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This is an interesting INTERREG project between Spain and Portugal.
In Rio Tinto, the added value is related to the fact that space agencies from all over the world have conducted several tests here to test equipment, suits and other facilities for space travel. Thus, they used this opportunity to create a tourism product, making the visitor live an experience related to Martian suggestions.

In the Ria Formosa part, there is an area of high natural value, where it is possible to combine tourism and farming activities. You can then taste oysters in the estuary and enjoy the whole natural landscape, which is wonderful.

Title: Common strategy for the tourist enhancement of unique sites in the Andalusia-Algarve-Alentejo cooperation area.

Thematic objective
Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency. In other words, the overall objective of Valuetur is to implement a common transnational strategy to enhance protected areas of high natural, historical and cultural value in the Andalusia-Algarve-Alentejo cooperation area and exploit them in a sustainable way by generating economic activity through tourism.

Investment priorities
Protection, promotion and development of cultural and natural heritage.

The specific objectives are:

Define smart tourism development strategies in the protected areas with high potential of the Cooperation Area, according to a common methodology, and share and transfer the results of their implementation and evaluation through a transnational cooperation group.

To develop an innovative tourist offer in each action area, generating economic and social value and entrepreneurial dynamism, and to guarantee its accessibility and permeability with the territory through adapting infrastructures.

To make potential customers aware of the wealth and heritage of the tourist destinations of intervention, as well as the tourist offer developed, to attract tourists and visitors.

Categories of intervention

  1. Protection, restoration and sustainable use of Natura 2000 sites
  2. Cycle paths and trails
  3. Development and promotion of the tourism potential of natural areas
  4. Protection, development and promotion of cultural and public heritage.

Total project cost (indicative)
1.211.925,00 €
Total ERDF approved:
908.943,75 €
VALUETUR is a project co-financed 75% by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Interreg V A Spain-Portugal Cooperation Programme (POCTEP) 2014-2020).

Implementation period
01/07/2017 to 30/09/2022

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To enhance protected areas of high natural, historical and cultural value and exploit them in a sustainable way, generating economic activity.

The work will be carried out mainly in two protected areas of great singularity: Rio Tinto in Huelva and Ria Formosa in the Algarve, to recover and valorise their heritage and develop an integrated and attractive tourist offer in them, involving companies and entrepreneurs in the area.

By increasing tourism activity and promoting these two destinations, the number of visitors to these areas will increase, and their socio-economic development will improve. This is done through a common transnational strategy that creates synergies to learn more and achieve greater results.

– Huelva Provincial Council.
– Consejería de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca y Desarrollo Sostenible, Junta de Andalucía.
– Andanatura Foundation for sustainable socio-economic development.
– Mancomunidad de Desarrollo Condado de Huelva.
– Algarve tourist region.

1 Cooperation for tourism development according to a common methodology for strategy definition.
2 Investments for the structuring and connection, accessibility and enjoyment of tourism.
3 Revitalisation of tourism for local socio-economic development.
4 Actions for the promotion and marketing of tourist destinations.
5 Management and coordination
6 Communication.

Expected results
The main result of the project will be an increase in the number of visitors in the Cooperation Area and, more specifically, in the area around the Rio Tinto Nature Trail, the Ria Formosa Natural Park and the Huelva section of the Via Algarviana; the entrepreneurial fabric of these predominantly rural areas will be the main beneficiary, since the increase in tourism brings with it an increase in economic activity and, consequently, in the socio-economic development of the localities connected to these areas. As a consequence of this socio-economic development, the entire population of these areas will benefit from the project results.

The main products will be:

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Sara – tourism sector consultant