NECSTouR Thematic Conference: “Local-Led Initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe” + Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”

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NECSTouR, in the framework of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, with the support of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3., led a pan-European dialogue on tourism and cultural heritage during the conference entitled LOCAL-LED INITIATIVES ON TOURISM AND CULTURAL HERITAGE: A LEGACY FOR EUROPE in Brussels on October 11th.

The goal of this thematic conference, which is an official side event of the European Week of Regions and cities 2018, was to leverage the positive effects of tourism and cultural heritage on the social cohesion of Europe by revaluing Europe’s cultural heritage and bringing it to life, reinforcing the sense of place and greater understanding, and fostering economic growth and jobs creation.

The session consisted on two roundtables addressing the following topics: “Residents and Visitors: their role in seeking a better balance” and “Heritage and Identity: fostering tourism value creation”. Dr. Nagore Espinosa,  CEO of in2destination, participated as speaker in the first roundtable reflecting into elements that are critical to deepen into residents perception of tourism. One of the main elements highlighted is trust, for which transparency, fluent and honest dialogue with stakeholders, participatory processes and continuous monitoring are needed.

Undoubtedly, both Nagore Espinosa and the other participants in the session, such as Ana Moniche from Andalusian Region, Roberto Bande Ramudo, University of Santiago de Compostela and Caroline Couret, Director of Creative Tourism Network successfully showcased that reinforcing existing good practices and fostering debate on how cultural heritage and tourism initiatives can be beneficial for residents and citizens. In this way, the event also provided lessons learnt to EU regions and cities in order to strengthen the value tourism and cultural heritage that can jointly endeavor in our territories.

Furthermore, during the conference the final version of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” was presented.

There are innumerable benefits and opportunities to be gained through better cooperation between tourism and cultural heritage. The reinforcement of a common vision and goals by establishing a joint governance model to overcome these shared challenges can not only improve the current situation and reduce the detrimental impacts of tourism, but also generate great opportunities related to innovation, digitalisation, creativity, skills, talent development, and entrepreneurship, among others.

Because of this reason, the Declaration calls for the implementation of five key principles which should be jointly applied in order to make the “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” come true:


Dr. Nagore Espinosa and in2destination have already joined the group of entities that support this declaration and its main objectives. Would you like to join us in supporting this cause?

Working Group of Experts on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism – UNWTO

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Within the framework of the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) launched by UNWTO in 2017 and with the support of United Nations Statistics Division, the second meeting of the working group of experts on measuring the sustainability of tourism took place at UNWTO Headquarters (Madrid) on 24 and 25 October 2018.

Dr. Nagore Espinosa, in her double role as CEO of in2destination and INRouTe network expert and coordinator, is part of this group of experts whose aim is to develop an international statistical framework for measuring tourism’s role in sustainable development, including economic, environmental and social dimensions. In fact, measuring sustainable tourism naturally cuts across a range of disciplines and agencies. In advancing the MST statistical framework, an open Working Group of experts was established in order to lead the technical development and support engagement among these key stakeholders.

In this second meeting, numerous issues were addressed, such as employment, including the concept of Green Jobs and the implementation of its measurement, the linking of ecosystem accounting and the economic-environmental accounting system to measure the sustainability of tourism, measurement of social sustainability from the perspective of the residents, and of course the challenge of the different scales when measuring the sustainability of tourism: national, regional, local. The topics were treated based on experiences of regions or countries that are implementing it and share their knowledge as the Philippines, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Argentina, among others.

After this meeting in which many topics were touched, now it’s time to review the advanced documentation again and make contributions from our respective areas of knowledge. From in2destination, it is particularly important to advance at the spatial scales, as well as in the social, territorial and governance measurement of sustainability. In our experience, if the governance dimension is weakened, the rest of the sustainability dimensions are affected. Achieving a common measurement framework for the sustainability of tourism is critical for tourism destinations and businesses in all parts of the world, to measure constantly and have early warning indicators of issues that are brewing and take preventive measures or redirect issues before they worsen.

There is still room for progress, but we are happy to be part of this group of experts, to continue to investigate and contribute.

Here you can expand information on the documentation that was used in the meeting.

Let’s keep measuring and making decisions based on data!!!

Rewarding sustainable tourism commitment

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The Nohelia Ecotourism Center and Jericó Tourism and Events are two companies committed to tourism sustainability in their municipality, Jericó, Antioquia, Colombia. Thus, they are the winners of the Sustainable Tourism Plans Competition.

This contest has been organized within the pilot transfer project on sustainable tourism destinations framed within the international development cooperation program ERICA (Spain and its Regions Exchange Knowledge with Antioquia) of which the University of Antioquia, the University of EAFIT, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, the Government of Antioquia, the University of Antioquia Foundation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) are part.

The objectives of the contest are:

  • Promoting leadership among providers of tourism services in sustainable tourism development.
  • Providing feedback on sustainable tourism development action plans within tourism service providers.
  • Transferring knowledge of good international practices on the development of sustainable tourism products and services.

These two companies in order to win have presented two action plans to improve sustainable tourism development in Jericó with solid and complementary proposals, supported by companies and territorial authorities. Wining the contest means the following to them:

  • receiving comments from an international jury about their action plans,
  • In November it will allow them to come to Spain together with the rest of the team involved in the project, to learn about sustainable destination management and the development of sustainable products and services
  • Visibility: it is a recognition of their work, spreading their commitment in Colombia and internationally

La Nohelia

La Nohelia Ecotourism Center located in Jericó surrounded by coffee crops promotes the Coffee Culture and Experiences in contact with Nature. La Nohelia offers accommodation, catering services, bicycle rental, scenic tours and bird watching. In his own words: “Privileged by our geographical location in the Western Cordillera of the Andes and the Piedras River basin, which allows us to observe between the mountains the different colors of sunrise and sunset, surrounded by coffee farms and peasant houses where coffee aroma is breathed and the sweet melody of the turpial birds is heard “.

Tourism and Events Jericó

“We are a company that sells tourism products and services at the regional, national and international levels, we implement the Sustainable Management System recognizing environmental, sociocultural and economic aspects, establishing actions to mitigate the impacts we generate in the development of our work.”

“One of the services we offer is Experience in the Clouds: This Jericoan paradise located at 2,400 meters above sea level allows you to have direct contact with nature, in its journey you can appreciate a variety of native flora, this being the perfect habitat for wild animals unique in the territory, which, together with the breeze and the sounds of the wind, make you live a pleasant moment that you will hardly forget. ”