What can we do to achieve a sustainable recreational mobility in a flourishing destination?

Mobiliteit, duurzaamheid en toerisme. Het zijn domeinen die sterk

Mobility, sustainability, carrying capacity and tourism. These are areas that are strongly interlinked and which we can no longer ignore today. During the Travel to Tomorrow summit, mobility expert Bart Busschaert (Scelta Mobility) provided some tips & tricks in the field of (sustainable) mobility, tourism and recreation.

In addition, the explanation of DeWaterbus [The Water Bus] in Antwerp – by Sabine Denissen of the staff department of the Leisure Department of the Province of Antwerp – and the mobility plan of Province Domain De Schorre – by Alex Ternier – provided a practical note and demonstrated that sustainable mobility is effectively possible in a flourishing destination. Under the guise of ‘learning from each other works three times more efficiently than formal learning’, the workshop created time and space to exchange ideas about possible pitfalls and opportunities.

DeWaterbus: from resident to tourist

DeWaterbus has been a popular phenomenon in and around Antwerp for some time now. The concept? A boat takes you to and from the city and the port cheaply, quickly and sustainably (because it’s a collective means of transport). As a sustainable and time-efficient alternative means of transport, DeWaterbus is already very well established in terms of commuting to and from Antwerp. DeWaterbus is also a means of transport for the recreational visitor/tourist, it brings a lot of possibilities to reach the hinterland from ‘The City’. The area around Antwerp offers a wide range of activities in and around nature reserves. An ingenious idea, but one that can only work if the arrival/departure point is made attractive with, for example, (temporary) catering establishments, the possibility of renting and restoring bicycles and sufficient regional and neighbourhood information to help the recreational tourists on their way. By making it a well-thought-out tourist point, the place will be an added value for both residents and visitors.

De Schorre: next level mobility plan

Provincial domain De Schorre in Boom must be the best-known provincial domain in Belgium. Home to the annual festival Tomorrowland, it is a busy place for many recreational visitors/tourists, but local residents also like to use the domain as their ‘park’. An (internationally) frequently visited place like this, needs a customised mobility plan – especially if you know that De Schorre is located in an urban area. Fortunately, mobility expert Bart Busschaert knew how to deal with this and worked out a next level mobility plan. Depending on the size of the event, the domain works with four different scenarios, using traffic coordinators, an increased supply of train and bus traffic, extra (bicycle) car parks and much more. Each with a view to minimising inconvenience to local residents.

© AF-Fotografie – Alex Ternier

Six tips to create sustainable, recreational mobility:

  1. Research. Identify the modes and paths your visitors use to get there.
  2. Decide on the basis of your research what measures you should/will/can take and find out what tools you need for this.
  3. Offer your visitor as many options as possible, so they can easily make the right choice.
  4. Look for the right triggers and incentives to persuade your visitors to change their movement behaviour.
  5. Make the mobility an experience in itself.
  6. Hang in there. Behavioural change often takes time, so don’t panic if your efforts demand more from you than they initially yield.
© AF-Fotografie

A mobility plan: how to get started?

Step 0: choice of location

Choose a location close to your target audience and a place with sufficient basic infrastructure.

Step 1: analysis

Analyse the accessibility, the mobility profile of your visitors and the possible gaps.

Step 2: package of measures

Draw up a mobility plan and integrate infrastructural interventions, traffic and mobility measures.

Step 3: implementation

Consult your mobility plan with possible partners.

Step 4: evaluation

Evaluate your mobility plan and adjust where necessary.

For more information or questions, please contact: Visit Flanders Convention Bureau via mailbox@meetinflanders.com.

Photography: AF-Fotografie