The goal of making a sustainable route on Texel is to create awareness and is part of the vision to become a sustainable island. We want to think big with our vision and start small with the sustainability route. Since the Texelers do not like big changes, especially not from the mainland, and want to keep the open landscape; we do not add anything new. The route should be started by a local company or inhabitants that knows the island and can integrate existing activities. This way the route will most likely be a reflection of the island and will have the highest 'chance' to have support of local people and people maintaining it.
The route through Texel is a closed loop and can be started from different points. The route go by the different activities and projects/buildings on the island and show what is sustainable about it and why or why not. The route can start small, visiting some sustainable projects on the island and can expand in time. The adventage is that it can already be started, visiting Ecomare, zelf-pluk tuinen, Texels brewery, etc.
The route should be updated a few times a year in order to add the new sustainable activities or projects. Also to evaluate the route, to learn from experience and to think of new innovative ways to reach the tourists.
It is very important how the route is presented so that it will be actually used by the tourists. The idea is to present it simple on the routemarks (billboards and paddestoelen) for the elder tourists, but to make it also fun for the youth, so other technologies should be applied as well. The use of an app is one way to do this, connecting with friends and other groups or connecting with other youth activities on the island. Most important is that it must be fun to use it and to discover the island and see and learn about the sustainable elements of the island.
Facts and fun
Showing with infographics some facts about the island regarding energy, water and food. Also some short facts on the history or culture can be inbedded. Some oneliners to trigger the tourist and the possibility to learn more by reading or by doing and actually visit some interesting spots.
To make it even more attractive to start the sustainable route and to be a 'sustainable tourist', the sustainability pass is introduced (maybe integrated in the app). Reference is the Rotterdam pas, giving discount to different cultural activities and showing what can be done in Rotterdam. The sustainability pass can connect different sub-systems with each other. Getting discount in a sustainable restaurant when you also stay in a energy neutral appartment, or getting discount for activity B when you have done activity A, etc.
In order to make this possible technologies are needed. The way the route is presented to the tourist is very important. Technologies in communication and giving information are the key to succes. The use apps for mobile phones or tablets is an important digital medium. The sustainability pass can be integrated in the app or can be a real pass. The use of analogue mediums such as route information boards or paddestoelen at cross roads, showing on it the sustainable route.
The main actors are tourists that will make use of the sustainability route.
2. Leisure companies
The museum, restaurants, activity company, research institute, campings and sustainability department are important since they can participate in the route.
3. VVV tourist information
The central place for tourists to find information, it is important that the sustainability route takes into account the different activities that are present on the island.
To create support, the inhabbitants should stand behind the idea and start the initiative.
There are several effects which are expected with the introduction of this route. First is the increased awareness of participants about Texel as sustainable island, while giving the participants a possibility for a tour of the island on their own.
Second is the increased visits of participating businesses, which will result in an increased competitive position. This will be an incentive for companies to join for this tour, requiring them to have more sustainable businesses.
Since it is a more or less stand alone tour, it won't have an effect on the culture on and identity of Texel.