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PICTURE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 502491
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Belgium

Cultural tourism in Europe takes shape

Smaller cities in Europe can capitalise on their cultural heritage and diverse cultural events to promote tourism. An EU initiative has already made progress in this direction.
Cultural tourism in Europe takes shape
The face of tourism is changing, as travellers seek more cultural experiences and local colour. Exposure to art, history, culture, traditions, heritage and peculiarities of a destination are becoming much more important to the discerning tourist.

In this light, the EU-funded project 'Pro-active management of the impact of cultural tourism upon urban resources and economies' (Picture) aimed to develop a governance framework for cultural tourism in European cities. The framework sought to establish and analyse tourism policies based on heritage diversity and urban quality of life.

The first part of the project involved building the plan for sustainable management of cultural tourism by enhancing knowledge on the dynamic effects of tourism in small and medium-sized cities. It benchmarked viable approaches of urban governance to promote cultural tourism and encourage urban renaissance.

The project then developed methodologies and tools to undertake a cultural tourism impact assessment in small and medium-sized cities, representing one of Picture’s most important achievements. The impact assessment procedure is divided into 10 steps to properly manage impact and develop sustainable cultural tourism.

Towards the end of the project, Picture disseminated the results and encouraged their exploitation. It targeted cities that were not positioned as cultural tourism destinations but showed potential in this area. The project established an information technology resource centre and website to further dissemination. This includes guidelines, digital resources, best practices and governance methods to help target cities achieve their goals. With this the cities of Europe have a powerful toolbox to develop themselves as cultural tourism destinations and support their economy in novel ways.

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