The Declaration

The Barcelona Declaration "Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit" seeks to demonstrate what tourism and cultural heritage sectors can achieve by working more closely together, for the benefit of European citizens and cultural heritage as well as businesses, visitors and destinations. Moreover, it assumes the collective commitment of both sectors towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Download the Declaration


Sign the Declaration

We invite all those who care for Tourism of tomorrow to sign, support and widely share the Declaration.

Regenerative Tourism

In 2018, the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live Better Places to Visit” was created from the willingness of NECSTouR members to respond to the residents’ concerns about the uses of territorial assets for tourism activity. Since then, local community wellbeing as well as the climate emergency and business innovation are driving the transformation of NECSTouR members' tourism strategies. This is also reflected in their governance models and marketing focus, moving from a sustainable tourism approach to a regenerative, value-driven model.

Regenerative Tourism Conference

Regenerative Tourism Conference

Considering the important moment of reflection and transformation of tourism models to regenerative tourism ones, Catalonia and NECSTouR organised the Conference “Regenerative Tourism contributing to the wellbeing of the community”. The event was a day of reflection aiming to inspire, share and learn how tourism destinations and businesses are working towards a “value driven” tourism model wishing to contribute to the wellbeing of the community (society, environment and business), the so called “Regenerative Tourism”. This offered a source of inspiration and showcased how territories could deliver on the targets of the Tourism Transition Pathway

Find the full recordings here.

Regenerative Tourism Conference Documents

The Background

The Barcelona Declaration acknowledges previous existing declarations and documents related to tourism and cultural heritage from bodies such as Council of Europe, European Commission, Europa Nostra, European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), among others.


2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). Acknowledging the unique momentum of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, NECSTouR - the European Network of Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism - took the initiative to establish a Pan European Dialogue to foster greater synergy between tourism and cultural stakeholders.


Key Events:

  • 19th April 2018: High level event in Barcelona organized by NECSTouR and the Region Catalonia “Better Places to Be, Better Places to Visit” aiming at setting up the Pan European dialogue on cultural heritage and tourism and present the first draft of the Barcelona Declaration to be upgraded along the year.


  • 11th October 2018: Thematic Conference in Brussels organized by NECSTouR and the Region of Galicia, hosted by Fundación Galicia Europa “Local-led initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe” aiming at showcasing existing regional initiatives, gathering the EU institutions reflections on tourism and cultural heritage after the 2018 EYCH and releasing the final version of the Barcelona Declaration.
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News and Best Practices

Flemish Residents art cities still welcome tourits

Seven out of ten residents of the Flemish art cities of Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Mechelen and Leuven continue to support tourism in their own city. 62 percent believe that the benefits of tourism still far outweigh the drawbacks, and 77 percent think their city should definitely remain a tourist destination.

Fostering dialogue between destinations to address unbalance tourism

15 Europeans destinations have been analysed in order to provide sound evidence to the study on “Unbalanced tourism growth at destination level – root causes, impacts, existing solutions and good practices” the Tourism Unit of DG Grow and the Executive European Innovation Council and SMEs (EISMEA) have commissioned to Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development.

Workshop Urban Overtourism

DG Grow and EISMEA are developing a study on “Study on unbalanced tourism growth at destination level – root causes, impacts, existing solutions and good practices”, highly connected to the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”.

NECSTouR re-elected to the board of Affiliate Members of UNWTO

After a successful mandate 2019-2021, NECSTouR is pleased to announce its re-election as Board Member of the UNWTO Affiliate Members for the period 2021- 2025.

NECSTouR Calls for Transforming Sustainable Destination through Data Sharing and Cooperation at BTO 2021

On 24 November, NECSTouR President, Manuel Alejandro Cardenete, addressed the subject of digitalization of destinations for frictionless and sustainable tourism at Be Travel Onlife (BTO) 2021 Conference, organized by the Tuscany Region. This was also the opportunity to meet Tuscan Tourism Authorities and enhance cooperation with our funding Region within the new NECSTouR Board of Directors.

NECSTouR members' Commitment on Better Places to Live and Visit at the Future of Tourism World Summit

NECSTouR joined the Future of Tourism World Summit (26-27 October 2021), organised by the UNWTO, the Advanced Leadership Foundation and the Incyde Foundation of the Chambers of Commerce of Spain and renewed our members' commitment around the shared vision for a greener, more inclusive and resilient tourism.

14th Conference for Cultural Tourism in Europe

The 14th Conference for Cultural Tourism in Europe has been organised in Athens, Greece, on 20-23 October 2021,
with overall theme:

Regenerating European Tourism through Culture, Heritage and Creativity

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ECTN Awards

The Conference also assigned the ECTN Awards 2021, with NECSTouR as part of the jury.

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"Building a Better Recovery Towards the Tourism of Tomorrow: Public-Private-Citizens Partnerships" at our AGM in Tirol

NECSTouR celebrated its Annual General Meeting 2021 and Thematic Conference “Building a Better Recovery Towards the Tourism of Tomorrow: Public-Private-Citizens Partnerships”, hosted by the Tirol Region from 21st to 24th of September 2021 in Alpbach.

Meeting the Challenges of a More Sustainable, Resilient and Competitive Tourism Future at the NECSTouR AGM 2021

NECSTouR celebrated its Annual General Meeting 2021, hosted by the Tirol Region from 21 to 24 September in Alpbach.

39 official tourism organisations from across Europe met to agree the way ahead for a more responsible approach to tourism.

During the annual meeting – the first to be held in a hybrid format since the pandemic – members elected a new Executive Committee to strategically guide the work of the network over the next three years.

European Week of Regions and Cities 2021

The 19th edition of EURegionsWeek ‘Together for Recovery was organised off virtually, with its 300 sessions dedicated to:

  • Cohesion: from emergency to resilience
  • Green transition: for a sustainable and green recovery
  • Digital transition for people
  • Citizens’ engagement for an inclusive, participative and fair recovery.


Innovating Cultural Heritage, A workshop by AER Working Group on Culture and CUBES Project

The workshop “Innovating Cultural Heritage”, jointly organised by the AER working group on culture and the CUBES Project, brings together practitioners, policymakers, and experts. It will discuss current challenges and opportunities for European regions to invest in cultural heritage innovation and learn about sustainable and participatory cultural management practices. The workshop will be an opportunity to showcase and guide participants through the new digital platform produced by CUBES and invite stakeholders to get involved in the project.

A World For Travel - Évora Forum 2021

A World For Travel - Évora Forum 2021 wants to create the first tourism forum that puts tourists and residents in the heart of tourism transformation.

It will create a model and a method and promote best practices and innovation.

NECSTouR is partner of the event, with the participation of President Torrent as speaker.

Media Coverage

Contact Us

- If you have any questions about the Barcelona Declaration, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.


This Declaration aims to remain an open initiative, welcoming all stakeholders willing to engage with this commitment.

At this purpose, this webpage under NECSTouR website has been developed in order to promote the Declaration, give visibility to the supporters and gather good practices that can illustrate the implementation of the five principles.

We invite you to spread the voice by using #PlacestoLiveandVisit and to become a supporter of the initiative.


Support the Declaration

We invite all those who care for Tourism of tomorrow to sign, support and widely share the Declaration.



This initiative has been leaded by NECSTouR members of the Working Group on Cultural Tourism and Sustainability. A special recognition to the regions of Galicia, Catalonia, Andalusia, Flanders, Île-de-France, Limburg, Tuscany, Valencia and Visit Scotland, as well as the University of Girona.

The Declaration has been developed by NECSTouR members in cooperation with Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and the European Cultural Tourism Network, with the support of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

The Open Method Coordination group on Sustainable Cultural Tourism from DG EAC (European Commission) as well as the European Network for Culture and Creative Industries – RICC have also contributed to the text.



This initiative gathered the support of the Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Francisco José Millán Mon, the NAT Commission of the European Committee of the Regions, the European Commission DG – EAC, as well as other 20 individuals, from the Tourism sector.

#PlacestoLiveandVisit in Numbers


Supporting Organisations


Supporting Individuals


Events in 2019


mentions on Social Media #PlacestoLiveandVisit

Supporting Organisations