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

Session "Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit": From the Declaration to the Action

Last 1st of July, the NECSTouR session "Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit, from the Declaration to the Action” established an enriching exchange between the NECSTouR members on how the residents are participating into the tourism policies, initiatives and products/experiences.

Preparing the Partnerships for the EU Week of Regions and Cities Side Events

This session aims to support the NECSTouR members in preparing the application for the European Week of Regions and Cities Side Events for the:

  1. Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit
  2. 2021 European Year of Rail

When: Thursday 1st of July 2021
Time: 11.30-12.00 CEST
Where: Online

Register here


22nd European Region of Gastronomy Platform - 8th Annual IGCAT Experts Meeting

SPRING INTO RECOVERY - Resilience, Recovery and Raising Excellence in Tourism

The conference is hosted by Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy 2021.

Mr Patrick Torrent - Catalan Tourist Board and President of NECSTouR - presented the "Barcelona Declaration Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit" and the Re-Start Tourism project of Catalonia during the session on "recovery and Resilience".

Ms Blanca Cros, Catalan Tourist Board, facilitated the discussion on "Involving stakeholders to attract visitors".


Creating Destinations after a Global Pandemic: The new Competitive Advantage of Remote Areas

Cristina Nunez - NECSTouR Director – took part of the panel discussion hosted by the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN) in the framework of the Beyond Cultural Tourism (Be.CulTour) Horizon 2020 project.

Committee of Regions: Regions and cities use the COVID-19 crisis to spark a debate on resilience and sustainability in the tourism sector

On 8 December, an opinion drafted by Manuel Alejandro Cardenete Flores (ES/Renew Europe), Deputy Minister for Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration of the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Vice-President of NECSTouR, was presented during the plenary session of the Committee of Regions.

Report: Cultural and Creative Industries for Tourism (EU Week of Regions 2020)

Theme: Cohesion and Cooperation
Organiser: European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) International Association

11:30 - 13:00 - Online

The Vision of European Regions for the Tourism of Tomorrow in 2050 Released

NECSTouR Regions agreed on their vision for the future European Agenda for Tourism 2050 and committed to mainstream the EU Recovery Plan to finance a sustainable recovery of the tourism ecosystem. This at the latest Extraordinary General Assembly meeting last 2nd of October.

The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund

Funding for collaborative projects that reduce the negative impacts of tourism on local communities and the natural environment.

These projects provide better facilities, improve visitor flows, reduce congestion and create a better visitor experience.

Travel to Tomorrow - Flanders' Flourishing Destinations

Long before the current health crisis we started in Flanders, together with our public and private stakeholders, a co-creative  reflection process about the future we wish for tourism.

This journey brought us to the fundamental understanding that we no longer see tourism as goal in itself, but as a means to allow our community and destination to flourish.

NECSTouR's Position Paper: A European Agenda for a Sustainable Visitor Economy

A European Agenda for a Sustainable Visitor Economy: Making Europe a Better Place to Live and Visit Through Interregional Cooperation. How NECSTouR’s work supports the transition of EU destinations to sustainability through digitalization: The drivers of the Digital Age and Green Deal.

NECSTouR Annual General Meeting 2018

NECSTouR Annual General Meeting 2018 has been hosted by Xunta de Galicia and Fundacion Galicia Europea at their premises in Brussels, on the 10th and 11th of October 2018.


10 OCTOBER: Members' Session

  • 09.00-12.15: Administrative session (for Members only)
  • 12.15-16.00: Workshop the Tourism of Tomorrow (for Members only)
  • 16.00-17.15: New Executive Committee Elections and AGM Closing (for Members only)
  • 19.00-21.00: Cocktail (for Members only)


Thematic Conference "Local-Led Initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe"

NECSTouR and Xunta de Galicia are pleased to invite you to attend the Thematic Conference "Local-Led Initiatives on Tourism and Cultural Heritage: a Legacy for Europe".
NECSTouR, in the framework of 2018 EYCH with the support of the European Heritage Alliance, is leading the pan European dialogue on tourism and cultural heritage and Xunta de Galicia is supporting this initiative, as leader of its Working Group on .

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