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.

The Principles

The Principles

The 5 Principles of the Declaration should be jointly applied to responsibly balance the uses of cultural heritage, the demands of the tourism industry and the needs of the local community.

They are:

The Principles

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

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 .

NECSTouR Thematic Conference "Applying Tourism Trends on Data, Talent and Resources Management in European Islands and Regions”

NECSTouR and Canary Islands Region organised the Thematic Conference "Applying Tourism Trends on Data, Talent and Resources Management in European Islands and Regions”.

The conference has been organised in the framework of the NECSTouR annual General Meeting 2019 on the 11th of June 2019 at the "Hotel Escuela Santa Cruz", in Santa Cruz the Tenerife, Spain. 

Baltic Sea World Heritage Summit

The Summit has been a conference and a forum for coastal World Heritage Sites around the Baltic Sea, to strengthen cooperation and exchange of best practices. The summit has been attended by leading politicians and key individuals from the region.

Visit Scotland advocates for Sustainable Tourism Growth in a Changing Climate at their Annual St Andrew's Lecture


Lord Thurso, Chair of Visit Scotland, a member of NECSTouR, delivered this year’s St. Andrew’s Lecture on 26 November in Brussels. Almost 100 representatives from the tourism industry, networks, EU institutions, academics, journalists and other stakeholders were attending, including NECSTOuR permanent secretariat.


NECSTouR Calls the European Tourism Sector for a Behavioural Change Towards Sustainability


On the occasion of the NECSTouR Conference "Driving Sustainable Destinations Change Through Trans-Regional Cooperation", NECSTouR launched a call for action addressed to all the European Institutions, destinations and tourism stakeholders claiming for a joint effort to achieve a behavioral change towards European Sustainable Destinations.


Media Coverage

Upcoming Events
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The Danish West Coast Partnership & Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality invites the members of NECSTouR to the Annual General Assembly 2022.

From the 30th  May to the 2nd of  June 2022, Ringkøbing-Skjern will be the place to be for you to discuss key challenges towards a sustainable future for our sector, share knowledge on best practices, and find common solutions to secure a better tourism of tomorrow. 


Read More
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WINTER MED Final Project and Capitalisation Event

On the 31st of May, the INTERREG WINTER MED project will hold its Final Project and Capitalisation Event "Shared vision and commitment to year-round sustainable tourism in Mediterranean island destinations and beyond" in Rhodes, Greece. Read More
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Incircle Project Final Event "Tools, Finance, Opportunities and Bottlenecks Towards a Circular and Sustainable Tourism"

On June 7th, the InCircle project will hold its final event on "Tools, Finance, Opportunities and Bottlenecks Towards a Circular and Sustainable Tourism" in Barcelona at Hotel Alimara, from 9:30 until 18:00. NECSTouR has been invited to present good practices from the network.

Read More

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