Project Summary

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Many European territories have developed strong relations with a river, that both take an economic and social role in their history. In the heart of European cities or in suburban areas, riversides offer exceptional natural, cultural and industrial heritage, both tangible and intangible. As these destinations are regional capitals or near a capital, they combine a tourism offer specific to urban areas (architectural visits, cultural activities) with a more natural one with sports and leisure, in particular related to water as well as wellness. This natural environment has historically been protected or is today the purpose of new environmental policies. That is why riverside development is a real opportunity for European cities to create innovative solutions for sustainable tourism development.

Unfortunately, riversides are rarely identified as touristic spots and not sufficiently addressed by tourism policies. They globally suffer from a lack of consideration from Metropolitan authorities and tourism boards, but also from a lack of professional skills and tools for tourism actors. However, those spaces are at the crossroad of tourism challenges faced by European capitals such as the high concentration of tourism in city centres, the Cities “Museumification” phenomenon, the increased attention to sustainable development and the new trends of tourism practices (authenticity, slow tourism, etc). European cooperation could help managing authorities in charge of Structural Funds, tourism strategies or urban development policies to better understand what needs to be changed and identify solutions by exchanging good practices. The STAR Cities project will involve the entire tourism ecosystem existing along rivers and, in this regard, is relevant to the Interreg Europe programme’s specific objective dealing with protecting, promoting and developing natural heritage, biodiversity and ecosystems.

Role of NECSTouR:

NECSTouR will provide added value to STAR Cities project at two levels:

1- Ensure communication and exchange of experience between the project partners and NECSTouR's whole network - Collection, exchange of good practices on river tourism development in a sustainable way through other NECSTouR regions besides the consortium in order to give a wider scope to the project. - Participation of STAR Cities project in NECSTouR working group on Cultural Tourism to deepen the exchanges related to reorienting and spreading tourism, innovating in tourism strategies, and to the valorization of natural and cultural heritage.

2- Participate in the communication strategy by ensuring project visibility at European scale - Promote the different project phases, events and outputs through NECSTouR existing communication channels (website, social media, newsletter) within and beyond the network - Organise a European conference: NECSTouR will organise one high level event in Brussels during semester

3. This event will give the opportunity to launch the Guide of Best Practices and to present the Regional action plans - Lobby actions: includes STAR Cities project issues in NECSTouR Strategic Alliances activities (EU institutions, UNWTO, EU Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs, etc.) Last but not least, NECSTouR Permanent Secretariat will bring its expertise on sustainable tourism development and its experience on the exchange of experiences process.

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Smart Tourism- Smart Destinations: Cultural Heritage & Creativity, Digitalisation, Sustainability

NECSTouR Activity Report 2021

In 2021, through working together with our members and partners, NECSTouR accomplished our strategic objectives and a variety of important achievements. Our Activity Report 2021 outlines this work and provides an overview of what that went into making 2021 another successful year for us.


Download the Activity Report 2021


Report: Star Cities Starts Its Final Phase in Hamburg

After a successful meeting in Ljubljana, all partners of the Interreg Europe project STAR Cities met again in Hamburg (Germany) on the 5th and 6th of May 2022. The workshop and study visits were hosted by the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg. NECSTouR was happy to be among them.

NECSTouR showcases tourist destinations' mobility challenges and opportunites at Urban Transport workshop

During the Interreg MED Urban Transport community’s workshop in Brussels, Thomas Guillot, project officer in NECSTouR, presented our good practices from Rethymno, Hamburg and Barcelona on “Mobility challenges and opportunities for Tourist Destinations”.

River Tourism: Barcelona's Province Blue Ways

Blue ways is a project to convert almost 300km for bikers and hikers along the main rivers of the province of Barcelona: Llobregat, Anoia and Cardener. This good practice was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.

Interreg Europe 2021-2027: "the time for project proposal starts now"

The 2021 edition of “Europe, let's cooperate!” interregional cooperation forum was held online on 24-25 November. More than 700 people followed the launch of the 2021-2027 Interreg Europe programme. The only pan-European funding program (including Norway and Switzerland but excluding the UK) remains a capacity building program. With a slightly increased budget, broader thematic areas, simplified procedures and calls ready to be launched in the spring.

STAR Cities Good Practices Guide

The STAR Cities Good Practices Guide is the result of three years of cooperation and exchange of experiences about river tourism development. This document present the main outcomes of the project learning programme and a selection of good practices from all project partners.

Interreg Europe 2021-2027 Launch Event

The Interreg Europe programme is taking advantage of its annual interregional cooperation forum to launch the new 2021-2027 Interreg Europe programme. The event will take place online with a very special focus on the new programme and the sharing of YOUR project ideas. NECSTouR Permanent Secretariat will attend to the event.

Register to the event here.

Star Cities European Conference on Sustainable Tourism Management for Riverside Cities

NECSTouR, as the European partner of STAR Cities, the Interreg Europe project on "Sustainable Tourism for Attractivity of Riverside Cities", was proud to organise the STAR Cities European Conference, held online on the morning of the 26th of November. The European Conference was the final webinar of the project after a string of online learning sessions organised in 2020 and 2021 to counter travel restrictions. The STAR Cities learning programme is coming to an end and project partner were happy to present the result of their cooperation for a better management of river tourism in Riverside Cities. The STAR Cities Good Practices Guide is the result of three years of exchange of experiences about river tourism development. This document present the main outcomes of the project learning programme and a selection of good practices from all project partners.

Report: Star Cities Study Meeting on Environment & Sustainability in Ljubljana

For the first time since September 2019, the partners of the Interreg Europe project STAR Cities finally met again during a physical seminar held on October 5-6 2021 and hosted by the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR).

Interreg Europe Workshop: competitive and sustainable tourism

On Tuesday 21 September 2021, from 14:00 to 17:00 CET the Policy Learning Platform will host an on-line thematic workshop on the topic of 'competitive and sustainable tourism sector’.

NECSTouR Activity Report 2020

Together with our members and partners, we have successfully accomplished our strategic objectives. Our work has led to important achievements in 2020. Relive them through our freshly published activity report.