ECTN Conference and Awards Ceremony 2020

"Better Places to Live and Visit" to enhance dialogue between Culture and Tourism and re-build the sector

NECSTouR President was part of the jury who assigned the ‘Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism’ Awards 2020. At the Award Ceremony he brought the NECSTouR vision - as summarised into the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” - on how to enhance dialogue between the entire tourism value chain and local communities and rebuilt the sector after COVID-19 crisis.


NECSTouR was part of the jury who selected the winners this Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2020 edition, together with the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) the General Direction for Education and Culture of the European Commission, Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission, the Phoenicians’ Cultural Route and Iter Vitis Cultural Route.

The online Award Ceremony has been an opportunity for the members of the jury to reflect on “Post-pandemic recovery of European Tourism through Culture, Heritage and Creativity”.

"If we learned since the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage how cooperation and balancing the social and cultural elements of tourism can make of tourism the solution and not the problem, we see in this moment of crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, how such balance is also the ultimate option to ensure safety and resilience of the sector."

Patrick Torrent, President of NECSTouR

Mr Torrent stressed the importance of the five principles at the core of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” – Foster Smart and Inclusive Governance, Adding Value to the Sense of Place, Use a holistic Vision for Marketing and preservation, Balancing Place, People and Business and Connecting People to People – as the key ingredients not only of a quick recovery from the crisis, but also to ensure a sustainable balance of the social and cultural elements of tourism in the long-term.

Also, he explained how that principles are included in the Vision for the Tourism of Tomorrow that NECSTouR is offering as contribution for the definition of the European Tourism Agenda 2050.

Mr Torrent's call for a multi-stakeholder cooperation in the field of Culture and Tourism has been highly appreciated and supported by all the participants.


The full list of winners:

INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE                                                                                                                              

1st Prize:
Alūksne Bānītis station Multimedia Expo, by Aluksne Tourism Information center, Latvia

2nd Prize:
Hg Smelting Plant – Heritage of Mercury, by Idrija Mercury Heritage Management Centre, Slovenia

3rd Prize:
Līgatne Paper – Mill workers village, by Culture and Tourism Centre of Līgatne municipality, Latvia

Special mention:
Industrial Heritage Tour Across Budapest, by Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre, Hungary



1st Prize:
​Via Francigena of the South, by European Association of the Via Francigena ways EAVF, Italy

2nd Prize:
Towering Tales of the Sea Exhibition, by Foundation Estonian Maritime Museum, Estonia

3rd Prize:
Araisi Lake Fortress, by Amata Municipality, Latvia



1st Prize:
BlueMed Underwater Museums and Knowledge Awareness Centers, by Region of Thessaly, Greece

2nd Prize:
Tholos VR Theatre, by Foundation of the Hellenic World, Greece

3rd Prize:
Museo do Côa, by Côa Park Fundation, Portugal

Special mention:
Aphrodite smart interpretation, by Kouklia Community Council, Cyprus

Special Mention:
Rota do Românico [Route of the Romanesque], by VALSOUSA | Associação de Municípios do Vale do, Portugal



1st Prize:
Historic Cafés in the Iberian Peninsula, by Associação dos Cafés com História de Portugal (Portuguese Historic Cafés Association), Portugal and Spain

2nd Prize:
Vilar Formoso, by Câmara Municipal de Almeida, Portugal



1st Prize:
Vineyard Retreats, by The vineyard cottages consortium, Slovenia

Joint 2nd Prize:
Wine Routes of Moldova, by National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM), Moldova

Joint 2nd Prize:
Armenian Ancient Viticulture and Winemaking Traditions Revival, by Areni-1 Cave Scientific-Research Foundation, Armenia


The organizers of the Awards would like to thank all the jury members for their hard work put in the evaluation process:

  • Anne Grady, European Commission, DG EAC
  • Raitis Sijats, ECTN
  • Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, ECTN
  • Kristjan Staničić, ETC
  • Eduardo Santander, ETC
  • Jimmy Jamar, Europa Nostra
  • Piet Jaspaert, Europa Nostra
  • Patrick Torrent, NECSTouR
  • Emanuela Panke, Iter Vitis Cultural Route (only for Category 5)
  • Antonio Barone, Phoenicians’ Cultural Route (only for Category 2)