In 2006, 17 villages of the Alps created the transnational organisation “Alpine Pearls”. It is one of the results of the European projects Alps Mobility and Alps Mobility II, aiming at creating innovative sustainable tourism offers. Nowadays, 29 local communities from some of the most beautiful Alpine Regions (that is to say 29 “pearls” of the Alps) of 6 countries are part of the association. To tackle the environmental challenge and especially to find a way to reduce the traffic jam, local communities want to act as an example and realise very concrete actions. Their goal is also to stand out from the classic tourism offer and to make profit out of this new market.
“Alpine Pearls” values all the benefits people can get from soft mobility and provides a wide range of alternatives solutions:
• First of all, sustainable holidays start from the very first moment families leave their cars at home: an elaborated system of public transport accompanies them until their final destination. Indeed, local tourism offices can take care of the organisation of the whole trip, of the people’s arrivals as well as the transport of luggage.
• For those who decided to reach their holiday destination by car, “Alpine Pearls” has done everything it could to enhance people not to use it once arrived. For instance, some valleys are closed to traffic, so that pedestrian can enjoy the silence and beauty of nature. Hikes buses take people back from their day trip, and ski buses drive them up on top of slopes. The transportation map is a very useful tool which provides people with all the information on the soft mobility services available in the region.
• Hiking, walking, cross-country skiing, horse riding or mountain biking are one of the many sport activities offered to take people away from their car as much as possible. Lastly, electric cars, bikes and scooters show holidaymakers that moving car free is no longer synonymous of effort or constraint.
The Alpine Pearls webpage gives lots of information about soft mobility, describes winter and summer holidays experiences and people can also book one of the different offers available throughout the 29 sites.1 October 2014