GCU is to play a key role in a new project to boost the economic spin-offs of walking trails across Europe.
Researchers from the Moffat Centre will work with nine partner institutions on the EU-funded TrailGazersBid, which will encourage thousands of people in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France ‘off the paths and into surrounding communities to immerse themselves in new cultural, culinary and life experiences’.
The project was recently launched in Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland and will examine the contribution that investment in walks and recreational infrastructure makes to the economy.
Giancarlo Fedeli, Principal Investigator of TrailGazersBid at the Moffat Centre, said: "The last few years have seen a growth in experiential travel, with people preferring to spend their holidays seeking out more meaningful and personal experiences in ‘off the beaten track’ locations.
"Travel is now more about appreciating the way of life these hidden gems can offer; learning about local history, cultural and natural landscapes and embarking on voyages of self-discovery that will stay with the person long after the holiday has finished.
"This project will provide an exciting opportunity for local and regional stakeholders, including residents, community groups, small businesses, tourism providers, schools, environmental agencies, and public authorities to come together and collaborate."
Partners include county councils in Donegal, Sligo and the Canary Islands, and the University of Algarve, in Faro, Portugal. The project runs until 2021.
For more information about the project or to find out how to become involved contact Giancarlo Fedeli on firstname.lastname@example.org.