Danube.Pearls: Soft tourism along the Danube

Representatives of 11 tourism organizations from the Danube region demonstrate how to travel without a private car when on holidays. Together they established the Danube.Pearls network in order to jointly elaborate services for sustainable traveling from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.

© Umweltbundesamt/B. Gröger

Vienna, 16 May 2019 – 11 destinations along the Danube have been certified as flagship regions for promoting sustainable mobility and tourism services and officially became a Danube.Pearl. This network of Danube.Pearls offers mobility and tourism services for visitors and unique possibilities to travel and explore destinations along the Danube without using a private car. “Everybody benefits from environmentally friendly and profitable mobility services: tourists, inhabitants and the environment”, emphasized Martin Schaman, expert from the Umweltbundesamt, the Environment Agency Austria. The launch of the network at the same time also marks the termination of the EU project Transdanube.Pearls, led by the Environment Agency Austria. During the project, 15 partners from nine Danube countries fostered sustainable mobility in tourism through a comprehensive set of actions.

© Umweltbundesamt/B. Gröger

The final conference of the EU project Transdanube.Pearls was organized at Lake Neusiedl (Austria) on 13 May 2019. Over 80 tourism and mobility experts from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania attended the final event. Representatives of the mobility and tourism sector discussed how destinations can encourage their customers to use sustainable means of transport for holidays. Moreover, project partners presented new mobility and tourism services implemented during the project Transdanube.Pearls and thereby, creating additional possibilities for tourists for exploring the region sustainably. For instance, the Danube Upper Austria region elaborated transnational tourism offers such as a cycle tour along the EuroVelo 6 cycling route from Budapest to Belgrade. Furthermore, the region of Lake Neusiedl installed a shuttle bus from the train station to the lake. Partners from Serbia presented bike carriage possibilities on busses for tourists traveling from Belgrade to Kladovo, and the Hungarian partners showed actions taken for improving the cycling infrastructure, such as a bike rental system in Mosonmagyaróvár that will start operating soon.

Launch of the Danube.Pearls network

The Danube.Pearls network serves as common platform for the destinations along the Danube in order to set up joint marketing activities and thereby, increases the visibility of the Danube.Pearls. Furthermore, it aims at informing visitors and citizens about the variety of sustainable travel options by taking the bus, train, bicycle or environmentally friendly ships. Members of the network will also continue elaborating new sustainable mobility services and user-friendly tourism information for tourists and inhabitants. Thereby, visitors of the Danube region will be able to travel sustainably not only to and within a destination, but also from one Danube.Pearl to the other. By being part of that network, members commit to jointly bringing forward the concept of sustainable mobility in tourism beyond project duration and to elaborate climate-friendly, low-emission, multimodal and efficient mobility solutions.

Transdanube.Pearls: Travelling sustainably on holidays

Altogether 15 organizations from 9 European countries and 24 associated strategic partners were part of the project and committed themselves to the concept of sustainable mobility in tourism. Lead partner of the project was the Environment Agency Austria. Since the beginning of the project in 2017, partners implemented mobility information centers along the Danube, elaborated capacity building measures for local and regional stakeholders and improved information on mobility and tourism for inhabitants and tourists. Additionally, pilot actions on bike rental, bike carriage and bike parking systems, cycling paths and mobility solutions for the last mile were carried out in order to enhance sustainable mobility along the Danube. The Interreg – Danube Transnational Programme was co-funding Transdanube.Pearls.

 

Further information:

Petra Kestler, Environment Agency Austria, Press Office, phone: +43 1 313 04 5432