Recovery of the heritage as an axis for the economic activation of the municipality
The crisis of the fishing sector puts the recovery of the heritage and its use as a generator of employment. The city council designed a project to turn the municipality into a maritime heritage cente in 2005. 4 work areas were identified as a singular heritage and a recovery plan was defined with an economic develoment purpose:-Santa Catalina Lighthouse: conversion into a visitor´s centre based on Navigational Technology, Lea-Mendieta Shipyard: recovery of the shipyards, Marierrota Tide Mill: visitor ´s centre of the mill, Intangible heritage: preserve the tradional recipies, songs, memory
The goals were: Involve the people of the municipality in the collection of information.Generate new businesses and jobs. Preserve the tangible and intangible heritage, natural and cultural resources to reinforce the local identity learn about the history of Lekeitio, with a double target: Tourists or visitors interested marine culture and Citizens of the municipality.

Key factors:- The city council is the promoter, the participation and consensus of all public and private agents was sought to ensure its continuity. - Collaboration with the entities owners of infrastructures to create synergies. - Integration within the supramunicipal plans: regional tourism plan, Basque costal tourism plan. - Collaborating with scientists allowed keep the essence of the heritage. - Work with citizens in the recovery of heritage

Resources needed

The funds have been obtained from the following sources: Tourism, fisheries and aquaculture (structural funds of fisheries) employment departments.
TOURIST DYNAMISATION PLAN: €100.000 - €200,000 € per year
HUMAN RESOURCES: Two technicians, 4 guide

Evidence of success

400 person involve in a project to collect traditional songs and recipes.
COLLABORATING BUSINESSES: 53 businesses in different projects
EVOLUTION OF VISITORS: the visits to the tourist office have multiplied by 7.
Cultural point of view: the preservation of the resources that would disappear.
Social perspective: awareness of citizens in preservation for future generations.
Economic point of view: the creation of jobs

Difficulties encountered

Find the balance between the value of heritage and its exploitation for the attraction of tourism generated a certain tension among the inhabitants. The management of this is essential.
Involving the population seeking consensus and awareness.
Maintenance of the facilities when tourism is seasona

Potential for learning or transfer

The project allowed the recovery and maintenance of the heritage at risk of disappearance, through its activation based on a tourist axis.The direct participation of citizens in the collection of recipes and songs, it served to aware the population about the importance of heritage.
Finally, a balance was sought between preservation and exploitation of the heritage. The basic criteria the authenticity and the experience shared with the visitor.
Key success factors:Restoration of the heritage based on the maritime identity of the locality, Tourism activity and interest of visitors in knowing our heritage, External recognition of the value of the project as a driving force for the internal recognition of the value of heritage by citizens and Understand the municipality as a whole and with identity
Lekeitio was a pioneer in the recovery of the heritage, his line of work was transferred to other municipalities, allowing to develop a thematic axis around the marine culture

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Main institution
País Vasco, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2005
End Date


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