The Barcelona Declaration "Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit" 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).
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The Declaration aims at addressing the sustainability of the social and cultural impacts of tourism in Europe, by proposing a set of principles to be applied jointly in order to responsibly balance the uses of cultural heritage, the demands of the tourism industry and the needs of the local community.
2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). 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.
Two key NECSTouR Events:
19th April 2018: High level event in Barcelona organized by NECSTouR and the Region Catalonia “Better Places to Be, Better Places to Visit” aiming at setting up the Pan European dialogue on cultural heritage and tourism and present the first draft of the Barcelona Declaration to be upgraded along the year.
11th October 2018: Thematic Conference in Brussels organized by NECSTouR and the Region of Galicia, hosted by Fundación Galicia Europa “Local-led initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe” aiming at showcasing existing regional initiatives, gathering the EU institutions reflections on tourism and cultural heritage after the 2018 EYCH and releasing the final version of the Barcelona Declaration.
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:
1. Smart and Inclusive Governance: “What is good for residents is good for visitors”
2. Adding Value to the Sense of Place: “Residents are part of the cultural / tourism experience and the best ambassadors of their territory and identity”
3. Using a Holistic Vision for Marketing and Preservation: “Promote hidden cultural heritage while being prudent in promoting overexposed ones”
4. Balancing Place, People and Business: “Better measure to better manage “
4. Connecting People to People: “Citizens' and Visitor’s' search for new and transformative Experiences"
The Barcelona Declaration acknowledges previous existing declarations and documents related to tourism and cultural heritage from bodies such as Council of Europe, European Commission, Europa Nostra, European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), among others.
This initiative has been leaded by NECSTouR members of the Working Group on Cultural Tourism and Sustainability. A special recognition to the regions of Galicia, Catalonia, Andalusia, Flanders, Île-de-France, Limburg, Tuscany, Valencia and Visit Scotland, as well as the University of Girona.
The Declaration has been developed by NECSTouR members 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.
The Open Method Coordination group on Sustainable Cultural Tourism from DG EAC (European Commission) as well as the European Network for Culture and Creative Industries – RICC have also contributed to the text.
This initiative gathered the support of the Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Francisco José Millán Mon, the NAT Commission of the European Committee of the Regions, the European Commission DG – EAC, as well as other 20 individuals, from the Tourism sector.
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, this 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.
We invite you to spread the voice by using #PlacestoLiveandVisit
The 3rd International Conference on Tourism and History - IIIT&H 2019 - will be organised in Faro (Portugal) and Caxias do Sul (Brazil), on the 28th and 29th of M arch 2019.