Initial contact was made by CHRISTA project during May 2016 through the advisory partner ECTN with the European Travel Commission (ETC) regarding the "European Tourism Manifesto for Growth & Jobs", a very recent document which highlights the EU policy priorities for the tourism sector, signed by several pan-European federations, associations and networks.
At the CHRISTA kick-off meeting, this Tourism Manifesto was presented by ECTN in relation to the exchange of experience process as having highly relevant synergies with the CHRISTA project activities and as a result the project partnership agreed that ECTN co-signs this Manifesto, on behalf of the project partners as adoption of new cooperation agreement.
Following this decision at the kick-off meeting, ECTN co-signed this document as a result of CHRISTA project and representing the project partners.
The Tourism Manifesto, coordinated by ETC, includes references to preservation of cultural heritage, in terms of stronger awareness of European citizenship, as well as references to thematic tourism including culture, gastronomy and cycle routes, quality schemes including heritage, digitalisation, diversification, visitor economy, climate and job creation goals, local communities, visitor's experience, holistic European approach, topics of high relevance to CHRISTA project.
ETC was represented by a keynote speaker on the Manifesto at the 1st CHRISTA Thematic Workshop held in Guimaraes, Ave region, PT, on 22-24 September 2016, as a direct result of the Manifesto signing project activity.
At the CHRISTA 1st Workshop, the European Tourism Manifesto was thus brought together with the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (the latter through the document 'Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe', co-funded by the Creative Europe programme), as guest keynote speakers with interaction, which is an unexpected achievement of the CHRISTA project partnership towards strengthening synergies between the tourism and the cultural sectors. The link with European Heritage Alliance 3.3 was not part of the original communication strategy of the project. The European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (EHA 3.3) is coordinated by Europa Nosta and includes some 40 pan-European networks and associations active in cultural heritage preservation and promotion.
These key pan-European bodies (ETC and EHA 3.3) were brought together for the first time thanks to the CHRISTA project in adoption of new cooperation agreement, and are important actors for the CHRISTA project dissemination, particularly in relation to the forthcoming 'European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018' during which the CHRISTA project results will be of high value to other regions, destination authorities and organisations.
This unexpected achievement of establishing constructive interaction between ETC - Tourism Manifesto for Growth & Jobs and EHA through the CHRISTA Project is expected to have further positive results in terms of policy learning towards sustainable cultural tourism.