Hiking Europe’s main objective is to promote a transational network of rural touristic routes structured in several hiking itineraries across Europe. The partnership gathers 8 members from 6 different EU countries: Spain (Catalonia), Italy (Emilia- Romagna), Croatia (Dubrovnik-Neretva), Ireland (Donegal), Austria and Germany. In total, this represents 1.170 km of hiking routes in 4 different EU countries. Participant regions gather with a common interest of developing an alternative approach to masstourism, based on either the “Sun and sand” model of large concentration of visitors in specific locations (Cities, etc.). This differentiation will allow the development of tourism at a territorial level, spreading the benefits across the territory, promoting cohesion, sustainability and local community participation. Therefore, HikingEurope addresses the issue of tourism diversification in European regions that have traditionally focused on mass tourism but are willing to commit with a more sustainable, responsible and high-quality alternative approach based in less explored areas, specifically in rural locations. To conclude, this project also contributes to territorial balance and cohesion by fostering local economic development in areas traditionally less exposed to international tourism.
The Route also offers valuable information on Europe’s best rural destinations, natural sites of interest. Starting April 16 and over a period of 18 months, Hiking Europe will address the following objectives:
Hiking Europe is a joint initiative of European tourism operators conceived as a joint response from 4 European regions. They are committed to diversify tourism offer by developing a transnational product that will rely on the unique assets of its rural areas. It is clearly aligned with the objectives of the COSME work programme regarding tourism and its diversification.