Who we are
NECSTouR is the voice of European Regions committed to sustainability – economic, social and environmental - as a crucial driver of destination competitiveness. Since 2007, it has provided an integrated approach to tourism governance and acted as an important link between regional and wider European levels of government, while developing interregional cooperation through European Projects.
NECSTouR is constituted under Belgian law as a not-for-profit association.
As the network for more than 40 European regional tourism authorities and around 30 associated members (universities, research institutes, representatives of tourism enterprises and sustainable tourism associations), NECSTouR proactively, and in partnership, works to address challenges by identifying, capturing and sharing best practice solutions with our members and our key partners and alliances across Europe. In this way we help destinations achieve a smarter, more sustainable approach to tourism development.
NECSTouR works to achieve the Tourism of Tomorrow. Together, we aim to build a competitive and sustainable model of tourism for Europe - as stated in the Agenda for a Competitive and Sustainable tourism of the European Commission COMM (2007) 621 – “The right balance between the welfare of tourists, the needs of the natural and cultural environment and the development and competitiveness of destinations and business."
To address the key challenges that the NECSTouR members are facing in their work to deliver the sustainable and competitive tourism of tomorrow, NECSTouR provides an interregional cooperation strategy focused on the “Five S of sustainable tourism of Tomorrow” - Smart destinations, Socio-cultural balance, Skills and talent, Safety and resilience, Statistics and measurability – and two cross-cutting initiatives: The Barcelona Declaration “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit” and the Smart Specialisation Platform for Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism.
NECSTouR addresses the challenge of applied technology in the context of the visitor economy and tourism SMEs, as well as general innovation through the S3P Tourism.
NECSTouR priorities are linked to the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and will enable regions to support and implement the relevant SDGs, as part of our cooperation with the UNWTO.
NECSTouR has been cooperating with the European Commission’s DG Grow tourism unit, identifying synergies with their work and where European tourism-related policies have an impact on the five NECSTouR priorities. In the Commission’s 2010 communication, “Europe, the world’s N° 1 tourist destination - a new political framework for tourism in Europe”, NECSToUR is highlighted as a reference for measuring sustainable tourism and features in the Council’s conclusions of October 2010.
NECSTouR acknowledges and supports the European Committee of the Regions 2016’s reference to “Tourism as a driving force for regional cooperation across the EU”, where NECSTouR is mentioned as a good example of a regional platform exchanging “good practices and know-how about the use of EU financial instruments”.