Last 19 October, Paphos – the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023 – hosted the award ceremony of the Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2023.
This year’s edition focused on ‘Smart Tourism – Smart Destinations: Cultural Heritage & Creativity, Digitalisation, Sustainability’.
Among sixty applications received from twenty-five countries, twenty initiatives by tourist destinations across Europe were awarded to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to sustainable cultural tourism across six categories: Digitalisation advances and digital transition; History and Heritage Tourism; Riverside Heritage Tourism; Transnational Thematic Tourism Products; Spiritual, Religious and Pilgrimage Tourism; Traditional Skills, Craft and Creativity.
For the sixth consecutive year, NECSTouR was part of the organization team with the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission, as a legacy of the Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”.
In his video message released for the closing remarks of the ECTN Conference, NECSTouR Vice-President Mr Patrick Torrent emphasised the timeliness of this legacy towards a Slower, Smarter and Regenerative Tourism:
We have greatly enjoyed the reference by several applicants to the “temporary and permanent” residents in their initiatives. This is a major topic we have been advocating since the last six years through our initiative “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit”.
These type of examples are an inspiration for the transformation of our tourism destinations and governance models from sustainable tourism to, what we call, regenerative value-driven models, which ultimate goal is to have a positive impact in the territory where it takes place.
On his intervention, Mr Torrent shared the NECSTouR’s appreciation, especially for the high quality of the experiences awarded on riverside heritage to boost the opportunities that sustainable tourism in the riversides of some of the European cities could bring innovation and sustainability and how this was aligned with the contribution the NECSTouR has offered in the last years to the Star Cities Interreg Project.
Also, he has highlighted how the legacy of the Barcelona Declaration is alive in Catalonia’s tourism new mission, which is to Contribute to the wellbeing of the community through the values of travel.
NECSTouR will be grateful to continue this cooperation with ECTN, Europa Nostra and ETC so we can mutually nourish and inspire our regional and local initiatives, encouraged by the fact that four of the awarded initiatives are based in the territory of a NECSTouR Region:
- rurAllure: promotion of rural museums and heritage sites in the vicinity of European pilgrimage routes, by University of Vigo, (with the involvement - among others - of Galicia, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna Regions).
- Renaturalization and recovery of the historical industrial garden of the Museum of the Water, Central Cornellá, by the Barcelona Museum of the Water (Catalonia)
- Ostia, gateway to the Mediterranean – Public Archaeology in Ostia antica (European Heritage Label site) by the Italian Ministry of Culture (Lazio)
- The International Garden Festival at the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire: The Resilient Garden, by Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire (Centre-Val de Loire)
The Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2023 is an initiative supported by the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023, the city of Pafos, and ReInHerit Horizon2020 Coordination and Support Action.
Read detailed descriptions about the awarded projects in the brochure by ETC
Public vote winner:
- Holistic Digital Documentation of Asinou Church a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. By UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage, Cyprus University of Technology, Cypru (inception EU Horizon 2020 project)
Jury vote – winners per category:
DIGITALISATION ADVANCES AND DIGITAL TRANSITION IN SUSTAINABLE CULTURAL TOURISM
- 1st prize: rurAllure: promotion of rural museums and heritage sites in the vicinity of European pilgrimage routes. By University of Vigo, Spain. For Galicia region (Spain) and Northern Portugal; Italy with a specific focus on Veneto, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna regions, south-eastern Norway; Hungary, Slovakia, and Romanian Transylvania (rurAllure EU Horizon 2020 project)
- 2nd prize: Dublin Discovery Trails App. By Dublin City Council, Ireland. Funded by Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority, Republic of Ireland, under their Destination Towns Initiative
- 3rd prize: The Golden Path – Hungarian Money Museum and Visitors Center. By the Hungarian Money Museum and Visitors Center in Budapest, Hungary
- Mention:Holistic Digital Documentation of Asinou Church a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. By UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus (inception EU Horizon 2020 project)
HISTORY AND HERITAGE
- 1st prize: REVIVE: Reviving public heritage into sustainable tourism in Portugal. By Turismo de Portugal (National Tourism Authority), Portugal
- 2nd prize: Renaturalization and recovery of the historical industrial garden of the Museum of the Water, Central Cornellá. By Museum of the Water (Museu de les Aigues), Cornellà de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
- 3rd prize: Sephardic Routes in Spain. Preserving heritage, inspiring tourism. By Red de Juderías de España – Caminos de Sefarad, Spain
- Mention:Ostia, gateway to the Mediterranean – Public Archaeology in Ostia antica (European Heritage Label site). By the Italian Ministry of Culture, Italy in cooperation with “Scuole Migranti”
- 1st prize: Emajõgi – The Binding River: Drawing Inhabitants Closer in Tartu. By Visit Tartu, Estonia
- 2nd prize: Reimagined Boyne Valley Drive at Ireland’s Ancient East. By Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority, Republic of Ireland
- 3rd prize: The great ship of culture “NEMUNO7”, Zapyškis, Kaunas region. By Kaunas District Tourism and Business Information Center, Lithuania
TRANSNATIONAL THEMATIC TOURISM PRODUCTS
- 1st prize: Liberation Route Europe: Transnational memorial of trails connecting World War Two remembrance sites and stories – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. Spanning 9 countries (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland and Czechia). By LRE Foundation, Belgium
- 2nd prize: Iron Age Danube Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. Spanning 8 countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Romania and Slovenia). By Iron Age Danube Route Association, Croatia
- 3rd prize: Pannonia-Adria Connection (PA.CON) Joint Thematic Tourism Product, cross-border region of Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. By Tourism Board of the City of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
RELIGIOUS, PILGRIMAGE AND SPIRITUAL TOURISM
- 1st prize: Púca Festival at County Meath, Irelands Ancient East. By Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority, Republic of Ireland
- 2nd prize: “Via Mariae” – The Reconciliation Road at Bucovina. By Suceava County Council, Romania
TRADITIONAL SKILLS, CRAFTS AND CREATIVITY
- 1st prize: Regional Museum/Information Centre of Akamas Rural Life at Droushia village. By Droushia Community Council, Cyprus
- 2nd prize: Arts & Crafs | New Design Open Days at Algarve, Alentejo, Centro, Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Norte. By Spira – revitalização patrimonial (heritage revitalization), with the support of Turismo de Portugal, AICEP Portugal Global, Tourism of Alentejo and Algarve, the Northern Regional Directorate for Culture, the City Councils of Lisbon and Loulé and the specialized communication platform património.pt, Portugal
- Joint 3rd prize: Empowering Women and Revitalizing Talysh Cultural Heritage through Cultural Tourism at Lankaran. By Tor Art LLC, Leyne.Co Community, Azerbaijan
- Joint 3rd prize: The International Garden Festival at the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire: The Resilient Garden. By Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire, France