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”

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:

  • Principle 1: SMART AND INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE
  • Principle 2: ADDING VALUE TO THE SENSE OF PLACE
  • Principle 3: USING A HOLISTIC VISION FOR MARKETING AND PRESERVATION
  • Principle 4: BALANCING PLACE, PEOPLE AND BUSINESS
  • Principle 5: CONNECTING PEOPLE TO PEOPLE

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?