FORUM THEMATIC AREAS Transport Sustainable mobility and island tourism Inland transport technologies and systems are nowadays an essential factor that defines the quality of island tourist destinations. Progressive inclusion of aggressive models of transport represents a threat to the development of this activity and an impact that is frequently inadmissible for tourists. Island destinations deteriorate because of excessive road networks, noise and traffic. Nevertheless, new transport technologies offer at present a wide selection of low-impact solutions with regard to emissions and noises. Hybrid, electric and fuel-cell powered vehicles, show an enriching future for islands' tourist centres and cities. These technologies will reach their maximum efficiency in combination with advanced methods of transport information and management. Initiatives that could be completed by decisive policies of restraint on traffic and integration of the different forms of transport, favouring pedestrian areas and primacy of public transport.
Telematics Tourism and Information Society Integration of islands in the information society and, in particular, of their tourist activity, is today a primary target. Improvement of information and electronic trade systems are advantageous to qualification, identity, singularity and development of new tourist products more adapted to island realities. Barriers imposed by inflexible, homogeneous offers to tourism sustainable development on islands can be overcome with the help of telematics. Telematic resources will allow perceptible improvement of information and management systems within sectors such as transport, energy demand management, water saving, responsible hotel management and local product commercialisation.
Renewable Energy Sources Another way to enjoy the sun Energy repercussions of island tourist development are more and more evident. Conventional methods of energy production show serious environmental risks and inadmissibly increase costs and overseas dependence. Nevertheless, as a rule, on islands abundant renewable energy sources can be found, such as wind, sun or tides, which are sometimes complemented by hydraulic, geothermic or biomass-derived resources. Beside already mature technologies widely-experimented in the hotel sector, like hot water production through solar panels, some innovating systems are making their way through the market, such as solar cooling, large-scale use of photovoltaics in hotels connected to the grid, or participation of the tourist sector in energy decentralisation by promoting consortia of wind farms. The concept has radically changed, energy for tourism on islands will not be considered any more as an exogenous resource, but as a quality service. The European campaign on 100% renewable tourist islands (Island 2010) is a good expression of the possibilities of the future. Apart from technology innovation in renewables, big advances have been made over the last few years in the field of rational use of energy, with the use of efficient saving, management and production systems.
Water-related technologies Relieving islands' thirst Water is nowadays an extremely valuable and scarce resource in island destinations. Increasing water demand from tourism clashes with traditional agricultural activities and takes away valuable ecosystem resources, which are part of the tourist attractions of several islands. Even if we are attending to an important development in the implementation of saving-related best practices in the hotel sector, there is still a long way to go in the field of water purification and re-utilisation in tourist areas and within resorts. The present range of applicable technologies and new products cover from modern bio-purification systems to low-impact treatments that guarantee the quality of water. Water scarcity, or its forced availability, has led in many areas to undertaking advanced desalination projects in many areas. The new qualitative jump is based on guaranteeing new water supplies in coastal areas starting from renewable-energy powered desalination.
Sustainable Building Towards an integrated tourist habitat Environmental, cultural and technological integration of tourist buildings is not just an option in the case of islands. Non-integrated, impersonal, outof-context and energy-wasting buildings start to worsen the image of the destination. The development of a culture based on sensitivity and on bioclimatic models will bring to a higher comfort and singularity of the tourist offer, especially if we take into account the fact that accomodation is the tourists main expectation. Within this context, quality of accomodation is an added value and a factor improving competitivity of island tourist destinations. Zero-waste strategy Waste generation in tourist establishments is nowadays a serious environmental risk for island destinations and an increasing cost for the hotel industry. As a complement to traditional policies of waste valorisation, based on recycling, re-utilisation and recuperation, new methods appeared that include aspects ranging from waste minimisation to in situ modular composting to introduction of biotechnological solutions. Industry is at present able to supply telematic resources, guaranteeing information and at the same time elimination of printed material, biodegradable and recoverable packings and containers, highly-reliable product dispensers or organic waste processing technologies with the help of biological products. Innovation is also moving towards the processing and disposal of dangerous products and recuperation of other wastes such as oils and inert waste. Instruments of support Successful technological innovation in the different fields of tourist activity must be accompanied by the development of adequate regulation measures in the various areas involved such as taxes, training and development of innovative financial instruments and products able to adapt themselves to the new market requirements. The necessary dialogue between the tourist sector, service providers, manufacturers and technologists needs to renew the present frameworks that avoid the formation of market niches and alliances, which are objectively feasible and viable, in favour of tourist development sustainability. Absence of information and qualified training strongly contributed to the fact that the most dynamic industry within island economies is today really behind with regard to technological innovation, when compared to other activity sectors.
MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE FORUM • To discover state of the art eco-efficient technologies in the islands' tourist sector. • To promote efficient market alliances and identify action priority areas. • To open communication channels between main decision-makers: hotel managers, tourist associations and operators, local authorities, manufacturers, service providers, consultants, engineers and architects, research and development institutes. • To exchange experiences between island territories. • To identify demonstration projects, programmes and initiatives.
Participants • • • • • • • • • • • •
Representatives of the tourist industry International tourist associations Island tourist associations Chambers of commerce Agencies and international programmes Decision Makers in island governments Research centres, technology institutes and universities International co-operation networks Industry associations Technological providers Service providers Consulting, engineering and architectural companies