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Sustainable Transport for Areas with Tourism through Energy Reduction (STARTER)

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The seasonality of tourism demand leads to rising demand for transport and mobility services during the high season, which impacts heavily the traffic in specific touristic regions. Based on the this, there is a great need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of local transport. On the other hand, sustainable transport is also a market opportunity, since consumers are becoming more and more conscious about the need for sustainability. Dealing with the challanges posed by seasonal traffic is not simply the task of the authorities: main players of the transport sector, environmental organisations and the tourism sector should join forces to resolve related issues.For this reason, the STARTER project aimed to promote energy efficient and sustainable mobility through the cooperation of local parties. The concept of ‘Local Travel Plan Networks (LTPN)’ was applied in 5 sites (Noordwijk, Kos, Werfenweng, Fuerteventura and Lake Balaton region) to engage stakeholders in the adoption of a common strategy to shift tourists from private cars to more sustainable mobility options. The implementation of sustainable mobility options provided residents and tourists with alternative solutions for transport and increased their awareness regarding energy and environmental impacts.


  • The STARTER demonstrations established their LTPNs at the very beginning of the project. In all sites, members of the LTPNs included representatives from the local authorities, tourism and transport sectors.
  • The LTPN members were actively involved in the formulation of the Local Travel Plans, in terms of identifying the local mobility problems and the possible solutions to those problems (bottom-up approach).
  • The participants of the LTPNs have their willingness to continue the network in their region after the end of the project and have already identified critical points that should be addressed for successfully doing so.
  • Three soft mobility measures were implemented in each site, covering a variety of types of activities, namely: on-line information; policy and promotion measures; fleet-related measures and promotion of public transport. All the measures have a clear target towards the modal shift to sustainable modes of transport (bicycles, e-vehicles, public transport and walking), thus towards the reduction of car pollutant emissions and the achievent of energy savings.
  • The STARTER evaluation showed that soft measures could influence significantly the tourists’ travel behavior towards sustainable transport modes. Energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction, as a product of this modal shift, are significant for modal shifts towards public transport (especially in large regions were the tourists’ vehicle kilometres sum up to large figures) and less significant, but equally important, for bicycling and walking (as, by default, bicycling and walking cannot cover great distances).
  • The tourists in all pilot sites that were influenced by the implemented measures have saved approximately 0,4 tons of energy (fossil fuel savings) and have reduced CO2 emissions by 1,1 tons CO2e. In percentages of savings - among the sample of tourists - this is interpreted as 11 percent for Kos, 8 percent for Noordwijk, 16 percent for Balaton, 0,5 percent for Fuerteventura and 1,2 percent for Werfenweng. These differences are the result of the measures chosen in each of the sites and the local context.

Lessons learned

  • The LTPNs provided a discussion platform for local stakeholders and enabled their participation in the decision-making and action- taking process. Nonetheless, it was not “problem-free.” Competition between and lack of ambition of the network members, lack of personal commitment to attend the meetings and hesitation/refusal when investments are concerned were some of the issues that arose from the STARTER experience.
  • It became cleat that sometimes it is difficult to persuade local stakeholders to join the network. They require the identification of a concrete need in order to create cooperation: i) problem(s) need to be experienced, or ii) the entrepreneurs must feel threatened by external developments, or iii) the entrepreneurs need to be curious or attach value to the status that the network provides.
  • Despite the significance of the LTPN participation in the measures’ implementation, this is not always something that should be taken for granted, since the local stakeholders are not always willing to participate and/or invest. Identifying and highlighting the win-in situation could lead to excellent examples of cooperation, such as those displayed by Noordwijk (combination voucher) and Fuerteventura (promotion of the new bicycle route).
  • Touristic areas face seasonal traffic peaks and this should be taken into account when planning and implementing mobility measures that address tourists.

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    Contact point: 
    Mr Ronald Jorna


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    In brief

    01/04/2012 to 31/12/2014
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