We are driving forces within the Interreg Alpine Space project HEALPS² and the EUSALP framework to transnationally develop nature-based and health promoting tourism.
Mainly situated in Salzburg, the teams of Innovation Salzburg and the Institute for Ecomedicine of the Paracelsus Medical University are connecting partners and stakeholders within the Alpine region.
Building on the ARPAF project HEALPS, the aim of the Alpine Space project HEALPS² is to improve framework conditions for utilising Alpine natural health resources by developing health tourism products and service chains.
Tourism is a major engine for job creation and a driving force for economic growth and development in the Alpine programme area. Yet alpine tourism is currently experiencing challenges such as climate change and is often only focussed on specific regions. Global trends such as a thirst for nature-based experiences and increased health consciousness hold considerable opportunities for developing innovative nature-based health tourism value chains.
To fulfil this potential, the project will provide policy-makers, regional developers, Alpine regions and SMEs access to innovation knowledge and to implementation tools.
Lessons learnt from existing innovative cases will be elevated to a transnational level. Supported by the combination of the latest research results with digital solutions, the nature-based health tourism approach will be tested in pilot regions and the experiences then translated into relevant tools for Alpine regional development.
By engaging stakeholders, cross fertilisation between tourism, health and other relevant sectors and co-learning is stimulated at transnational level.
EUSALP EU strategy of the Alpine region
EUSALP is a European strategy for the Alpine territory joining human passions, natural resources and economic assets, linking cities, plains, valleys and mountains to find solutions to challenges we can solve only together. By bringing governing closer to the people, EUSALP is proving that the European culture of cooperation lives.
The Alpine area is composed of territories with contrasted demographic, social and economic trends and a great cultural and linguistic diversity. This diversity goes along with a great variety of governance systems and traditions. Both the common specificities of the Alpine area and its variety and diversity call for cooperation.
An Alpine macro-regional strategy (EUSALP) provides an opportunity to improve cooperation in the Alpine States as well as identifying common goals and implementing them more effectively through transnational collaboration. EUSALP constitutes a strategic agenda that should guide relevant policy instruments at EU, national and regional level, by closely aligning and mutually reinforcing them.
As one of several working groups within the EUSALP, the subgroup Health Tourism is a network of experts fostering nature-based, health promoting tourism in the Alps:
- We develop a knowledge base and exchange knowledge on how to successfully initiate tourism innovations
- We create knowledge-driven innovation in Alpine health tourism
- We improve the access of tourism enterprises to innovation knowledge
- We initiate service innovation processes in the field of tourism
- We create a better understanding and develop models and harmonise the regulation in the Alpine regio
- We valorise Alpine natural health resources and cultural heritage
Innovation Salzburg is Salzburg’s innovation centre. As Salzburg’s development agency Innovation Salzburg coordinates and implements the technology-, innovation-related policies of the regional government especially through SME support, cluster networks and knowledge/technology transfer into SMEs.
Innovation Salzburg raises awareness for promising future-oriented business topics and brings these to businesses in Salzburg. It advances existing economic strengths in Salzburg in cooperation with other institutions and is thus an important partner for the implementation of the State of Salzburg’s economic model.
It provides know-how in the realization of innovative projects and business creation, fosters collaboration, activates regional hubs and provides consulting services.
Innovation Salzburg has years of experience in realising cooperation projects as a project or lead partner in EU grant programmes.
Paracelsus Medical University, Institute of Ecomedicine
Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) is an institution organised as a private foundation with locations in Salzburg and Nuremberg. Teaching, research and patient care – these are the three pillars on which the university was founded in 2002, and which continue to have the highest priority.
The Institute of Ecomedicine studies the effect of natural health resources, built environments and virtual reality scenarios on human immunology, physiology and psychology.
Head: Univ.-Doz. Dr. Arnulf Hartl
One of the Institute’s key activities is the independent conduct of clinical studies and basic research on the efficacy of natural health resources in the prevention and curing chronic diseases and civilization diseases; with a focus on green exercise in the Alpine countryside, climatotherapy, balneotherapy and aerosol therapy.
The Institute of Ecomedicine thus addresses the unique positioning of Salzburg in terms of the regional economy and tourism within the Alpine Region.
The Institute has an extensive range of methods, which provide a basis for scientifically sound statements, and thus medical evidence, regarding the mechanisms of regional health resources.