While tourism is suffering from the restrictions of the pandemic, Europe is preparing to restart in the name of experiential travel with the Mappae project (Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Pathways Across Europe), co-funded by the EU Cosmee programme.
Twelve destinations are designing modular tourist packages among medicinal herbs, designed to promote the tourist and cultural excellence of the six countries involved: Italy, France, Malta, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus.
For 74% of Italians, sustainable tourism is the safest form of tourism in terms of respect for the environment and health.
The project leader is the association Le Terre dei Savoia which – from Racconigi Castle – also coordinated the presentation of the Mappae app and website in a virtual event.
The Mappae routes refer to a segment – that of experiential and slow tourism – which in the pre-Covid era had reached a value of 254 billion dollars globally (2019 data according to Arival research).
For 74% of Italians, moreover, sustainable tourism is the safest, especially at this stage, in terms of both respect for the environment and health, given the possibility of experiencing wide open spaces.
The experience sector is made up mainly of small operators and widespread micro-entrepreneurship. It is in this context that the Cosme programme makes it easier for small and medium-sized local businesses to access the European market. Thanks to EU support, businesses have easier access to guarantees, loans and equity.
With Mappae operators and tourists can design their own itinerary on the website mappae.eu or on the app, starting from a destination but also from the herbs they want to discover. In Italy alone, according to Assosementi data, around 23,000 hectares are cultivated with aromatic herbs.