The Covid-19 pandemic raised awareness internationally of the growing desire for access to nature, an essential need, which can be seen from people returning to green values, the desire for large open spaces and local travel.
Led by Armorique Regional Nature Park, UNESCO Sites Across the Channel (USAC), will develop a new nature tourism offer in response to the exponential growth of nature tourism, while creating added economic value for the areas involved.
The project will be carried out in 4 pilot sites on the English Channel, all of which are areas of outstanding natural beauty and recognised by UNESCO as Biosphere Reserves or Geoparks. Those sites are: Isle of Wight AONB, Kent Downs AONB, Caps et Marais d’Opale Regional Nature Park, Armorique Regional Nature Park.
The project will contribute to smart growth and limiting the negative effects of tourism on coastal and sensitive sites of importance, by creating new products and services in close collaboration with local professionals. In total, 36 high-quality experiential activities will be developed, including heritage-based events, discovery tours and new out-of-season activities.
USAC expects to draw 2.6 million new visitors to the south of England and north of France, engage over 200 businesses, generate a revenue of 780 million euros and around 80 new jobs in the tourism sector will be supported.
Image copyright is: R. Zaugra - PNRA