Focus Group – Local “Experts”

On the past 27th February we went through another focus group session. This time we gathered in M-ITI 6 local specialists in a mix between biologists and tourism experts: Raimundo Quintal (Geographer & Researcher), Luís Mota (Tourism Professor), Cátia Gouveia (SPEA Coordinator), Susan Carvalho(Guest Relations- VidaMar hotel), Clara Noronha (Head office of information and touristic projects- SRT) and Rosana Pereira (Travel & Groups / MICE Consultant).
Between around 2 hours the team and our invited guests discussed several topics concerning preservation and sustainability of Madeira’s biodiversity and its impact in Madeira being a touristic island. With this focus meeting we wanted  to prompt thoughts on how we could motivate tourists/visitors to “change” their behaviour by making them more sensible and aware about Madeira’s natural heritage and environment.
To promote discussion among the group we prepared several activities by presenting Há-vita’s website; possible activities and interactions between a local community and tourists; and a prototype with participatory features for the webplatform.
This was definitely a very productive and helpfull session, great ideas emerged, since this platform is seen as an interactive “communication mediator” between institutions, locals and visitors.