Good practice destination Koksijde (BE)

Contributor Sabrina Vecchio Ruggeri
Country Belgium,
  • Attraction protection
  • Climate change adaption
  • Destination management organization
  • Destinations-in-Europe
  • Europe
  • Inventory of tourism assets and attractions
  • Planning regulations
  • Tourism seasonality management
  • Visitor management
  • Visitor satisfaction
Release date 24/06/2014
  • Destination Management
GSTC Criteria for Destinations
  • A2 Destination management strategy and action plan
  • A5 Resident engagement and feedback
  • A7 Promotion and information
  • A10 Climate change adaptation
  • A4 Enterprise engagement and sustainability standards
  • A6 Visitor engagement and feedback
  • C1 Protection of cultural assets
  • C2 Cultural artefacts
Type Best Practice Destination (Best Practice Destination)
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# File name Contributor Release date Uploaded by Upload date Size Content type
Good Practice Innovation Sheet
Items Description
1. WHO
Key people and organisations (initiator, leader, partners)  Coastal and Marine Union EUCC and the City Council of Koksijde-Oostduinkerke
 Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer (Association for Tourism) of Koksijde-Oostduinkerke (V.V.V.)
 Koksijde is a municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders, Belgium.
Key Figures Surface Inhabitants Tourism arrivals Tourism nights
 43,95 km2  22.059  1.067.541  6.354.180
2. WHY
Reason for taking the good practice action  Over the last few years, the municipality of Koksijde and the Tourism Office are focused on the organisation of multi-day events of a high level aiming to attract visitors outside the high season. Although such events can generate excellent economic, social and revitalising benefits, they can also cause significant environmental impacts in terms of transport, waste production, noise, waste consumption and waste-water production, among others, if not managed in a proper manner. For this reason, it has become clear the need of considering these issues when planning and organising major events.
Issues and challenge  Major (sports) events usually have a serious impact on the environment. Many spectators are less scrupulous with the rules when they are no longer in their familiar environment or role. Developing a policy on mobility, waste, safety, nature, is indispensable. The combination of an accessible, environmentally responsible offer and clear communication and awareness is crucial.
3. HOW
Methods /steps / tools used (to develop the good practice)  The municipality of Koksijde has recognised the importance of organising events in an environmentally responsible way. A good example is the environmentalmanagement plan designed for the organisation of the World Championships Cyclo-Cross that took place in January 2012 in the sand dunes of the Noordduinen nature reserve. This plan integrated actions and measures on diverse aspects such as waste, mobility, pollution, nature, communication, local anchoring and accessibility. Some specific measures included banning disposable plastic glasses and promotional products, using reusable glassware and crockery, and promoting the use of sustainable means of transport through special fares and passes to encourage spectators to travel by train, bus and tram. Temporary building facilities made with recycled materials were installed in the site, and waste water from toilets was treated and recycled. After the event the site was cleaned and all the waste was sorted and recycled. In addition, about 50 people were hired to provide information about the environmental actions implemented in this event and raise public awareness on sustainability. Scale events organized by third parties receive extensive advice from the Environment and Sustainable Development Service of Koksijde. Each organizer can also appeal to the town council for logistical support (for example use of reusable cups, selective waste islands - containers for garbage and PMD). In 2012 this was the case for events like the music festival Xbeach, Pennenzakkenrock Oostduinkerke, Four Days of the Yser, Flanders Ladies tennis Trophy, Ricoh Men's tennis Trophy. In the municipal police and the GAS-regulation was finally anchored that every organizer should avoid waste and should collect selectively.
Specific/measurable results, benefits  By incorporating and implementing sustainable practices in the World Championships Cyclo-Cross event, the municipality received the recycling mark of the International Cycling Union (UCI). This has contributed to develop and strengthen the destination image, making it more attractive and encouraging visitors to return. Planning and executing green events has resulted to be very beneficial to the local community both economically and environmentally and it constitutes a great opportunity to spread environmental awareness amongst the spectators and participants fostering environmentally-conscious behaviour. Thanks to the promotion of public transport modes more than 75% of the attendees arrived by train, tram and bus. The public car parks were still counted 6.000 vehicles, accounting for about 25% or 20.000 spectators. During the Championships Cyclo-cross there was less waste and greater cleanliness established. There was 18,666 kg waste collected on site from Wednesday to Sunday (starting with 80.000 spectators this means 230 grams per person). After the cross the site was almost immediately litter free, which was unseen at an event of such magnitude. The response of the public action was therefore very large. The nuisance to local residents in the surrounding village centre was limited and the involvement in the event was, due to the strong local anchoring, large. Damage to fragile nature was prevented.
Recognitions (e.g. awards)  QualityCoast Gold Award 2012-‘13
Lessons learned  In order to make the World Championships Cyclo-Cross a successful sustainable event the following aspects were essential: - Stakeholder involvement (suppliers, clients, organizers, employees, etc.) - Early planning - Setting challenging but realistic goals and objectives at the start - Post-event evaluation to identify the areas for improvement in future events.
Challenges met  The World Championships Cyclo-Cross at Koksijde constitutes an excellent example of how successful environmental management can be when applied to an event. This plan will be used as a model by the UCI when organizing international cycling events in other destinations, as well as by Koksijde when major events take place in the municipality. approach.
Critical success factors  The proceeds from the recycling project lies mainly in the contribution to the quality of the event. Several sponsors were also willing to make an effort to implement environmental measures. In addition to the benefits for this event it is hoped that this approach will be followed by other (cycling) events. Other cycling organizers have followed now (part of) this
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