Special Quality Certification for Walking Trails.
The special quality certificate of ‘Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe’ offers a transparent system of criteria for the improvement of trail quality throughout Europe.
How is it possible to ensure this?
Through the creation of a system of assessment that takes into account the needs of walkers!
The use of the criteria system ‘Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe’ renders the attractiveness of routes measurable and guarantees a high quality walking experience.
Such a system has to capture the complexity of different landscapes, infrastructures and route character in comparable dimensions. To allow for the variety and uniqueness of the landscapes and walking routes in the different regions of Europe, the criteria system has been constructed with maximum flexibility. It uses the years of practical experience in countries that already use quality criteria to plan and upgrade walking trails.
The rating/grading as ‘Leading Quality Trails- Best of Europe’ is an award as well as a transparent method to optimise the overall route infrastructure. The criteria can be used as a checklist and help countries that have to build up their walking route network. In countries that already have a functioning route network, such a system can strengthen walking tourism further.
The logo ‘Leading Quality Trails- Best of Europe’ is used on national as well as international trails. Certification is only available for complete trails. Prerequisite is a distance of at least 50km with three daily stages. Exceptions to the rule are the European Long Distance routes. They can be certified in part, as long as the minimum length is given.
With the “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe“, the ERA sets a European standard bringing multiple uses for walking tourism:
- giving the walking tourist an overview and decision aid
- giving regard to ecology and nature preservation
- involvement of all affected/interest parties in the quality process
- trained and competent trail experts in the area e.g. from walking groups, wildlife reserves and tourism
- competitive edge for the walking region in marketing