The president of the Cluster participated in Ponte da Barca in a conference organised by the Intermunicipal Community of Alto Miño in the framework of the project “Forgotten Border Limia-Lima “.
The Galicia Tourism Cluster was one of the entities invited to participate and speak at the conference held on Tuesday in the Portuguese town of Ponte da Barca by the Intermunicipal Community of Alto Miño to analyse the challenges of development and tourist attraction in the area around the river Limia (Lima, in the neighbouring country) in the framework of the cross-border cooperation project “Forgotten Border Limia-Lima”.
The president of the Cluster, Cesáreo Pardal, took part in the panel “Tourist development, tourist networks and territorial cohesion”, together with Cristina Mendes, representative of the Regional Entity of Tourism of Porto and Norte de Portugal; Susana Ribeiro, operational general director of the Association of Tourism of Porto – Convention & Visitors Bureau, and António José Correia, coordinator of the Network of Nautical Facilities of Portugal.
In his speech, Cesáreo Pardal highlighted the importance of the collaboration between the authorities and the different agents of the tourism sector in Galicia and Portugal to develop the joint promotion of the Galicia-North Portugal destination and pointed out that in the case of the specific territory of the Limia River there are many natural, cultural and heritage resources that can serve as a basis for these actions. “A cross-border natural park recognised by Unesco as a Biosphere Reserve, Roman archaeological sites, religious architecture, river beaches and a wide range of complementary activities, including hiking and mountain biking routes, gastronomic festivals and festivals of cultural interest”. But he also pointed out that having all these resources is a “necessary condition, but not sufficient to be competitive” and noted that “it is necessary to structure a range of tourism products adapted to demand and apply comprehensive management involving all the agents involved. Hence the importance of configuring tourism networks that promote destinations and foster relations with other networks at regional, national or supranational level, as is the case here”.
Cesáreo Pardal referred to the experience in Galicia of the Geodestinations as “a formula that enhances the value and tourism promotion of a geographical area, which due to its proximity and homogeneity forms a differentiated and unique tourism offer” and defended that “working together, coordinated and changing the concept of competitiveness between companies in the sector for that of competition is a good formula to boost the sector, boost the economy of the area and provide tourists with the wide range of offers that can be found in a territory”.
He stressed that the “creation of tourism networks increases the availability of certain activities in a destination and the creation of a successful tourism product thanks to cooperation between companies. In addition, network members benefit from the experience of other members, favouring the innovation processes of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, which contributes to local and regional development. This is what we expect from this Forgotten Border Project Limia-Lima River, which certainly has all the elements to consolidate itself as a tourist destination of reference”.