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DANTE NEWS-23

Bauernhofferien and Inknowcom organised a study visit in Bremen (Germany)

Context

The objective of our DANTE project is to improve the effectiveness of regional policies in the area of innovation by enhancing the role of ICT in tourism industry in rural and mountain areas. To allow it, the access to High Speed Broadband in rural and mountain areas is really important.

Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia, the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana and the DANTE project team from the University of Crete and the Decentralized Administration of Crete, Metropoli and Regional Development Agency Bielsko-Biała, visited Bremen on 10th December 2013 to learn more about th

e “Bauernhofferien” Good Practice. Visiting partners concentrated on developing new ideas from Bauernhofferien and possible changes to the web site. Partners identified different possible solutions for the development of dedicated new websites and tourist portals. Identified solutions can help in determining the corresponding policies that need to be developed in order to support inclusion of the stakeholders in new ideas, connected to the development of ICT solutions in rural and mountain areas.

Content of the stydy visit

    Bauernhofferien good practice developed the following concepts:
    1. Bottom-up approach: trust based innovation begins and ends with the rural entrepreneur (family farm)
    2. Peer-learning: facilitate peer learning processes between entrepreneurs
    3. Continuous Co-creation: facilitate open innovation processes by creating together (triple-helix) new business concepts for rural entrepreneurship
    4. Open source: developed (ICT) infrastructure is for facilitating business development and free for sharing
    The projects gain a lot of the cooperation between elder and younger, small- sized and taller members, traditional and modern aged, experienced and new members and all other groups in a very special way.
    There are 272 members in their network from the federal state Lower Saxony in Germany. The Association helps the members to create new touristic services and products together or individually. The new developed products and services are supported by the ICT infrastructure and by the staff of the Association. Bauernhofferien covers several touristic landscapes which attract different kind of tourists ranging from mountainous area to beaches. Tourism is an im
    portant economic sector in Lower Saxony: it has a turnover of 15 billion euro. Increasing rural tourism counteract decreasing activities and income from primary agricultural sources in rural areas. Tourists bring life and purchasing power into the rural area. The younger generation in rural areas gets future perspectives and new economic possibilities. Therefore small villages can be preserved, regional consciousness gets stronger, traditions can be lived and given to next generations. The migration to cities is counteracted.

    Transferability of the study visit

    The knowledge gained with the detailed explanation of the qualitative research methods for identifying possible solutions in web-page design and optimization can be transferred to all the partners’ regions. Such actions, that connect the theory and practice should be further used and expanded in all the partners’ regions, since there is a lack of research in regard to ICT in rural regions on European level. Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana was positively affected by the study visit with the knowledge gained in qualitative research methods and their practical implementation, based on the Bauernhofferien case. All good practices observed in rural and remote areas of the Lower Saxony could be easily implemented in other regions as well, which proves, that remote regions could only to adapt those practices to the regional context.
     
    The development of the Heart of Slovenia region, and the DANTE project team from the University of Crete and the Decentralized Administration of Crete are also based on similar pillars as the good practice presented in Germany.
     
    The above DANTE partners are aware of the importance of local sustainable food self-sufficiency that is why they support improvements of nutritional habits by ensuring fresh, seasonal and diverse local food. For this purpose there are consistent attempts to connect local food producers and consumers and ensures a supply of healthy food grown in the local environment. In case of Bielsko-Biała partner ideas gained during study visit were partially implemented into new local transborder projects: unified promotion of local cuisine with the implementation of the current IT technologies and preparation of the Smartphone applications for the tourists were developed.
     
    The above DANTE partners also try to involve tourism in this aspect as much as possible. As presented at the study visit rural touristic services must be continuously innovated for preserving touristic attention and for increasing touristic visits to rural areas. Expansion of the tourist offer to the new identified areas such as cultural tourism, food related tourism will greatly expand tourist interest in the specified regions and expand tourism seasons.
     
    For Metropoli, these good practices are very interesting and can be transferred in their territory in order to develop the competitiveness of SMB and especially VSB through ICT. In their territory there are many small and very small companies and through these good practice Metropoli intend to help companies make better use of ICT in their activities, improving the management of the business by increasing the visibility of their structure through the development of their communication tools (internet, e-mailing, social networks) and offering new services to customers (Wi-Fi, etc..) also through training tools for the people who will use the portal.