Interreg Europe project CHRISTA – Culture and Heritage for Responsible, Innovative and Sustainable Tourism Actions
Cultural and natural heritage is very important at all levels, local, regional, national and European, consisting of several dimensions that can lead to resource efficiency, through deployment for sustainable and responsible tourism development, with innovative character. Policies for heritage applications to eco-cultural tourism need to be further developed, implemented and monitored, through interregional cooperation.
CHRISTA (Culture and Heritage for Responsible, Innovative and Sustainable Tourism Actions) project in the Interreg Europe interregional cooperation programme of EU, aims to protect and preserve natural and cultural heritage assets and deploy them for the development and promotion of innovative, sustainable and responsible tourism strategies, including intangible and industrial heritage, through interpretation and digitisation, with capitalisation of good practices, policy learning, policy implementation and capacity building.
CHRISTA project started in April 2016, involving 10 partners from 10 EU Member States regional and local authorities, as well as tourism authorities in 9 EU regions.
Project partners are:
Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, Cyprus (Lead Partner) www.visitpafos.org.cy
European Cultural Tourism Network, Belgium www.culturaltourism-network.eu
Veneto Region, Italy www.regione.veneto.it
Region of Central Macedonia, Greece www.pkm.gov.gr
Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden www.vastarvet.se
County Council of Granada, Spain www.dipgra.es
Vidzeme Tourism Association, Latvia www.vidzeme.com
Sibiu County Tourism Association, Romania www.sibiu-turism.ro
Burgas Municipality, Bulgaria www.burgas.bg
Intermunicipal Community of Ave region, Portugal www.cim-ave.pt
During four years, the project partners will focus on the improvement of regional operational programmes, regional/local startegies and plans in nine destination regions, advances in relevant policy implementation, as well as upgrading of cultural and natural assets and innovative applications.
The project main outputs will be Action Plans, with implementation and monitoring of improved Regional Operational Programmes, regional/local Startegies and Plans in nine destination regions, communication and dissemination tools for policy learning and capacity building, contribution to EU policies and EU2020 targets.
The main beneficiaries are public authorities and their stakeholders.
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.
The overall budget of CHRISTA project is 1,771,775 EUR, co-financed by European Regional Development Fund with a budget of 1,506,008.75 EUR (85%).
The budget of VTA for the project is 154 250 EUR, 85% is co-financed by the ERDF. There are 12 local sub-partners (mostly municipalities, members of VTA) from Latvia participating in the project.
Ieva Treija, CHRISTA Communication Manager, European Cultural Tourism Network
ACTIVITIES REALIZED DURING THE PROJECT