European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), Advisory partner of CHRISTA project, organised the 1st Inter-regional Steering Committee Meeting - CHRISTA Inauguration on 23 - 24 May in Thessaloniki, Greece.
At the Inauguration meeting, the project partners were introduced to each other, presented their regions and cultural assets and discussed the four selected good practices, as well as the roles and tasks of the project and its partners.
European Cultural Tourism Network will be the project Communication Manager, coordinate the inter-regional exchange of experience policy learning process by providing technical assistance to the partners on the specific topics through external expertise, as well as secure durability of the project results through continuity in policies, responsible tourism actions beyond the project end and making the policy learning and capacities available to other destination authorities.
Financial management, technical coordination and the project publicity matters were discussed and procedures agreed.
The next event will open exchange of experience process through the 1st Inter-regional Thematic Workshop on the priority theme ‘Intangible Heritage’ capacity building with study visits in Ave Region, Portugal, on 23 – 24 September 2016, organised by the project partner Intermunicipal Community of Ave, Portugal.
Intangible Heritage topic is defined as: oral traditions; performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices and traditional craftsmanship.
During the Workshop, the project partners will identify, analyse and exchange the knowledge and practices on the topic 'Intangible Heritage' with innovative character with focus on understanding how the exchange of experience can directly influence improvement of policies, strategies and plans tackled in the project.
The CHRISTA project idea stems directly from the THESSALIA CHARTER, produced by the completed INTERREG IVC CHARTS project, which brings together the main principles, features, findings, conclusions and recommendations on good practices regarding engaging culture and heritage for sustainable tourism development.
The common challenges that are jointly tackled in the CHRISTA project are:
- Natural & Cultural Heritage assets are valuable treasures, sometimes in danger and in need of proper conservation, preservation and/or restoration,
- These assets can be deployed for the purposes of sustainable and responsible tourism development, namely cultural tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism,
- The tourism potential of these assets may facilitate the preservation and restoration efforts, if performed in a sustainable and responsible way,
- Innovation can contribute greatly towards improving cultural and natural heritage policies for sustainable and responsible tourism development.