Exchange visit

First Exchange Visit, Bergamo

Promoting Silver Tourism in Europe through the Erasmus+ Silver Tourism Project: Sharing Good Practices during the First Exchange Visit in Bergamo, Italy

In the heart of Bergamo, an important event has recently highlighted the significance of senior tourism and associated best practices. From November 21st to 23rd, the city welcomed European partners for a meeting that marked a significant step towards promoting tourism for the elderly. This event was part of the Erasmus+ Silver Tourism KA210-ADU-383EAA9A project, aimed at gathering and sharing best practices in senior tourism in the three countries involved (Italy, Belgium, Turkey) and providing support to those working in the tourism industry to enhance offerings for seniors.

The Silver Tourism project, led by the Solco Città Aperta Consortium, aims to strongly support those working in the tourism industry in implementing dedicated experiences and offerings for individuals over 65. Recognizing the growing interest in this demographic, the project seeks to equip businesses with the necessary tools to create unforgettable travel experiences for seniors.

During the event, Belgian and Turkish partners had the opportunity to explore initiatives in Bergamo that are contributing to making the city an ideal destination for older travellers.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the “Migrantour Bergamo” project, an initiative offering unique tourism experiences led by migrant guides who share their stories and cultures with visitors. This inclusive and intercultural approach has become an inspiring model for generating interest among seniors in tourism.

Additionally, European partners had the chance to explore “Nat Space/La Porta del Parco,” a project promoted by the Alchimia Cooperative. This location, immersed in nature, promotes eco-tourism and the well-being of seniors through outdoor activities. This stop emphasised the importance of promoting sustainable tourism that respects the environment and is accessible to people of all ages.

Another highlight of the event was the introduction to the “Sustainable Tourism Label,” promoted by Welfare Links. This local initiative rewards businesses and tourism activities adopting eco-friendly and community-oriented practices. This label demonstrated how senior tourism can be both rewarding and environmentally friendly.

Finally, participants had the opportunity to experience “Story City,” a project promoted by the Bergamo Lavoro Cooperative, offering a special guided tour in the Upper City of Bergamo. This tour was designed to be accessible to people with special needs, with professional guides accompanied by assistants with various abilities. This experience underscored the importance of creating inclusive tourism that accommodates everyone, regardless of their needs.

The next steps of the project include visits to Turkey in February 2024 and Belgium in August 2024. During these visits, project partners and stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn about best practices in senior tourism in those countries. These experiences will be crucial in creating a reference guide to assist industry operators in implementing offerings for the senior demographic at a European level.

The meeting of European partners in Bergamo, led by the Solco Città Aperta Consortium, was a crucial step towards the goal of the Silver Tourism project in promoting senior tourism and sharing best practices among the involved countries. Bergamo has demonstrated itself to be at the forefront of welcoming older travellers and promoting inclusive and sustainable tourism. With ongoing collaboration among partner countries and the upcoming guide, senior tourism can only grow and improve, offering unforgettable experiences to a generation that deserves to be celebrated through extraordinary travels.