ESA title

Outdoor Tourism

  • Activity Kick-start Activity
  • Opening date 30-01-2017
  • Closing date 13-03-2017

Tourism continues to grow in popularity worldwide, but local authorities are often faced with the conflicting challenges of both maintaining and preserving popular outdoor destinations as well as encouraging and managing streams of visitors, balancing environmental sustainability with economic development. In addition, tourists are getting more and more tech savvy, and expect to be able to use their smart-phones and tablets to both plan their journeys and get information while travelling.


Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology).

The first call for Kick-start activities is dedicated to the theme "Outdoor Tourism", which means that is open to ideas for services addressed to tourists, local authorities and other relevant stakeholders in this sector. Such services can cover topics as:

  • Safety and situational awareness
  • Preservation of touristic sites and attractions
  • Protection of the environment in popular locations
  • Improving tourists’ planning facilities

Exploitation of space-based data and technology is key for the proposed Kick-start Activity theme, with the following considerations:

  1. Satellite Navigation (SatNav) is essential to track and trace tourists and search and rescue teams. SatNav can also enable visitor flow-monitoring and location-based services to geo-localise points of interest in the tourist maps and to enable geo-fencing and time-fencing features. In addition, GNSS receivers and sensors can be installed in the tourist sites to be used as complementary ground surface deformation measurement points to Earth Observation data.
  2. Satellite Communications (satcoms) is essential to ensure global communications for any of the above data services enabled by SatNav whenever the terrestrial communications are absent or not reliable. Satcoms may be used also to provide broadband Internet access via WiFi hotspots to enable mobile immersive applications.
  3. Earth Observation data (both SAR and optical) can be used to periodically map the touristic sites to support the identification of geotechnical/structural criticalities that require preventive maintenance.

Data collected through Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) can be integrated/combined with data from Earth Observation satellites, providing an additional source of data with some specific characteristics (e.g. very high spatial resolution and potential lower costs).

Authorisation of funding

For the Thematic Call on Outdoor Tourism, the following ESA Member States have already made funding available: Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.

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