between the partners through a proactive involvement of the TG-STS, e.g. through inclusion of the TG-STS in the email distribution lists. The CWSS also will play a major role of receiving local information and distribute it accordingly. A communication structure has to be developed for the future.
4.2 Action Plan The regional working groups discussed the action plan and prepared proposals how the activities can be implemented (including funding possibilities), who is taking the lead regionally and how this is being coordinated trilaterally ensuring a consistent approach in accordance with the agreed strategy. The CWSS has prepared an updated action plan showing combined the regional information so far, Denmark has to provide this information still.
The meeting discussed the following activities of the Action Plan:
Re. 4.7 Visitor info system: Progression of regional World Heritage info columns in the Netherlands by PROWAD supplementary to the existing general WH columns (same corporate design) ACTION 3: NL to prepare a design proposal (in cooperation with CWSS).
Re. 4.8 WH survey concept: Experiences from PROWAD pilot guest survey 2013 in Germany (English summary in preparation) to be discussed trilaterally at next meeting (ACTION 4: Germany to prepare an English summary with recommendations to extend the survey to the entire WH.
Re. 7.5/7.4 Marketing/ B2B: PROWAD at ITB Berlin (4 -8 March 2015) (ACTION 5: Draft programme by PROWAD to TG-STS in January 2015, done):
PROWAD Presentation and panel discussion at the ITB congress (5.3.2015, 12:00 -13:00) (confirmed, free of charge),
Joint presentation with the Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE) on transnational sustainable tourism projects (4.3.2015, 15:00 -16:30) (financed by ETE),
PROWAD stand in Hall 4.1.b. “Adventure Travel - Responsible Tourism” (4 – 8 March 2015, financed by PROWAD). Cooperation with tourism partners and national parks, activities planned to promote regions (incl. stage presentations).
World Heritage exhibition and presentation on the occasion of the 10th Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals.
Re. 5.8 Nature experience offers:
Guidelines for the development of WH holiday packages including financial and business framework in preparation (by PROWAD NP Lower Saxony, Die Nordsee GmbH, Kurverwaltung Langeoog and Jade University)
Feasibility of bird watching for tourism offers in preparation (by NP Schleswig-Holstein, PROWAD).
Re 1.2/2.3 Internal marketing: Intensify info exchange on WNE and STS within regional networks.
Re 4.3/4.4 Monitoring, reporting, indicators: Compilation, harmonization and joint assessment of tourism data (including impacts of tourism on OUV and economy) for reporting (UNESCO, QSR – State of Conservation Report 2016). ACTION: Outline of QSR chapter on tourism to be prepared by CWSS to next meeting.
Re 5.4 Quality standards: Development of an overall framework for business partners by PROWAD in preparation. Commitment from all 3 countries was stressed as necessity. At the next TG-STS meeting all partners are invited to present existing partner-programs to harmonize local approaches and to develop a plan for the future.
Re 9.1 Annual WH campaign: Proposal by TG-WH to develop a long-term concept for 2015 -18 in preparation
Re 5.3 Logo use guidelines. The Netherlands criticised that local entrepreneurs cannot use the WH logo for commercial purposes, and that the logo guidelines for non-commercial use are too complicated. An easier access for using the logo was requested. To help visualising the existing possibilities best practice examples will be circulated.
Overall, it can be concluded, that a significant number of activities of the action plan has already been taken up within the PROWAD project and the regional working groups which are currently being implemented. Priority activities proposed by the regional working groups cover a.o.
Visibility of World Heritage needs to be enhanced with a coherent message and approach trilaterally to ensure that all partner work towards the same, one goal protecting the OUV in One Wadden Sea.
Development of World Heritage marketing and products which communicates the OUV thus creating and added values of stakeholders,
Extension of training and qualification of multipliers on World Heritage and sustainable tourism,
Development of an overall framework for cooperation with business partners (e.g. through national park partner programmes) including the use of the WH brand for commercial purposes (based on joint criteria and quality standards),
Enhancing environmental friendly mobility (communication, cooperation, pilot projects).