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”