NECSTouR Thematic Conference “Local-Led Initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe” was the occasion to officially present the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”, resulting from the Pan-European Dialogue on Tourism and Cultural Heritage promoted this year by NECSTouR as a contribution of the main European Tourism Regions to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. Acknowledging the unique momentum of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, NECSTouR – the European Network of Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism – took the initiative to establish a Pan European Dialogue to foster greater synergy between tourism and cultural stakeholders.
The Declaration seeks to demonstrate what tourism and cultural heritage sectors can achieve by working more closely together, for the benefit of European citizens and cultural heritage as well as businesses, visitors and destinations. Moreover, it assumes the collective commitment of both sectors towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 5 Principles of the Declaration should be jointly applied to responsibly balance the uses of cultural heritage, the demands of the tourism industry and the needs of the local community. They are:
- Smart and Inclusive Governance,
- Adding Value to the Sense of Place,
- Using a Holistic Vision for Marketing and Preservation,
- Balancing Place, People and Business,
- Connecting People to People.
The Official Presentation of the Declaration was done during the Thematic Conference “Local-Led Initiatives of Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a legacy for Europe”, organised by NECSTouR and the Region of Galicia, at the Fundación Galicia Europa, as a side event of the European Week of Regions and Cities. About 70 representatives from NECSTouR Regions and the main EU Institutions and Stakeholders involved in Tourism and Cultural Heritage participated to the event.
Broad Endorsement. The Declaration has been developed in cooperation with Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and the European Cultural Tourism Network, with the support of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. During the Conference, those organisations expressed their support towards the initiative, as well as Mr. Francisco José Millán Mon – Member of the European Parliament – and representatives from the European Commission DG-EAC and the European Committee of the Regions – NAT Commission.
A Legacy for the future. This Declaration aims to remain an open initiative, welcoming all stakeholders willing to engage with this commitment. At this purpose, a webpage under NECSTouR website has been developed in order to promote the Declaration, give visibility to the supporters and gather good practices that can illustrate the implementation of the five principles.