Sustainability and heritage in tourism: ECTN’s workshop to exploit synergies

There’s a full engagement both from policy makers and private operators to cultural tourism. This year the Italian National Strategic Plan included it in the vision as in 2015 cultural tourism arrivals recorded a +7% and overnights +5% yoy. In Andalucia (Spain) the government planned important investments on this segment and a cluster was established to capitalize the opportunities given by the huge heritage. But also other European destinations, such as Romania and Greece, are working hard.

In 2018 European Commission will support the European Year for Cultural Heritage through Creative Europe Programme. This initiative is aimed at celebrating the cultural heritage that characterises Europe, in order to promote what the European Union can do for its conservation, digitalisation, skills development and to protect it from the international conflicts’ threats.

In order to support the initiative, the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) organised the event “Sustainable Cultural Tourism. European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and beyond“, which will be held on November 30th in Brussels at EU Info Centre in Rue Archimede from 9 to 13. This event is addressed to cultural heritage and tourism organisations and stakeholders to exploit synergies and cooperation opportunities regarding sustainable cultural tourism development and promotion in Europe, with emphasis on the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and EU co-funding programmes. Potential actions for sustainable cultural tourism will be discussed related to the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

At Twissen we are observing that tourists are demanding cultural experiences once at destinations, and aggregators, such as Musement and Viator, are promoting a growing number of these products. Moreover, we recorded a growing interest in supporting a change in policies in favour of a sustainable way of thinking and making tourism. It is a wide spread opinion that the term “sustainable” could be very soon incorporated in “tourism”. Tourist demand is growing and investments in making infrastructures and facilities more sustainable is increasingly engaging both the public and the private sector.

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European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) is the pan-European network for Cultural Tourism Development and Promotion, which brings together the tourism and cultural industry professionals working in different regions of Europe to exchange experience and information on best practice and to develop new approaches and innovations. ECTN Members are destinations, authorities, NGOs and research institutes coming from 11 EU Member States and 4 Associate countries.