AGORA: Cultivating Regenerative Tourism in Service of Local Communities

The global pandemic has not only highlighted the vulnerability of the tourism sector but has also marked the beginning of a new era focused on sustainability and the authenticity of travel experiences. In this context of change, the AGORA project emerges as a catalyst for transformation in local tourism ecosystems, emphasising regenerative tourism and positive impacts on local communities. Through learning, collaboration, and co-creation, AGORA aims to redefine how tourism can contribute to the well-being of local populations while respecting the environment.

The concept of regenerative tourism, at the heart of the AGORA project, goes beyond traditional sustainable tourism. While sustainable tourism primarily aims to minimise negative impacts, regenerative tourism aims to generate a direct positive impact on communities and the environment. AGORA is committed to developing tourist experiences that not only preserve local resources but also enhance them, thus creating a virtuous cycle of mutual growth.

AGORA brings together nine diverse partners, ranging from a chamber of commerce to a network of local producers, education providers, a travel agency and consultancies, all sharing a common vision: revitalising local tourism ecosystems through collaborative learning. AGORA partners work together to create synergies and improve connectivity between local stakeholders, food and wine producers, tourism professionals and the wider community. The goal is to co-create regenerative tourism experiences that value local culture, stimulate the economy, and encourage positive interaction between visitors and residents.

Regenerative tourism, promoted by AGORA, offers a multitude of benefits for local communities. Firstly, it promotes the preservation and promotion of cultural traditions and local know-how, creating a sense of pride and appreciation within the community. Moreover, by focusing on local products, regenerative tourism boosts the local economy by supporting small producers and local businesses.

Furthermore, AGORA is committed to enhancing education and training in the field of regenerative tourism, providing flexible and high-quality access to learning materials for adults. This will enable community members to develop relevant skills for the tourism industry, thus opening up new employment opportunities and strengthening local human capital.

One tangible outcome of the AGORA project will be the creation of an interactive map collecting best practices from all the partner countries. This will offer in-depth knowledge of sustainable and regenerative tourism examples across Europe. This collection will serve as a guide for implementing sustainable tourism experiences with positive local and global impact. Additionally, AGORA will produce educational materials accessible to all, aiming to train and inspire a wide range of stakeholders, from tourism professionals to policymakers and educators. The development of experiences involving local communities is also planned.

The results of the AGORA project will be available in all partner languages, ensuring broad dissemination of knowledge and best practices.

Ultimately, AGORA paves the way for a new tourism model, a model that benefits local communities while regenerating and preserving ecosystems and addressing environmental challenges. Through collaboration, learning, and commitment to sustainable values, AGORA stands as an example of how tourism can play a key role in creating a better future for all.

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