Regional cooperation promotes Tagus International Nature Reserve as tourist destination

Territorial cooperation in the Spanish-Portuguese border area is helping to raise awareness of the environment in the Tagus International Nature Reserve and to promote it as a destination for tourism and culture. The project has developed strategies to make the most of the Reserve's natural, cultural and historical resources so as to contribute to social and economic development in the local area.

Additional tools

The Balcón del Tajo tourist boat in the Tagus International Nature Reserve © Francisco Javier Lemus Gallego The Balcón del Tajo tourist boat in the Tagus International Nature Reserve © Francisco Javier Lemus Gallego

" The Tagus International Park is an area which is unknown to many people. The tourist activity which the boat is attracting is very positive, both for people from the area, because it creates jobs, and for making the area known further afield, so that people learn that Extremadura has natural wealth and beauty. "

Maria del Mar González, Guide on the ‘Balcón del Tajo’ boat.

Tourist products have been developed with the aim of capitalising on the navigability of the Tagus and the Reserve's flora and fauna. These have included enhanced services in tourist, reception and information centres such as greater provision of IT tools and web-based information on the Reserve. The project's tourism development plan comprises elements such as river boat trips, creation of and improvements to eight nature paths, restoration of four heritage sites and five projects to improve signposting.

Land planning and accessibility work has included improvement of access to tourist resources and drafting of strategic plans. All of this should lead to economic development in the area in terms of attracting business and investment and job creation.

Promoting natural heritage, business and the environment

Four actions each have been implemented to promote natural heritage and business and a further three have focused on environmental awareness raising. A total of 19 training actions have trained 100 people and 7 cross-border regional studies have been carried out.

This has resulted in a 10 % increase in annual visitor numbers, with 2 000 people visiting the information centres. Also, 300 residents have taken part in sport or cultural exchange actions and 140 have attended environmental education sessions.

The partners have worked to ensure the sustainability of the actions and cross-border cooperation by setting up the Tagus International Working Community. This has led to the creation of a joint strategy for sustainable development and legally-constituted management bodies. It should ensure continuity in strategic planning and joint projects, and allows for the possibility of forming a European territorial cooperation group for joint management of activities.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Tagus International” is EUR 15 986 402, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 11 989 800 from the Operational Programme “Spain - Portugal” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date