Innovative approaches to urban and regional development through cultural tourism
The various forms of cultural tourism in Europe are important drivers of growth, jobs and economic development of European regions and urban areas. They also contribute, by driving intercultural understanding and social development in Europe through discovering various types of cultural heritage, to the understanding of other peoples' identities and values. However, although cultural tourism by its nature invites cross border regional and local cooperation, its full innovation potential in this respect is not yet fully explored and exploited. The level of development of cultural tourism between certain regions and sites is still unbalanced, with deprived remote, peripheral or deindustrialised areas lagging behind whereas high demand areas being overexploited in an unsustainable manner. There is also a significant knowledge gap in terms of availability of both quantitative and qualitative data on the phenomenon of cultural heritage tourism and on understanding its contribution towards cultural Europeanisation and economic and social development in Europe.
a) Research and Innovation action (2019)
Proposals should comparatively assess how the presence, development, decline or absence of cultural tourism has affected the development of European regions and urban areas. They should investigate motives for cultural tourism and assess the effectiveness and sustainability of multilevel strategies, policies, trends and practices in attracting, managing and diversifying cultural tourism in Europe in view of identifying best practices that should be communicated to policymakers and practitioners. This should include considerations of specific strategies to promote cultural tourism at a regional, national and European level, including use of structural investment funds where appropriate. Minority cultures and regions as well as urban areas currently less attractive to cultural tourism should receive special attention. Historical perspectives, as well as comparison with lessons learned at international level on the emergence of particular forms of cultural tourism or reasons for cultural tourism in particular areas should also be investigated. Innovative methods and techniques, including statistical tools and indicators, for measuring and assessing various practices and impacts of cultural tourism should be developed and tested. Proposals should also deploy place-based and participatory approaches to investigate the relation between intra-European cultural tourism and Europeanisation and whether it impacts identities and belonging.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
b) Innovation action (2020)
The action will improve policies and practices on cultural tourism at various levels. It will also provide strategic guidance at European level concerning the efficient use of European Structural Investment Funds. In addition, it will contribute to the establishment of partnerships between public and private stakeholders in this area. Creation of innovative quantitative/statistical as well as qualitative tools and methods will improve available data on and understanding of the impact of cultural tourism on European economic and social development and on cultural Europeanisation.
Delegation Exception Footnote
It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020