Lessons from InRuTou project

The InRuTou project (November 2012 – November 2015, funded with support from the European Commission in the frame of Lifelong Learning Program) developed and tested a set of tools based on innovative models for supporting sustainable rural tourism in mountainous regions.
The project brought together partners (universities, research institutes and regional development organisations) from 6 European countries, and its activities were implemented across three different mountain ranges: Alp, Apennines and Carpathians. The project partnership fostered community consultations, developed electronic training materials and trained local representatives in enhancing community tourism planning in five pilot areas in Italy, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The project is based on an ICT – enhanced approach, including e-learning, an online Sharing Platform, and a desktop and mobile applications.
All learning materials, as well as other deliverables and publications can be found on InRuTou website (available also in all partners’ languages).


Now, when the project is completed and online lessons are available for everybody interested, it’s important to pay attention to another set of lessons. They are not so visible in internet and deal with sustainable development issues in Ukraine, in particular with a need to explain what does it mean, how it is connected with everyday life. Unfortunately, it is not understandable for most of people in Ukraine at all levels, starting from the governmental where the meaning of sustainability is mixed with good economical development. The only one official document, which has adequate description of sustainable development and put the theoretical issues into practical frames is the Carpathian Convention (Convention on sustainable development and protection of the Carpathians). The Convention has all elements of the sustainable development concept, follows relevant principles, meet SDGs, takes into account criteria of achieving the goals. The Convention applies to limited area of Ukraine, in the same time it connects this area with other Carpathian countries and with other mountains, other countries of Europe, creating a common platform for many so different regions and peoples.
It is a good educational approach: get active local people of the Carpathians engaged into sustainable tourism development, then educate a variety of their guests (Carpathians are very popular in Ukraine). An attempt to promote sustainable life style widely in our society. That’s why InRuTou methods and approaches tested successfully in 3 mountain regions of Europe can be applied not only in these mountains, and even not only in mountain regions, it is useful for any rural tourist destinations in any countries. These activities are also in a mainstream of common European policy on cooperation between European macro-regions.
Recently a Joint Synergy Paper and Memorandum of Cooperation between the Carpathian Convention and the European Strategy for Danube Region (EUSDR) was discussed at the expert workshop in Brussels, aiming to enhance synergies between processes and mandates of the Carpathian Convention and the EUSDR to the benefit of the Region, and to ensure the further strengthening of the ongoing Danube - Carpathian collaboration.

Tamara Malkova,
Information Center “Green Dossier” (Ukrainian partner of InRuTou project).