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Sustainable Tourism Research Intelligence Partnership

Parties of the 2 Seas region (South East England, North West France , West Flanders and the Southwest of the Netherlands) execute the project SusTRIP: Sustainable Tourism Research & Intelligence Partnership. The aim is to jointly carry out a series of research projects to support the touristic branche projectarea. The research projects are focused on the four pillars of sustainable tourism: the visitors, the entrepreneurs, the people and the environment.

Project summary

SusTRIP - Sustainable Tourism Research Intelligence Partnership - is a European research project on sustainable tourism. In the project four parties collaborate to strengthen the touristic branch: Visit Kent - Kent County Council in Maidstone (England), Comité Régional de Tourisme Nord-Pas de Calais in Lille (France), Westtoer in Brugge (Belgium), NHTV internationaal hoger onderwijs Breda and Hogeschool Zeeland in Breda and Vlissingen (The Netherlands). The project is co financed by INTERREG IVA '2 Mers Seas Zeeën', international programme 2007-2013 of the European Union.

The purpose of the project is to jointly plan and implement a series of research activities which will capitalise on previous work and help the 2 Seas Region to sustain its vital tourism industry. SusTRIP will provide a firm foundation from which important joint decisions on the future sustainable development of tourism in the region can be made.
Such decisions need to respect the four cornerstones of sustainable destination development represented by the VICE model - Visitors, the Industry (professionals and tourism businesses) that serves them, the Community that hosts them, and their collective impact on and response to the Environment in which it all takes place and which is so critical to the potential success and wellbeing of all visitor destinations.

Three project activities encompass a series of sub actions:

 Activity 1 - Sustainable Tourism
A series of studies focusing on knowing more about the visitors to the area and potential new visitors, their impact on the region and the local host community. These studies will include:

  • Events Impact Model
  • Visiting Friends and Relatives Market
  • Understanding our Current Market and Identifying Potential New Markets
  • Identifying and understanding existing and new communication technologies to target visitors better

Activity 2 - Supporting Tourism

Measuring industry economic, social and environmental performance to enable businesses to plan more effectively in the long term future. This support will include:

  • Self Catering Accommodation Study
  • Industry and Product Fact sheets
  • Investment Monitor
  • Business Barometers
  • Economic Impact Models
  • Museum Impact Model

Activity 3  - A Knowledge Platform

A key legacy of this project is to establish a new Knowledge Platform providing long term research support to the partners and wider tourism industry beyond the duration of the project by sharing previous experiences, methodologies, case studies and results. This will include a:

  • A Research Forum 
  • A Virtual Research Network 
  • A 2 Seas Databank


Project aims and objectives

The main aims of the project are:

  1. To share research knowledge and expertise to best effect.
  2. To work together to produce research which will help to guide destination marketing and development decisions across the 2 Seas Region. 
  3. To map out future directions for making the best possible use of new technology in support of sustainable tourism development.
  4. To improve intelligence on current and potential tourism industry performance to help to support tourism businesses and underpin investment decisions.

To achieve these goals we carry out the following activities:

  • Develop a Knowledge Platform for partners and tourism professional which will include a virtual network and databank. Exchange experience through a coordinated programme of partner meetings.
  • Through a range of studies identify the economic, environmental and social impact of tourism on the local community.
  • Identify the nature and the profile of the Friends and Relatives market as it represents a significant proportion of the visitor economy of 2 Seas Region.
  • Identify actions/gaps and opportunities required to ensure destinations are accessible by all visitors leading up to the London Paralympics Games in 2012, over and above statutory requirements.
  • Understand the needs and demands of visitors to the region to assist planning for sustainable tourism development.
  • Understand perception of the region to identify potential new markets.
  • Understand not only existing communication technologies but also future trends in communication technology in order to reach new customers.
  • Exchange data and cross-border expertise on accommodation activity of interest to partners.
  • Produce data to support strategic product development decisions to be made across the region.


Download the full summary of the project.

Research Forum

The partners organize Research Forums multiple times a year to excange knowlegde on various researchthemes. Below you find the minutes of these meetings.

Research Forum Breda - 19th of March 2010
Theme is research to economical impact of tourism.
More information on the content and presentations on the Research Forum that day.


Research Forum Dunkerque - 23rd of September 2010 
Theme is research on daytourism.
More information on the content and presentations on the Research Forum that day.


Research Forum Brugge - 14th of December 2010
Theme is research to image and potential markets.
More information on the content and presentations on the Research Forum that day.







Project partners





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