viernes, 26 de septiembre de 2014

5th European Congress on Rural Tourism in Austria.

5th European Congress on Rural Tourism at the start of October in Alpbach/Tyrol!

This event takes place every two years and is organised by the EuroGites-European Federation of Rural Tourism, this year together with its national partner Austrian Farm Holidays.

Under the Leitmotiv “European Rural Tourism 2020”, the congress considered the state of art and future challenges of this sector. As in previous years, it provided a meeting point and discussion forum for the Rural Tourism entrepreneurs, interested practicians from the private and public sector, and academics involved in rural tourism.


The congress takes place on two plenary days (6th/7th-October), plus one day for optional excursions. You can find the program below.


6. October 2014

13:00 - 14:00
* Andy Woodward - President EuroGites
* Klaus Vitzthum - President Farm Holidays Austria
* Josef Margreiter - Executive Director Tyrol Tourist Board
* Dr. Angelika Liedler - Head of Division International Tourism, Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy
* Christian Rosenwirth - Head of Division Rural Development, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Moderator: Hans Embacher - Executive Director Farm Holidays Austria
14:00 - 15:30
First session - Rural tourism - a hidden champion?
Klaus Ehrlich - General Secretary EuroGites, Spain
  • Rural tourism in Europe - state of art (figures, products, concepts, markets, … )
Jason Freezer - Head of Destination Management at VisitEngland, UK
  • Securing a successful future for rural tourism; potential, market forces and development needs in rural tourism

The diversity of rural tourism in Europa – 2 practical cases from North and South:
Anne Karine Statle - Manager of LofotenMat, Norway
  • Under the arctic sky; rural tourism on the Lofoten
Almudena Martín Torregrosa - Provider and Board member of the Rural Tourism Association of Andalusia, Spain
  • Rural appartements in Andalusia
15:30 - 16:00
Coffee break
16:00 - 17:30
Second session - Trends & horizons
Developments in the social, cultural and business environment
Bente Grimm - Project manager at the "Institut für Tourismus- und Bäderforschung in Nordeuropa" Germany
  • How well do you know your customer? Customer expectations and needs, the "customer journey" in the internet, market and expectation research & similar; facts to the Germany market
Prof. Dr. Roman Egger - Researcher and lecturer in the field of eTourism at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Austria
  • Is the future a bright one? The technological perspective. Technological developments in tourism (from internet-tools, GPS-applications to google glass) and their application and effect on tourism; Information and communication technologies challenging the tourism industry
19:30 - 20:00

Exposition of posters from participating countries with their representatives being available to give explanations (in the foyer of the CongressAlpbach)

At the conference venue - hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Water Management.

Music: Die Hoameligen


7. October 2014

Opening of the day
Johann Hörtnagl; President Farm Holiday in the Tyrol
09:10 - 09:40
Third session - The Challenge of Change
Hans Dominicus - Managing director of the Netherlands‘ Centre of Expertise Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality (CELTH), The Netherlands
  • The challenge of change; Keynote on the permanent changes and how to cope with it (“strategies for change-management”)
09:40 - 11:00
Working groups
Five parallel working groups on specific topics

Moderator: Andy Woodward, Director Farm Stay UK
A. Impact of internet on booking - OTA versus own sales (simultaneous translation English and German)
Experts: Ronald Felder - Managing director of Tiscover, Austria and Klaus Niederacher - Chief Operating Officer Seekda, Austria
Leading questions:
  • In general online-platforms are highly standardized. How can/could they support or promote rural tourism or be more geared to the strengths of rt? (individuality, personal contact, small business, ...)
  • How do you see the future of rt in the internet / on OTA’s?
  • From the viewpoint of an OTA – what is the role and function of an rt-organisation?
Moderator: Linas Zabaliunas, President of the Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association, Lithuania
B. Branding, quality and consumer satisfaction - control, crowd-sourced versus objective evaluation, ... (simultaneous translation English and German)
Experts: Michael Menzel - Sales Director at TrustYou GmbH, Germany and Elisabeth Hiltermann - CEO Kohl & Partner Hotel and Tourism Consulting Munich, Germany
Leading questions:
  • How best to ensure “quality” in terms of customer-satisfaction: customer-review- plattforms vs. quality-systems like stars, flowers, etc. 
  • “Objective” vs. “subjective” quality. What do we need in the future?
  • Are the customers interested in rt-brands? If yes, why? What do they look for when they use a brand? How can an rt-brand’s quality be best integrated in OTA’s?
Moderator: Asnate Ziemele, President of Lauku Celotajs, Latvian Country Tourism Assoc., Latvia
C. Safety and Security  – legal and practical framework, and how to ease it for micro-services? (English only!)
Experts: Jasper Hart - Farmer and Tourism Entrepreneur, UK and Simon Hansen - Operations Manager TrollAktiv / Rescue 3 instructor, Norway
Leading questions:
  • Safety in an adventurous environment - How do clients appreciate safety and security? 
  • What are main issues (problems and conflicts) perceived by clients and providers
  • Experiences with legal requirements in EU countries – what is Best Practice?
  • Are requirements as such adequate to micro-service reality? – getting worse or getting better?
Moderator: Patrick Farjas, Board member of Gites de France
D. The role and future of rural tourism organisations (English only!)
Experts: Susanne Warlimont - Managing director national association Bauernhof- und Landurlaub Bayern, Germany and Almudena Martín Torregrosa - Provider and Board member of the Rural Tourism Association of Andalusia, Spain
Leading questions:
  • What do our (potential) clients (providers, members) want from us as an organisation? What do the (potential) guests want from an rt-organisation?
  • What can we deliver? What can the rt-organisations deliver, e.g. different from or with respect to online-booking-platforms, etc.?
  • Is there a “public interest” in rt-organisations? What can they deliver what the market cannot/does not deliver? 
  • What will the role of rt-organisations be in 10 years’ time?
Moderator: Panos Poulos, President of the Peloponnese Agrotourism Union / Secretary, General of SEAGE, Greek Agrotourism Union, Greece
E. "Rural tourism is more than a bed" - but what more (German only!)
Experts: Cornelia Hass - Managing director of the Rural Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany and Franz Gredler - Head of Department Business Development, Eurotours International, Austria
Leading questions:
  • What is expected from “rural tourism” (what is different from other forms of tourism)?
  • How do we fulfil these needs and desires? 
  • Which services do we provide “internally” and what do we need from “external partners”?
  • Is rt distinctly different in these fields? Do we have a “rural tourism USP”? What is this RT-USP and what needs to be added?
11:00 - 11:30
Coffee break
11:30 - 12:30
Reports of working groups to plenary & discussion
12:30 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:30
Fourth session - A look over the fence
What can we learn from other perspectives
Franz Gredler - Head of Department Business Development, Eurotours International, Austria
  • Cooperation with tour operators – advertising with guaranteed success!? Work with tour operators – what are the rules?

Sabine Pool - Project Manager Research and Development, National Foundation for the Elderly, The Netherlands
  • New market-segments for rural tourism: older target groups
Andreia Roque - ABRATURR - Associação Brasileira de Turismo Rural
  • New markets: Rural Tourism in Brazil

Hans Dominicus - Managing director of the Netherlands‘ Centre of Expertise Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality; former marketing director of Amsterdam Marketing, The Netherlands
  • How our competitors do it - What can we learn from the success of City Tourism?
15:30 - 16:00
Coffee break
16:00 - 17:40
Fifth session - What do we need for a good future?
Hans Embacher - Executive Director Farm Holidays Austria
Panel discussion on impressions, ideas, recommendations, what to take home from the congress, etc. with:
  • Luis Cortés - Founder & CEO of Ferias de Navarra S.L., Pamplona/Spain
  • Peggy Balitsari - Co-founder of the Greek Network of rural accommodation Guest Inn, Greece
  • Ernst Schwald - "Bodensee Akademie" for sustainable development, Dornbirn/Austria
  • Karin Schabus - Provider Holidays on the Farm, Bad Kleinkirchheim/Austria
  • Kristina Vanciene - Rural Tourism Provider, Lithuania

Andy Woodward - President EuroGites
Summary and closure of the congress
An evening in the Alps
Dinner and music at the Hornboden mountain restaurant in the Alps

Transfer parking area Böglerhof–Hornboden cable car (see local plan) at 19:00
Return–Transfer: cable car (bottom station)–Böglerhof at 22:15, 23:15 and 00:15 (Attention: cable car from Hornboden (top station) only at the following times: 22:00, 23:00 and 23:45)

Music: ClariMusi
ATTENTION: Solid shoes recommended!


8. October 2014

09:00 - 16:00
Field/Study visits
  • Tyrolean Holiday Farms – hands-on cases
  • Life in the Alps – history and future
Meeting point: bus stop „Böglerhof“ in Alpbach