My name is Xiana Vilar Sopeña and for the next 9 months I will be the new NECSTouR trainee, supporting the Permanent Secretariat and the Working Group on Cultural Tourism with the implementation and dissemination of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”, as the NECSTouR legacy for the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
This collaboration comes as a result of the internship I have been granted by the Axencia de Turismo de Galicia the public agency in charge of tourism management within the regional Government of the Xunta the Galicia (Spain); the leading Region of the NECSTouR Working Group on Cultural Tourism. This opportunity is also made possible with the support of the Fundación Galicia Europa in Brussels, which will host my internship and where I will also be developing part of my work.
I will be dealing with different tasks, supporting NECSTouR Secretariat into:
- Increasing the members’ loyalty and attracting new members through specific actions and communication tools.
- The implementation of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”
- The event organisation and project monitoring.
At the same time I will provide support to the Region of Galicia in the coordination of the Working Group on Cultural Tourism and Sustainability.
But how did I end up here in Brussels?
I come from Galicia, where I completed a BA in History by the University of Santiago de Compostela. Then I enrolled in the MA in CulturalTourism by the University of Girona (Catalonia, Spain).
My working experience in the tourism sector comes mainly from the trainee periods of the master, first at the Museu Memorial de l’Exili in La Jonquera (Catalonia, Spain) and then at the VisitFlanders Spanish office in Barcelona. This second experience is one of the reasons I am now in Brussels. It encouraged my admiration towards Flanders and Brussels culture and gave me basic multi-task skills in the tourism promotion field which I am sure will be very helpful for my work here. Almost a year later I obtained an internship by the Axencia de Turismo de Galicia, to work at the tourist office of Lugo (Galicia). It was at that time that I was informed about the possibility of the internship in Brussels.
I expect to bring my professional sensibility in cultural and heritage matters to the work in NECSTouR and in return improve my knowledge on tourism management and cooperation.