Project Summary

Star Cities Logo


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.

Star cities
Taxonomy Latest Updates

News and Best Practices

River tourism: The Vltava, a river full of experiences

The project focuses on the Vltava as a waterway and its surroundings, cycle routes, monuments, UNESCO heritage, and other attractions. The project introduces the river to visitors as one attractive tourism destination. This good practice was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.

IDENTIS: Integrated Development of Natural and Cultural Tourism in Tisa River Region

The IDENTIS project is a collaborative strategy of tourism development on the Tisa, a river affluent of the Danube, between the Tourism Organization of Vojvodina and the Hungarian county of Congrad. This good practice was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.

Interreg Europe: call for additional activities to face the Covid-19 crisis

On 24 February, the Interreg Europe monitoring committee discussed the call for additional activities open to all Interreg Europe 258 projects only. This call will open on 1 April and close on 2 July 2021 (14:00 CEST), unless the total ERDF amount available for this call is allocated before the closing date.

Star Cities Webinar on River Tourism Governance and Management

Initially planned near Paris, the next Star Cities international learning session will be a virtual event, held fully online.

"Destination and river tourism governance and management" will be the main theme of the seminar. It will include a selection of good practices from the Star Cities partnership and NECSTouR regions. Discover the program here.

River Tourism: The Water Museum of Venice

The Water Museum of Venice is showcasing the heritage of water civilizations in a digital and open-air museum in Veneto and especially the Venice’s hinterlands on more than 70 sites. This good practice supported by the Veneto Region was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.

Report: Star Cities Learning Session on Products and Marketing

The Interreg Europe Star Cities project organised a virtual interregional learning session from October 20 to 22. Adapting its work programme to the sanitary situation, the event was originally intended to take place in Hamburg, Germany.

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.

Star Cities Virtual Interregional Learning Session

Initially planned in Hamburg, Star Cities third international learning session will be a virtual event, held fully online.

Call for Good Practices on Governance & Cooperation for Riverside Cities

The Star Cities project is looking for good practices from tourism experts on governance and coordination strategy in river destinations.

The Interreg Europe STAR Cities project aims to gather the situation within different regions about its tourism development along the riversides in order to contribute to the decongestion of high touristic cities and to raise awareness on sustainable tourism as well as the benefits of the economic developments of the area.

STAR Cities Webinar "How to engage locals and communities in river tourism development ?"

The Interreg Europe Star Cities project on river tourism is adapting its work programme. The partnership is offering an in depth presentation of several good practices during a webinar.

Read the report and rewatch the webinar on Star Cities website.

First Star Cities Interregional Learning Session in Rome

The first Interregional Learning Session of STAR Cities project will take place in Rome from 17 to 19 July 2019.


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.