Host of the landscape

This project is part of Cittaslow Best Practices Contest 2017

Participated by Heerde

Policies for hospitality, awareness and training 

Summary project
The course “Host of the Landscape” is aimed at entrepreneurs in the areas of leisure, hospitality and agriculture, to inform the tourism industry about the special values ​​of the area. This will make them proud of their own environment. With the information from the course, the entrepreneur is able to tell his guests about as the genesis of the area's cultural heritage and to show them the special places. As an additional service, this will make tourists stay and makes the area more attractive. The entrepreneur is thus a true ambassador and host of the area.

The course IVN Host of the Landscape comprises four meetings within a reasonably short period of time (about two to three months), which deals with backgrounds of the area. This involves three meetings of an afternoon or an evening and a day trip through the area. The meetings are organized alternately by participants.

For example, the course covers the following topics:
• history
• culture
• plant and animal life
• city versus nature
• connecting city-countryside
• agro-tourism
• hospitality
• How do I promote my business
• events and business in the North East Veluwe-area

Afterwards the participants receive a facade plate and certificate of 'IVN Host Landscape' The front plate provides a clearly identifiable regional character and shows that the employer has knowledge of the area and has invested in hospitality.

The condensed module for the voluntary staff of the TIPs (tourist information points) is developed based on the full course. This module consists of two sessions:
- Evening theory
- Day: excursion

The course includes general information about the history, nature, recreational opportunities and cultural history. The participants are also brought into contact with the educated recreation entrepreneurs.

Developing sustainable recreation network
During the course, the entrepreneurs know each other and each other's company and they build together with partners a sustainable recreational network. This network ensures that entrepreneurs know each other and meet easily and quickly so that knowledge and experience is shared. With refreshers (after each course) and entrepreneurs safaris (two per year) the entrepreneurs are informed about current developments in the area and they remain an active operating network. From this network operators work closely together, for example product / packages and area promotion, etc., depending on the needs of entrepreneurs and clients. In this way the area is still better put on the map, and tourists are better informed which enhances the experience.

The course should be seen as the start of further cooperation and exchange of information.

At the end of the course
- The participant has its "own backyard" experienced and is proud of his own environment.
- The participant has knowledge of the area, may transfer it to his guests and can thus offer an extra service. The chance of repeated visits is increasing.
- The participant acts as host, which contributes to its own image and the promotion and conservation of nature and landscape in the area.
- The participant has a comprehensive reference book from which he (and his colleagues) can continue to inform his guests.
- The participant is part of a sustainable network of recreation which is cooperation, for example product / packages and area promotion. Joint activities within a network by seasonal expansion possible.

Goal project

  1. Educating entrepreneurs on the special values of the area. This creates support for more coordination and cooperation, and they can better inform their guests.
  2. Increasing the know-how of the volunteers of the Tourist Information Points (TIPs) with regard to the special values of the area, so that they can better inform visitors and refer to outdoor recreation.
  3. Building a lasting recreation network of entrepreneurs and TIP employees who jointly promote the area and are host to it, and develop together products and activities and do field promotion.

Result project
A total of 18 entrepreneurs (14 organisations) and 14 volunteers op TIP-locations have successfully participated.

Finance (costs and benefits)
Several organizations supported the course financially. The municipality of Heerde contributed € 5000

Additional information 
The course is given by the IVN (Instituut voor natuureducatie en duurzaamheid - Institute for nature education and sustainability) and organized together with our neighbouring and partner municipality Hattem.

Motivation for the awards
Cittaslow Tourism is one of the most relevant  issue into Cittaslow planning. Heerde has organized a course “called Host of the Landscape”, aimed at entrepreneurs in the areas of leisure, hospitality and agriculture, to inform the tourism industry about the special values of the area. That is  perfectly fitting on Cittaslow Tourism spirit, improving local economy but in the same time growing the awareness of people about their territory. This will make them proud of their own environment. With the information from the course, the entrepreneur is able to tell his guests about as the genesis of the area's cultural heritage and to show them the special places. As an additional service, this will make tourists stay and makes the area more attractive. The entrepreneur is thus a true ambassador and host of the area. The course IVN Host of the Landscape comprises four meetings within a reasonably short period of time (about two to three months), which deals with backgrounds of the area.  The meetings are organized alternately by participants.
For example, the course covers the following topics:

  • history
  • culture
  • plant and animal life
  • city versus nature
  • connecting city-countryside
  • agro-tourism
  • hospitality
  • How do I promote my business
  • events and business in the North East Veluwe-area

Afterwards the participants receive a facade plate and certificate of 'IVN Host Landscape' The front plate provides a clearly identifiable regional character and shows that the employer has knowledge of the area and has invested in hospitality.  During the course, the entrepreneurs know each other and each other's company and they build together with partners a sustainable recreational network. This network ensures that entrepreneurs know each other and meet easily and quickly so that knowledge and experience is shared. With refreshers (after each course) and entrepreneurs safaris (two per year) the entrepreneurs are informed about current developments in the area and they remain an active operating network.