Context in source publication
... Hybrid Learning, primary stakeholders involved in the particular case are collaborators. In Figure 1, we outline a common format inspired by Van Waart et al (2015) and Carayannis & Rakhmatullin's (2014) quadruple helix, that represents support and co-ownership in finding solutions to complex social issues between academics, industry, government and civil society or the citizen. Complex issues transcend the well-known areas of expertise and increasingly seek cooperation in the area where the four domains meet. ...
Final Report from the Eco-Health project that explored the health benefits of ecosystems services as a means to supply evidence and tools for developing health promoting environments or ‘healthy places’. Available at: http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/researchpublications/researchreports/research328.html and at: http://www.ecohealth....
Mathematics Emporia, or dedicated technology-supported learning environments designed to support large numbers of students in predominantly developmental mathematics courses, are a relatively recent phenomenon at community colleges and universities across the nation. While the size and number of these emporia has grown, empirical research into the...
The phenomenon of dampness and dewing inside the switchgear can improve the occurrence of serious equipment faults. Based on it, this paper, starting from the occurrence mechanism of dampness and dewing of the switchgear, summarizes the main techniques that can prevent and control them, and the merits and demerits of them are analysed. After that,...
An organization's work environment is considered an essential factor in maximizing its value; therefore, a professional work environment ensures higher worker safety and fewer professional accidents by offering offices with suitable environment designs that contribute to maintaining the health and welfare of employees. Therefore, a new conceptual f...
Alpine regions are characterized by exceptional natural resources, cultural heritage, healthy climate, and long tourism tradition. Tourism is a major component of economic growth, with several employment opportunities, and of great importance for the Alpine regions, with many positive effects on the local and regional population. Natural resources can determine the development of competitive tourism destinations and drive the development of nature-based value chains aimed at enhancing tourists’ health and well-being. Historically, the small size of most enterprises, the difficulties in establishing collaborative relationships between industry operators, and the lack of strategic projects aimed at the use and exploitation of natural resources, have hindered a systematic development of a nature-based health tourism (NHT) value chain. Nowadays, tourist market segments are changing the industry competitiveness with the request for more nature-based experiential programs, integrating both rewarding elements of beauty, relaxation, and regeneration, and more demanding elements such as preventative activities and sports. There is an increasing consciousness of the importance of local environmental and cultural preservation, the search for relax and stress-relieving products, and the overall authenticity of the vacation experience. Beyond lifestyle changes, key trends reshaping the health tourism landscape in Alpine regions include population ageing, climate change, and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic both in terms of business losses and the need for natural remedies against these virus’s long-term effects. This background challenges health tourism operators to rethink the industry dynamics with a more innovation-driven strategy and business development, as well as facilitation of transnational cooperation among all kinds of actors. These include sectoral and specialized agencies such as destination management organizations, business support organizations, and tourism organizations; regional councils and municipalities in charge of policy-making and tourism strategy development; tourism facilities and companies (especially small- and medium-sized enterprises); universities and research centres that conduct applied research and development within the health tourism sector and related sectors, based on natural resources or health-related issues; interest groups and networks supporting nature-based and sustainable health tourism. Despite the richness of natural resources and health-promoting activities that spread among Alpine regions, the NHT landscape is characterized by innovation spatial fragmentation, lack of access to knowledge, and little transversal cooperation for value creation and sharing. Aimed to address these key territorial challenges, the HEALPS2 project “Healing Alps: Tourism based on natural health resources as strategic innovation for the development of Alpine regions” was funded in the Priority “Innovative Alpine Space” of the Interreg Alpine Space program. The key objective of the project was to improve the framework conditions for utilizing the Alpine natural health resources by leveraging existing and newly developed NHT products and service chains to enhance access to knowledge and sharing of experiences at a transnational level. The main project activities took place from October 2019 to June 2022 and involved 11 organizations from 6 countries, i.e. Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The collaboration between the project partners led to the development of a set of innovation practices and digital solutions, properly combined with the latest research results in tourism and health-related issues and the requirements of health tourism stakeholders collected in several events organized at the local and regional level. The vision of the project is to contribute to the positioning of the Alpine Space as a globally attractive health-promoting place, with a virtuous process of value generation and sharing among Alpine assets, actors, and territories. This book incorporates the key knowledge and experiences, in terms of concepts, tools, and practices, developed within the HEALPS2 project, here organized into eight chapters. The content was purposefully organized to dedicate to the core assets for an Alpine NHT industry excellence, i.e. the natural resources and their healing effects; the digital tools enhancing the collection, advanced analytics and spread of data on NHT industry for supporting strategic decision-making; the innovation practices and communication strategies to properly engage the industry stakeholders.
Tourism has been one of the most important economic sectors in the Alps for many years. However, not least because of the cuts due to the pandemic, new and innovative approaches are needed to meet current challenges such as climate change, shortage of skilled workers or demographic change in order to make Alpine tourism fit for the future. The topic of health offers great potential in this context. With the KPI approach, therefore, a possible access to a nature-based health tourism with medical evidence is presented, which should support the actors from the tourism practice in the further development of the Alpine tourism. At the same time, the KPI approach also offers possibilities to enable an overall more sustainable development of the Alpine region. This paper places the KPI approach in a larger development framework and explains the underlying analytical system based on selected indicators.
This work describes the challenges, techniques, and methodologies to develop a digital tool that aims to improve framework conditions and tools for better utilization of Alpine natural resources in health tourism. Starting from the literature analysis and an online survey, the system implemented a comprehensive knowledge base adopted for an ontology-based Decision Support System leveraging on identified Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Relying on this knowledge, the digital tool provides a list of tailored and customized recommendations for each destination within the Alpine area. This result helps the stakeholders capitalize on the nature-based health tourism potentials of their region in relation to the existence of the natural resources and different target users’ health conditions. This strategic digital tool is developed as a web-based application for destinations’ policy-makers and managers to fill the online survey and receive customized suggestions, recommendations, and insights on how to further exploit their natural resources in order to enhance nature-based health tourism.
The Alpine space disposes of excellent prerequisites to respond to the increasing demand of nature-based health tourism. Despite a growing scientific knowledge on the manifold benefits of human interaction with Alpine natural resources, the health tourism potential has not yet been fully exploited by Alpine regions. Based on major push and pull factors, the current state of scientific knowledge on the healing potential of nine selected natural Alpine resources is presented and discussed with regard to their health tourism potential. Major research gaps as well as starting points for future studies are demonstrated. In this way, the present work contributes to an applicable knowledge base on the health benefits of Alpine resources to enhance regional innovation capacity in terms of sustainable health tourism development. As tourism regions are increasingly taking evidence-based approaches to health tourism and regional development, the resulting lighthouses will contribute to the positioning of the Alpine space as globally attractive healing environment.
Participatory stakeholder engagement in strategy-making, for industries such as Nature-based Health Tourism (NHT), enhances the delivery of more useful and applicable strategies, with also higher chances to reach intended goals if compared to conventional top-down planning processes. This chapter describes the methodology identified and carried out in the HEALPS2 project to efficiently reach and engage stakeholders of Alpine NHT and to form a stakeholder group at the transnational level (including the engagement of EU-level ac-tors and networks). Based on the Quadruple Helix concept, the methodology integrates a process of stakeholder engagement and endorsement along three steps; the identification of the key points and the problems to be tackled for a successful stakeholder engagement; and the development of Regional and Transnational Stakeholder Groups that extend to the cooperation with EU-wide networks. Developing health tourism products and service chains, and sustaining them with strategies and policies, is a complex undertaking. The adoption of the stakeholder engagement approaches throughout the HEALPS2 project showed that it is of utmost importance to properly identify, involve and communicate with the stakeholders who effectively complement the success of the project, and its outcomes, in enhancing NHT competitiveness.
Communication activities play a pivotal role in the management of research projects, especially those involving several partners and stakeholders from different countries. The Interreg Alpine Space HEALPS2 project relies on a transnational and transversal approach to improve the framework conditions and tools for alpine health tourism, and therefore proposes a communication strategy based on specific objectives. These objectives guide the communication activities at an internal and external level, with the latter being declined for different targets and stakeholders. In this Chapter, the communication activities are described, starting from the general and specific objectives-oriented approach, to the local realization. The general strategy and the analysis are illustrated, then are demonstrated through a regional use case—the Parco Regionale Alpe Veglia-Alpe Devero and Parco Regionale Alta Valle Antrona.
Innovation is considered essential to the growth and long-term sustainability of health tourism companies and destinations. Continuous innovation takes place to improve the industry competitiveness, but especially the tourists’ experience and wellness with new product offerings. This Chapter collects and describes the innovation practices proposed and developed in some pilot regions of the HEALPS2 project consortium. The innovation practices identified in the project can be subdivided into three types, i.e., innovation techniques, innovation supporting tools, and innovative product offerings. All the practices were designed to target several operators of the Nature-based Health Tourism (NHT) industry, from tourism facilities and companies (especially small- and medium-sized enterprises) to regional councils and municipalities in charge of policy-making and tourism strategy development. HEALPS 2 innovation practices and techniques can be purposefully integrated at the regional and local level for a more innovation-driven industry strategy and business development, as well as facilitation of transnational cooperation among key actors, also beyond Alpine regions and NHT destinations.
Nature-based health tourism is experiencing a resurgence. To determine its potential as a development opportunity for alpine destinations, it is necessary to analyse both the demand and supply side. Two surveys were conducted: a representative survey of the population of six countries of the Alpine Space exploring the perception of the Alps as a healthy destination in general and on the personal assessment of the health effect of natural resources in particular and an exploratory survey of tourism stakeholders in destination management, accommodation and gastronomy as well as (health) tourism services with a focus on the expected economic developments and the relevance of individual target groups for nature-based health tourism. The results demonstrate the need for a strategic development process which aligns perceptions with destination strategy and pre-existing offers. Two potential strategies are briefly outlined: 1. destinations with non-locally specific alpine natural health resources can develop broad tourism experiences for health conditions that occur across society with health a secondary aspect in marketing. 2. destinations featuring locally specific natural health resources with proven evidence can develop offers for a specific condition and are thus able to target a very specific group.
The competitiveness of nature-based Health Tourism (NHT) industry, especially in the Alpine regions, is increasingly linked to the sustainability and exploitation of unique natural resources of tourism destinations, which often lack the access to knowledge and networks of stakeholders to improve their offerings. In this sense, the use of digital tools can open up further opportunities to reconsider value offerings and better access different knowledge resources and relationships within the industry network. This Chapter illustrates the collaborative design approach adopted in HEALPS2 for the development of an ontology-based Decision Support System for health tourism destinations. The resulting ontology aims to model the relationships between the available natural resources, the value offerings and the target groups of NHT destinations. Moreover, the Collaborative Design approach foresees the involvement of end-users (i.e. not only tourism destinations, but also the network of stakeholders, and the actual and potential future tourists) as both sources of knowledge and validators of the ontology and its outputs, aiming to inform decision-making processes in a shared knowledge model that leverages on digital tools.