The transnational project “PROWAD- Protect and Prosper” was a 5 year EU project, funded through the INTERREG IVB North Sea Program. It was developed in response to the challenge of protecting and conserving the Wadden Sea World Heritage site while tourism activities continued to increase. The listing of the Wadden Sea as UNESCO World Heritage Property opened up a new potential for the tourism industry: nature tourism and off-seasons nature experience offers. Around 1,000 stakeholders from the 3 countries sharing the World Heritage site, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, nature conservation organizations, governments, the tourism sector and NGOs connected and joint efforts in a solid transnational network for implementing the common strategy: “Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination”. Education was one very important pillar of the project. The region is frequently visited by children’s groups that learn about conservation and nature.
The development of the Wadden Sea strategy for sustainable tourism now serves as a blueprint for the future of the tourism industry in the Wadden Sea region, as it takes responsibility for protection and maintenance of the World Heritage and supports sustainable regional development. Thanks to this long-term policies, protection and management schemes, tourism and nature conservation coexist nowadays very well in the Wadden Sea. This future-oriented concept was the important ingredient that made the Wadden Sea World Heritage project to be selected as one of the Top 10 green solutions for tourism.