New policy brief addresses current challenges to the tourism sector
The diversity of cultural heritage assets, whether tangible (museums, buildings, archaeological sites, archives) or intangible (such as cultural itineraries and events) is a cornerstone in European identity and a catalyst for social inclusion. It also plays a specific role in achieving the Europe 2020 strategy goals for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, given its relevance not only in culture, but also in social and economic development, cohesion, education, tourism and innovation.
However, pressure applied by visitors and residents means that heritage professionals, institutions and stakeholders face growing challenges to keep cultural assets and the territory around them protected, enhanced and, at the same time, accessible to all.
SHARE aims at exchanging experiences in cultural heritage policies in urban settings, in order to identify best practices and innovative methods to develop a sustainable and smart approach to its management and use. The project will target ways in which smart cities projects can be effectively improved by including a smart and sustainable agenda for cultural assets in urban centers.
The project will review existing policy tools, European policy outlines and best practices and will include specific research to be carried out in each partner’s area.
The result of the interregional exchange process, lasting 24 months during Phase 1 of the project, will be conveyed in 6 Action Plans that will indicate ways to successfully transfer of SHARE’s outputs into mainstream policies, with particular reference to 5 ERDF funds.
The partners represent a variety of public bodies, agencies and academic centers coming from 7 countries across Europe dealing with cultural heritage and smart cities policies and will commit to effectively share results of the project with local stakeholders groups and the MAs and institutions implementing local policies, and to ensure monitoring of the Action Plans over the 2-year period Phase 2 of the project.
Environment and resource efficiency
The main features of ERDF ROP 2014-2020 are the concentration of resources on a strategic and limited number of objectives responding to the territorial context and its needs. Its results-oriented approach and the integration of resources (EU, national and regional) aim to maximise its impact. Measures are designed in order to be incisive and able to support intelligent, sustainable and inclusive regional growth.
The strategy of the ROP is aimed at 5 priorities:
SHARE will address Axis 6, Sustainable Urban Development, which in Umbria is designed to help 5 main urban centres to become innovative and sustainable locations, and to strengthen their accessibility through a smarter and more sustainable approach in particular regarding specific objective 6.4 "To improve the conditions and accessibility of cultural heritage in urban centres".
The actions, known as the Urban Agenda, will affect the municipalities of Perugia, Terni, Foligno, Città di Castello and Spoleto.
Axis 6, and the action supporting sustainable cultural heritage in urban centres, represent an innovation in the regional strategic programming, and as such, the exchange of experiences with other EU regions and countries will help in finding better solutions to support the actual implementation of sustainable measures for the citizens and visitors of the cities involved in Axis 6.
The main objective of this policy is the valorization of cultural and natural heritage resources of the Region.
One of the main actions to be funded under this priority is the creation of natural and cultural itineraries in order to promote sustainable tourism and the economic development of rural and urban areas. The creation of virtual resources is also included.
The project will help in the identification and design of tools and actions for the correct implementation of programs under the addressed policy. The policy will be improved during the interreg project due to the identification and adaptation of Best practices from other EU regions. Other partners can also study the actions implemented in Extremadura for cultural heritage ans sustainable tourism.
The policy is not being correctly implemented due to different factors. The political situation at national and Regional level (delays in the formation of governments after elections and in the approval of the regional budget), the limitation of resources, necessity of new solutions for the correct sustainable exploitation of the heritage. This project will address a clear necessity in our territory, the correct valorization and sustainable exploitation of our cultural heritage. The correct exploitation of our cultural and historical heritage, a crucial issue for the development of the economy of the region, is a priority in our Operational Program.
Regional Operational Programme (ROP) 2014-2020 is the successor of Regional Operational Programme 2007-2020 and one of the programs that Romania will be able to access EU structural funds and investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 2014-2020.
In this context, the ROP 2014-2020 proposes the overall objective of economic competitiveness and improve living conditions of local and regional communities by supporting business development, infrastructure and services for sustainable development of regions, so that they can effectively manage their resources and their potential for innovation and assimilation of technological progress.
Allocation of financial resources related to ROP 2014-2020 was conducted under joint development needs identified in the programming process, ensuring correlation with the strategies of development regions and the national sectoral strategies.
ROP includes a priority axis dedicated to cultural heritage: Priority Axis 5 - Improving the urban environment and conservation, protection and sustainable use of cultural heritage, Investment Priority 5.1 - Preserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage, that has the specific objective of boosting local development through preservation, protection and exploitation of cultural heritage and cultural identity.
In Östergötland the regional authority “Region Östergötland” is appointed by the Swedish Government as the policy-making body for the “Östergötland Regional Development Programme”. The programme points out vital areas that are prioritized in order to fulfil the objectives, and is in that way connected to the structural funds as they serve as important funding means to fulfill the strategies. The implementation is based on the cooperation between municipalities, the county council, governmental authorities, trade & industry and other relevant stakeholders.
The programme has three objectives:
It has eight specific strategies of which #8 “Utilize and develop Östergötland’s attractiveness” has bearing on cultural heritage as part of the attractiveness, and sustainable use of cultural environments for tourism industry and recreation.
Apart from the importance of cultural heritage for the inhabitants’ identity, the tourism industry also has great potential for growth in the region and an increased number of visitors at our cultural heritage sites are expected. In order to assure that these sites are preserved for the future and the joint policy is fulfilled, the guiding principles for governance and maintenance must be improved and clarified. This work must be carried out in close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.
Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme (EDIOP) strategically targets competitiveness issues in terms operational capacities, economic cooperation and breaking down barriers against of competitiveness.
EDIOP in touristic terms is set to increase spending of tourists by developing cultural heritage assets into sustainable, economically viable tourism product in harmony with the surrounding environment.
Priority 7: Preserving natural and cultural heritage, with enhanced focus on cultural heritage development into smaller scale touristic products which integrate themselves into the surrounding environment.
Reasons for improvement:
Cultural heritage sites can be in degraded physical condition and are uncompetitive tourism attractions. The necessary investments require multi-stakeholder supported activities, which, on one hand contribute to widening the portfolio of tourism attractions and supply, on the other expand the touristic peak season by positively influencing tourist spending and the number of visitors at tourism destinations. These objectives could be reached in case sustainability issues related to the environment are considered in destination settlements.
Promoting sustainable growth, i.e. economic growth linked with more efficient use of resources, is a clear priority of the EUROPE 2020 strategy. On a national level the Economic programme sets the priority in terms of development of entrepreneurship in culture and creative industries, as well as investments in preserving cultural heritage with respect to their significant influence in the development of tourist activities, entrepreneurship in general and new job creation.
This specific policy instrument is addressed to two areas:
1. Increasing employment and tourist spending through enhancing cultural heritage
2. Increasing attractiveness, educational capacity and sustainable management of natural heritage sites
First it should be improved because tourist sector is the fastest growing sector in NUTS 2 Jadranska Hrvatska and for some coastal towns and islands it is the only industry that exists. Since tourism is high-seasonal industry now, many people are unemployed during low-season period contributing to social inequalities that should be dealt with. The high number tourists at peak season increases the challenges of managing cultural attractions which may cause severe deterioration of visitor experience, as well as conditions of the site and general environment around it.
New policy brief addresses current challenges to the tourism sector
Inspiration compiled by the EU peer-learning programme on cultural heritage for cities and regions
Learning from peers who are facing existing and emerging challenges in tourism cities
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Policy and management ideas to enable cultural heritage to benefit society and to enable people to support heritage