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Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions

Project description

Data for smart cultural tourism in EU regions

Sustainable cultural tourism policies can significantly support the development of the European regions. Cultural tourism, especially in rural areas as well as in urban periphery, can emerge as a factor of economic growth. The EU-funded SmartCulTour project intends to redefine the concept of cultural tourism to provide European regions with strategies that engage stakeholders in co-creating smart cultural tourism practices. The project will develop a decision-support system that will extensively monitor the regions through a combination of traditional and non-traditional data sources. Inclusive desk research will find which sustainable cultural tourism policies have a positive impact and will formulate proposals for eventual local interventions. The project will be deployed through field tests in six living labs.


SmartCulTour aims to support regional development in European regions, with special attention to rural peripheries and the urban fringe, through sustainable cultural tourism. The project redefines cultural tourism through a contemporary lens and provides a comprehensive measurement framework for supply, demand and impacts. In order to support knowledge-led destination management, a decision-support system (DSS) will be developed for wide-scale monitoring purposes across European regions. The DSS will synthesize both traditional and non-traditional data sources, the latter particularly related to big data analytics, thereby assisting smart regional development. Besides a contribution to conceptual development and cultural tourism measurement, the main objective of SmartCulTour relates to the facilitation of community-led rural development through field experimentation in 6 living labs. Prior to these living labs, a comprehensive desk research will identify significant sustainable cultural tourism policies, their impacts and critical success factors. These best cases will inspire a series of possible local interventions. Within the living labs, novel creative approaches to stakeholder engagement are tested, notably arts-based methods, serious games, and service design which will help to provide local context and support. A toolkit will be designed to help destinations implement local actions towards sustainable cultural tourism development. SmartCulTour will therefore contribute to theory development, empirical validation of best practices within a living labs setting, and procedural development, particularly by providing European regions with a set of strategies to optimally engage with stakeholders and co-create sustainable cultural tourism experiences.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 357 000,50
3000 Leuven

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 357 000,50

Participants (9)