FACET: Facilitating the introduction of circular entrepreneurship in the tourism & recreation sector
The Interreg 2 Seas FACET project wants to encourage entrepreneurs in the tourism sector to apply circular solutions within their company, thereby creating new sustainable revenue models. With a strong consortium of project partners from Belgium, England, France and the Netherlands, experiments are being conducted with circular applications in the fields of accommodation, waste reduction and circular operation management.
A coastal region, the 2 Seas region (covering the coastal areas of Belgium, England, France and the Netherlands and connected by the Channel and the North Sea) has traditionally been a tourist destination with a strong impact on the regional economy. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, tourism in this region will increase by 5-8%. However, tourism also entails mass consumption of raw materials. This can grow worldwide by 92% (water) and 189% (land use) in the period 2010-2050 (Tourism Watch) and puts pressure on the already limited raw materials in the region, where industry, agriculture and tourism are already competing.
It is clear that we need to find a circular solution to ensure that tourism remains economically beneficial. The corona crisis is currently forcing many to stand still. Now is the time to look at how we have organised our society and economy and how we want to build our systems post crisis.
Several small pilots
Throughout the 2 Seas area, FACET locally develops various practical, accessible and small-scale pilot and demonstration projects to help entrepreneurs gain practical knowledge and experience to make circular business models. FACET provides expertise and support in setting up these pilots.
At the same time, local and regional cooperation groups are set up between companies within and outside the tourism sector, suppliers and chain parties. These communities of collaborating parties are strengthened through the involvement of local governments, financiers and end users (i.e. tourists and residents). By involving governments, we look for ways to jointly tackle challenges within existing regulations. Appropriate financing constructions are also being sought for the realisation of circular concepts. This collaboration is a sure way to increase the introduction of circularity.
Although the end users of the tourism product, i.e. tourists, are not included in the pilot projects, the demonstrations will give them the most benefit and guarantee the quality of their experience and perception of the area.
Awareness of companies in the tourism sector about the circular economy, new business models and other forms of cooperation is an important issue within the project. Consequently, best practices gained are shared and exchanged both regionally and internationally. This will build up practical knowledge and support entrepreneurs in changing to a circular business operation / circular revenue model. The FACET project contributes towards stimulating tourist entrepreneurs to develop and utilize circular applications.
The Netherlands: NV Economische Impuls Zeeland, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Camping and Villapark De Paardekreek
Belgium: Westtoer, Blue Cluster
United Kingdom: Greenwich University, Norfolk County Council
France: Ademe: Agence de la transition écologique
The project started in January 2020 and will run until March 2023.
The total size of the project is € 3.890.351 euro.
Interreg 2 Seas
Interreg 2 Seas 2014-2020 is a European Territorial Cooperation Programme for England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The Programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and has a total budget of EUR 241 million to support projects for the period from 2014 to 2020. The objective is to develop an innovative, knowledge and research-based, sustainable and inclusive 2 Seas area, where natural resources are protected and the green economy is promoted.