Upon the invitation of the Landtag Schleswig-Holstein, the sixth meeting of the BSPC Working Group on Sustainable Tourism took place in Kiel on 13 and 14 March 2017. Young people appointed by the BSPC members were included in the discussions of the Working Group. The parliamentarians as well as the young delegates took part in the expert presentations on the first day. Four experts presented different challenges for the tourism sector in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The core of the discussions were the cross-border presentations on the BSR, maritime tourism as well as touristic infrastructure and mobility. The integration of rural areas, especially with a view to the local economy and the environment, had been deepened. As an excursion, the participants were informed about a project by a private investor intent on contributing to the sustainable development of the rural area with an outdoor academy and an integrated hotel.
The second day, the parliamentarians and young adults evaluated the presentations and discussed several proposals, ideas and impulses. The topics included several aspects of sustainable tourism – education, digitalization, the question of a common “Baltic Sea Brand”, music festivals or special forms of tourism like cycling tourism. The youth delegates expressed the idea of an “Interferry ticket” – similar to the “Interrail” project – that could improve the travel opportunities for young people in particular in the BSR as well as the development of an International Program for Sustainable Tourism in the entire Baltic Sea Region.
The objective is to transmit these jointly elaborated proposals to the BSPC so that they can influence their future work. The youth delegates then presented the results of their work in front of the European Affairs Committee of the Landtag Schleswig-Holstein on 15 March 2017.
The chair of the BSPC Working Group, President of the Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Sylvia Bretschneider, said after the end of the meeting: “We should continue and perpetuate the integration of young people in the work of the BSPC. The youth symbolizes the future of our countries and of the whole region. It is important for them to make cross-border contacts with peers. We would do well to provide space for the creativity of young people in our region and to involve them in our discussions.”