Rethinking cultural tourism in Europe

Press Release -

The new TExTOUR project gives ICONS the opportunity to work on a new way of thinking of cultural heritage and sustainable tourism

Cultural Tourism (CT) plays a crucial role in today’s economy. In 2018 it represented 37% of the total tourism sector, with an annual growth of approximately 15%. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the tourism sector has been seriously hit. The OECD estimates that international tourism fell by around 80% in 2020. Many countries are trying to build a more resilient tourism economy, promoting digital transition and rethinking a more sustainable tourism system. 

Against this backdrop, cultural tourism can be redesigned by regions and sites that offer a high cultural, social and environmental potential. This impact does not exclusively depend on historical-picturesque heritage, but also on other factors such as know-how, ICT, gastronomy, identity, local culture, values, intangible heritage and other factors. 

According to Charlotte Michi, TExTOUR communication leader and manager at ICONS, “innovative and sustainable cultural tourism strategies will reinforce the socio-economic territorial development of less known areas in Europe and beyond. We will work with local communities to create benefits and impacts for all. Good, accessible and inclusive communication will create the necessary baseline for a new behavioural change and thinking of cultural tourism. At ICONS we will combine a sound and effective communication approach with the development of upscaling and replication strategies in other European and non-European cultural sites and ecosystems”.

The EU-funded TExTOUR (Social Innovation and TEchnologies for sustainable growth through participative cultural TOURism) project will demonstrate new strategies for improving the socio-economic development of less known areas, but which have much cultural value. The project will co-design, validate and upscale cultural tourism policies and sustainable strategies. To do this, it will work with eight Cultural Tourism Labs located in different EU and non-EU areas and involving various societal players and stakeholders with a relevant role in the in the Cultural Tourism sector.

The project’s knowledge and resources will be made available on the TExTOUR innovative open access platform for policy makers, practitioners and local communities in other European and non-European cultural sites and ecosystems.


More information:

Media contact: Charlotte Michi, ICONS 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N° 101004687