First STEP newsletter

STEP stands for Sustainable Tourism in Estuary Parks. The aim of this project is to develop sustainable tourism in the areas involved. The project brings together five organisations from three nature areas in The Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom. STEP has a total budget of € 6.000.000 of which € 2.500.000 is funded by the European Interreg Two Seas Programme. The project will be finished by the end of 2012. This newsletter will appear approximately twice a year.
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November 25, 2010. Biesbosch. Meeting of the International Steering Group and the International Coordination Group of the STEP partners.
November 26, 2010. Biesbosch. Workshop. Theme: How to obtain the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism for the areas cooperating in STEP.
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Starting conference

The STEP kick-off conference on May 11, 2010 proved to be an inspirational meeting for all parties involved. The Polders of Kruibeke welcomed about 70 guests from the UK, Netherlands and Flanders to discuss sustainable tourism, visitor management and public-private cooperation.

Workshop public – private cooperation in the Broads

The Broads Authority has worked closely with the local tourism industry to develop a new brand for the Broads, promoting it as Britain’s Magical Waterland. Branding guidelines have been issued, and a ‘toolkit’ is available for anyone in the industry to use, free of charge. This has been extremely well received, and many businesses are now incorporating the brand into their new publicity material for the 2011 season.
At the June workshop in the Broads the STEP partners learned about the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which is the world leader in green accreditation. They were taken on a tour to visit some of the leading businesses who are working with the Broads. All of these are able to demonstrate the highest standards of quality and customer care, as well as being prominent practitioners of sustainable tourism. More information can be found in the full report of the workshop.

Workshop visitor management Polders of Kruibeke

On September 16 & 17, participants from the UK, Netherlands and Flanders gathered in Kruibeke for the STEP peer review meeting on visitor management. The first activity on the agenda was the exploration of the surroundings of the flood control area under construction. In the afternoon the participants were guided by experienced speakers while thinking and discussing about the best ways to cater to the infrastructural and communication needs of various target groups like seniors, minorities, tourists in general etc. On Friday, the functions and uses of visitor centres were identified by expert speakers. For dessert, the group learned about today’s ICT tools for visitor management.
Want to learn from the expert advice? Look at the pictures and read the inspiring report!


Cooperation Fair Bournemouth

On September 23, an international meeting was organised by the Joint Technical Secretariat INTERREG IVA 2 Seas, to set up new projects in the 2-Seas programme. A presentation about STEP on the steps from idea to application was given by Dick Verheijen, director of Natuur- en Recreatieschap De Hollandse Biesbosch. An overview of all presentations given about current projects can be found here. An overview of all organisations looking for partners to set up new projects can be found here. The new brochure on the STEP project was also presented. If you are interested to receive one or more STEP-brochures in print, please contact Miriam Vermeij at


Ideas Design Academy Eindhoven on the Biesbosch

Students from the Design Academy Eindhoven developed interesting and inspiring ideas and objects to make the  Biesbosch more accessible. They put together a beautiful exhibition of their projects in Dordrecht (June-July 2010). Look at the pictures from the exhibition and read the exhibition catalogue in Dutch. Nine of the projects will be studied for realisation in the Biesbosch.

STEP – studies

The Biesbosch conducted research on functions and facilities of gateways to the Biesbosch.
What types of gateways, where, what do visitors want, involvement of entrepeneurs and sustainablity are all issues in the report. Report in Dutch with an English summary on pages 5 till 7.

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