Platform Recreation and Tourism Alphen aan den Rijn (PReT) - Rapport on Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism in ‘t Groene Hart

For the Platform Recreation and Tourism Alphen aan den Rijn (PReT), TheRockGroup conducted an exploratory study into the current and future role of biodiversity and sustainable tourism in de Rijn en Veenstreek. The findings of the study, along with our advice on how to promote biodiversity and sustainable tourism in this region, were presented in a rapport. The presenting of this report coincided with the final phase of the recalibration of PReT’s vision for the future and aimed to answer the question of how sustainability in general, and biodiversity in particular, can be included in PReT’s revised vision for the future. Through our research, the topics of sustainability and biodiversity are now embedded in the Future Vision and PReT Action Agenda 2020 – 2025 within the Action line Garden of the green Heart. A stronger focus on sustainability and biodiversity in the national profiling of the region is therefore considered a spearhead project.

Context

In 2015 in Alphen aan de Rijn, Platform Recreation and Tourism, also known as PReT was established. PReT advises the (local) government in implementing a powerful and balanced tourism structure. In addition, PReT wants to position Alphen aan den Rijn i.e. more nationally and within het Groene Hart to help actively promote the tourist organisation. PReT aspires to further develop more connecting stories, stimulate a better guest service and involve strong, commercial organisations in (inter) national tourism. 

With reviewing PReT’s vision, the question arose of how sustainability in general and biodiversity can be included in the revised vision for the future.

Our Work

TheRockGroup conducted an exploratory study into the current and future role of biodiversity and sustainable tourism in the Rijn and Veenstreek. The aim of the research study was to provide advice to support the process of reassessing PReT’s vision for the future. 

Our research consisted of several aspects: 

  • Desk research into the different definitions of sustainable and biodiversity relating to the promotion of tourism 
  • Desk research into what is already being done within de Rijn and Veenstreek region to promote sustainable and biodiverse tourism 
  • A randomised study among the PReT members: to what extent are sustainability and biodiversity secured within the companies of PReT members? And do members also communicate about these issues? 
  • Advice on how sustainability and biodiversity within PReT can be adhered and used

For the study we only looked at information that was only publicly available (offered on the company website) regarding sustainability and biodiversity based on the PReT members. The study showed that sustainability and biodiversity are often integrated within the companies PReT members, but are not always recognized. PReT can gain a lot here as sustainability and biodiversity are important selling points for tourists. PReT recognised this and has therefore taken our advice to implement sustainability and biodiversity in the revised vision for the future.