Sustainable Lake Oriented Walking TOURism


SLOW TOUR project aims at analysing, collecting and listing good practices, certification procedures and network experiences for tourism in lake areas to achieve effective and consistent sustainability and competitiveness. Therefore, significant case studies on sustainable tourism of ten to twelve lake areas in various countries are examined and selected. Most of the case studies are lake regions within the Living Lakes network.Starting from the generally accepted concept that sustainable tourism is based on sustainability principles, which involve the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural dimensions of development, the most valuable research contributions on sustainable tourism are identified. In relation to each case study an in-depth analysis is developed on different factors of environmental sustainability, specifically focusing on efforts to reduce the environmental impact of tourism flows, by applying the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA). The research is based on two approaches: i) determination of indicators for an objective identification of economic, social, environmental, improvement measures ii) identification of good practices for sustainable tourism, in order to favour customer satisfaction, to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of this tourism typology, to realize positive synergies between the different actors of local development, and to guarantee long term success of sustainable lake tourism offers.


By combining the analysis of good practices, the stakeholder collaboration and knowledge sharing with feedback from experts and customer satisfaction from tourists, the project aims at realizing a complete tool system for interpreting and applying transferable good practices to sustainable tourism management in lake areas all over Europe.


Tools for benchmarking on environmental impacts are developed as a consequence of the research applied to the case studies. Basis for the data required for the benchmarking tool are two surveys: one directed at tourists and a second one directed at professionals working in lake area tourism. The questionnaire for professionals is distributed at International fairs specialised on different sustainable tourism sectors. The survey will focus on aspects such as customer satisfaction, development of outdoor activities and tourism offers with environmental and /or cultural context. The other questionnaire will be addressed to the tourists interested in outdoor activities and /or interested in lake areas, their preferred activities and services, their satisfaction with existing offers as well as level of communication and information.


Furthermore guidelines and recommendations were established based on existing best practices, results of the surveys  and the lessons learned out of the case studies.


The objective of this project was creating a demonstrative pilot prototype, repeatable and transferable to other lake regions all over Europe regarding knowledge, good practices, activities and procedures for sustainable tourism in lake areas. Objectives linked were:

  • promoting knowledge on sustainable tourism in protected and unprotected sensitive areas;
  • upgrading quality of accommodations, facilities and services;
  • adapting job quality and customer satisfaction;
  • maintaining population in rural areas;
  • reducing seasonality of demand;
  • enlarging information and communication availability also against digital divide;
  • enhancing sustainable transport policies;
  • improving quality of incoming activities,
  • saving natural resources, limiting waste production and water, soil and air pollution;
  • protecting natural and cultural heritage and contributing to the maintenance of lakes and related habitats and biodiversity
  • favouring integration of products, services, cultural events offered to the host community and tourists;
  • allowing pleasant holidays for all needs and means;
  • supporting tourism for a sustainable local economic development.



SLOW TOUR project aimed at creating a complete framework of reference for correct and effective management of development and management of sustainable tourism in lake areas, including certification procedures to improve environmental quality and protection as well as other quality aspects relevant for tourist needs and satisfaction.


Workshops with participation of experts, policy makers, stakeholders, students and citizens was organised in at least two countries to disseminate and valorise the project achievements and enlarge the project opinion area.


A “Manual on excellence of lake tourism in Europe” with the results has been published. The manual will be constituted of the research on environmental sustainability indicators, as well as of guidelines on sustainable tourism on lake areas and will show real examples of good practices. The project results were presented at an International Closure Conference that took place in Lake Trasimeno area in November 2011.


Target Groups

Public administrations in charge of sustainable development in lake areas, Living Lakes partners, environmental associations, tour operators, tourism associations and individual tourists, businesses in lake areas, host communities and individual citizens.


SLOW TOUR was a project promoted by the Italian Living Lakes partner Comunitá Montana Trasimeno and contributed to the exchange of knowledge within Living Lakes Italy and the international Living Lakes Network. Lakes are attractive tourism destinations. The implementation and reinforcement of sustainable tourism contributes to the sustainable development of lake regions and therefore to the protection of these valuable ecosystems.

 Lake regions in Europe participating in the project
 Sailing boats at the Broads in Great Britain
 Ecotourism at Nestos Lakes in Greece
 Harbor at Lake District in Great Britain

Project Coordination

The project wass coordinated by Comunità Montana – Associazione dei Comuni “Trasimeno – Medio Tevere” (Italy), University of Perugia (Italy), Breda University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) and Global Nature Fund.

Further information

Website of the project in English and Italian:

The manual in English and Italian under:

 Logo European Commission
 Logo CIP

Official Project Titel:



Project Duration:


Project Countries:







Project Coordination:

SLOW TOUR – Sustainable Lake Oriented Walking TOURism in Europe


June 2010 – November 2011


Europe with focus in Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Great Britain and Spain


European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry within the Programme Competiveness and Innovation Framework (CIP) as well as the Foundation Ursula Merz


Comunità Montana – Associazione dei Comuni “Trasimeno – Medio Tevere” (Italy), University of Perugia (Italy), Breda University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) and Global Nature Fund