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Alpine Pearls - full mobility for enjoyable holidays and climate

( Alpine Pearls, one of the largest tourist co-operations in the Alpine region, is “mobilising" its tourism in the fight against climate changes. After a mere year of the group's founding, it has already grown to twenty members. Strict criteria guarantee high quality in the area of gentle mobility for the guest. Alpine Pearls is thus a pioneer when it comes to breaking away from conventional tourist mobility. Initial bookable products invite the consumer to switch to gentler mobility forms, and to “abandon" cars and airplanes - at least on their holiday.

"Mobility and travelling - no end in sight for the “hunger formobility" - Travelling produces mobility, which inevitably results in emissions. Although there are currently quite positive attempts to reduce emissions, traffic volume continues to rise. The individual's “hunger for mobility" appears to be insatiable and continues rising - regardless of the mobility's purpose. Whether on the way to work, on the way to leisure activities or on a holiday trip, there is no apparent alternative to cars and airplanes - despite horrible scenarios predicted by climate scientists.

- The branch we are sitting upon is getting brittle -
Although human beings like to see and describe themselves as the “crowns of creation", they are about to saw off their “branch of life". Natural catastrophes appear. Global climate begins to waver, and natural balance is disturbed. The “I would like to change, but I just cannot" attitude sets in. Pushing away all that is unpleasant, which is a very common habit in many areas, becomes more and more widespread.

- Alpine Pearls is the answer to emissions -
Around a year ago, 17 Alpine towns came together and formed the Alpine Pearls Association. The objective of this co-operation was to emphasize gentle mobility in holiday locations. Guests are invited to participate in environmentally-friendly travel in the Pearls. Mobility bargains are provided on-site, which allow guests to be mobile without using their own motor vehicles. The Pearls are committed to observe the strict criteria pertaining to the range of existing mobility. “We cannot and will not act as if we could not care less about the environment. Tourism depends on an intact environment, and we must therefore also take action", declares Peter Brandauer, president of Alpine Pearls.

- Alpine Pearls mean it seriously -
In the Alpine Pearls Association, the numerous, pre-existing single initiatives are bundled and offered on the market. The guest is invited to take part in a gently mobile journey.
Product quality is guaranteed by the required strict criteria. Upon arrival in the Pearls, the need for mobility is not forgotten. Important tourist attractions are, for example, completely accessible even without motor vehicles. The maximum waiting period is 30
minutes, and they are accessible everyday via mobile systems from 9 am to 8 pm.

- One year of Alpine Pearls -
Already one year after its founding, the association was able to present success. Apart from intensified measures in shaping opinions and public work, the first creations of gentle mobility were developed. The expansion of the association to include three new Pearls (Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Morzine-Avoriaz, Villard de Lans) are also an indication of their successful efforts.
A future project depicts the connection between the Pearl locations and ecological transport. Like a pearl necklace, the travel route runs through the curve of the Alps. First attempts have already begun. Together with the -BB (Austrian Federal Railways), one can buy the so-called “Alpine Pearl Tickets" in Austria. With this ticket, the guest can travel on all trains and all postal busses at an attractive price (i.e. 7 days for EUR 159), and still be enjoyably mobile - completely without a car.

- The Pearls of the Alps -
With meanwhile 20 locations from five alpine states and nearly 12 million overnight stays annually, the Alpine Pearls is probably the largest tourist co-operation in the alpine region. The members are located in Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, and
are committed via contracts, which stipulate the need for ecological mobility and observance of strict criteria. Quintessential points are, for example, accessibility provided at least four times a day via bus or railway. Collecting guests at the nearest railway
station goes without saying, as is the consultations regarding ticket reservations. Individual mobile possibilities provide the guest access to the most important tourist attractions - and this between 9 am and 8 pm.

Apart from a commitment to gentle mobility, the successful mix of different cultures and geographical locations are additional benefits for the guest. The consumer books his/her gently mobile holiday in different counties and can rely on the fact that “everything is as
stated". Gentle mobility holidays can be booked in the following Pearls: Arosa, Bad Reichenhall, Berchtesgaden, Chamois, Deutschnofen/Nova Ponente, Feltre, Forni di
Sopra, Interlaken, Les Gets, Morzine-Avoriaz, Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Pieve di Cadore, Ratschings/Racines, Sauris, Karnied-Steinegg/Cornedo-Collepietre, Tiers/Tires,
Villard de Lans, Villnöß/Funes, Welschnofen/Nova Levante and Werfenweng.

- Less auto-mobility brings a lot more enjoyment -
The basic idea of Alpine Pearls is that it is developed on different enjoyment levels. As they say, “each means of transport has its own authorization and its own stretch", Alpine Pearls is not an “organization that detests motor vehicles". The guest is simply invited to experience and enjoy a holiday without any kind of motor vehicle - and enjoy a higher quality of life. “Those who have experienced the world from the back of a horse"drawn
carriage will have experienced something completely new", declares Georg Weissensteiner, president of the Rosengarten-Latemar region and vice president of Alpine Pearls.

- First products from Alpine Pearls -
Apart from the quality improvement of gentle mobility in the Pearls, firmly bookable products from Alpine Pearls were developed and partially introduced to the market during their first year.

Arosa and Werfenweng, for example, are the first Pearls from Alpine Pearls to develop the holiday package entitled “Neutral-Climate Holidays". ,

"Enjoying the Alps" connects the first part of the Pearl chain with the Pearls in Bad Reichenhall, Berchtesgaden and Werfenweng by implementing soft mobility. (online shortly)

With the “Alpine-Flyer", the sporty and “cool" electric Swiss electric bike, a new sort of biking fun can be experienced as early as summer 2007. Definitely available in Bad Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden ( ), Werfenweng, Arosa, Interlaken and Deutschnofen in 2007.

The “Alpine Pearl Ticket" is a railway pass from the -BB, which includes arrival and departures at flat-rate offers, and is available as well as bookable via Railtours Austria (Austria). An extension of its networks in the entire Alps region is planned.

An interactive hiking map “Alpine Pearls Intermaps" with long hiking trails from Pearl to Pearl is currently being developed. Online under as of May 2007

- The special mobility offers in the Pearls -
In Werfenweng, guests can await a fleet of electric vehicles and Elois, the personal private chauffeur who brings guests from point A to point B within the town walls from 9 am to 4.00 am.

The Venetian Pearls Feltre with its attractive and clean pedestrian sidewalks are particularly inviting.

There is a scheduled and hiking bus service for gentle mobility tourists in Welschnofen.

Within the range of gentle mobility, a scheduled public bus and local shuttle service in Villnöss is currently being expanded.

Tourism in Tiers was developed in a gentle, ecological manner, and the careful, sparing expansion of hiking trails is currently being planned.

Untouched nature and more than 100 kilometres of well-marked hiking trails are located in Karneid-Steinegg. Hiking busses, bike rentals and collection services as well as gentle mobility is what this Pearl is able to offer.

The Sports and Health Centre is currently being expanded in Sauris, as well as completely diverse possibilities for excursions in the summer and winter. Connoisseurs can enjoy traditional ham from Sauris and beer from the town"™s own brewery. Additionally, there is a direct connection by bus from Villach to Forni di Sopra and Sauris.

Ratschings is a place, were gentle mobility is nearly forced upon: for instance, via scheduled busses, hiking and ski busses, biking trails, and many mechanically-ascending equipment.

There is a biking trail in Pieve di Cadore, which connects Pieve di Cadore to Cortina d-Ampezzo. With the set-up of Bike n' Bus, 30 persons and their bikes can be transported along the loveliest routes and trails.

In the mountain bike Pearl of Les Gets, there are free shuttle busses, small trains in the town centre, and regular bus connections to Geneva airport. Ecological, gentle mobility is offered in the summer as well as in the winter.

Excellent connections to public, international transport sectors and free local busses in Interlaken guarantee mobility.

Skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, mountain climbing, hiking and mountain biking all make up the palette of offers provided by Forni di Sopra.

The Pearl, Deutschnofen, is a hikerâ's heaven in the summer, with over hundreds of kilometres of clearly-marked paths and trails. The hiking bus transports everyone, free of charge and comfortably, to the starting points of numerous hiking trails.

Chamois is the only municipality in Italy, which is not accessible by car. It is only accessible by cable car, on foot or by bike - which is even free of charge.

Aside from the renowned “all-in" packages, Arosa offers free of charge mountain railways for climate-neutral holidays.

Berchtesgaden and Bad Reichenhall are a hiker's paradise- as well as a “movelo" area together with Swiss-Flyer since 2006 - pure biking fun with new electric bicycles.

Morzine-Avoriaz in the French Alps is, above all, a renowned tourist stronghold for winter sports. While Morzine presents a traditional town structure, Avoriaz is a completely motor vehicle-free zone with a large hotel and holiday apartments resort.

Villard de Lans is situated in the natural park des Vercors, south of the city of Grenoble. For a number of years, the renowned summer and winter sports location has been actively campaigning for gentle mobility.

Neukirchen am Großvenediger is a mountain biking Pearl in the summer and a traditional winter sports location in the province of Salzburg in the winter.

- Alpine Pearls - The key to success -
A central target of Alpine Pearls is to connect ecological actions with economical success. “This idea can only lead to lasting success if the destinations will obtain economical results for the tourism-enterprises - apart from their ecological function as model villages", states Rudolf Schaupp, 1st mayor of Berchtesgaden and vice president of Alpine Pearls.

How this is possible can be seen in diverse examples of today. The Pearl, Werfenweng, in Austria managed to increase its number of guests arriving by rail from 7% in 1997 to 25% in 2005. The amount of overnight stays in those places offering holiday away from the car increased a whopping 79.53% from 1997 to 2005 - and this without an increase of local accommodation spaces.

Stefano Lucchini, mayor of Sauris in Carnia and Vice-President of Alpine Pearls, is satisfied with the progress. He is convinced that the association Alpine Pearls will become a success: “We must pursue our goals with toughness and persistence", and adds “the guests are prepared to go on holiday without their cars. The conditions for the success of this projects, however, must be in tune in our pearls. In the future, an increasing number of guests will arrive without using their own cars - for the benefit of the hotels AND the environment".

Alpine Pearls Management
Karmen Mentil
Weng 138
A-5453 Werfenweng
Mail: href="">
Telefono: +43 664 5235450

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