Be.CULTOUR: sustainable local tourism and more!

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Beyond CULtural TOURism is a European programme aiming “towards a human-centred and circular tourism economy” surrounding cultural heritage and landscapes. Circular Cultural Tourism in this project describes a model for sustainable and equitable regional development. For this achievement, the project targets underused and lesser-known cultural assets at the same time decreasing the over-tourism in other sites through the reduction of resource consumption and promotion of green strategies. The project emphasises local community empowerment in addressing these issues and strengthening the benefits of cultural heritage promotion as well-being, identity and diversity.

The project has six objectives, market impact assessment at a local, regional and national level, creating six pilot ecosystems sharing knowledge and using the project’s methodology and tools, resulting in 6 Action Plans for sustainable and circular tourism with “Heritage innovation networks”. Development and testing of prototype human-centred and place-specific innovations for the pilot sites, creating policies for the use of EU funds supporting cultural tourism. The project will contribute to cultural Europeanisation through educational and promotional activities in the pilot sites.

Be.CULTOUR identified areas of impact in cultural sectors as:

Rural Co-Living: authentic rural experiences in villages and participation in traditional activities such as agriculture and landscape maintenance.

Sensorial Heritage Experience: learning local intangible heritage with educational activities based on the five senses.

Contemporary Meanings Of Heritage: generating emotional experiences for the community and locals with gamification and virtual travel experience.

Spiritual Travel Experience: revolving around religious heritage and its promotion with “pilgrimage routes, spiritual retreats, and other diverse ways”.

Nature As Heritage: natural heritage experiences as astro-tourism and highlighting natural biodiversity.

Industrial Heritage Experience: promoting industrial and contemporary heritage sites.

Transformative Travel: educational activities centred around self-improvement.

Remote Working Destinations: engaging remote workers in new destinations supporting the local economy.

Proximity Travel: promoting local travel close to one’s domain.

“Post-Cultural Tourism”: embracing visitors as temporary residents in active cultural and artistic places.

The project’s innovation areas provide fruitful ideas for local tourism development and can instigate new initiatives for areas, which can help boost cultural heritage sites and support the local economy in a sustainable way. The communities of practice within the project are:

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