CHRISTA project 1st Thematic Workshop on Intangible Heritage
The first exchange of experience process started with capitalization of good practices related to one of the priority theme ‘Intangible Heritage Tourism’ on 22 – 24 September 2016 in Guimaraes, Portugal, at the ‘Platform for Arts and Creativity’ centre, linked to the European Heritage Days and European Cooperation Day.
The project meeting was organised by the project partner Intermunicipal Community of Ave, Portugal, in close cooperation with European Cultural Tourism Network.
The first day, 22 September, started with presentations of intangible heritage assets in 8 project partner destinations and their best practices in deploying them for cultural tourism development and promotion. The project partners with their stakeholders identified, analysed and exchanged the knowledge and practices on the topic 'Intangible Heritage' with innovative character and focused on understanding how the exchange of experience can directly influence improvement of policies, strategies and plans tackled in the project.
External expert, Dr Jordi Tresserras from the University of Barcelona LabPRTC/Ibertur, presented ‘State of the Art’ of intangible heritage for sustainable cultural tourism and proposed guidelines to generate policies, strategies and operational plans.
On the second day, 23 September, the Workshop theme continued and was exposed to a wider audience with keynote speakers, policy makers, experts and external contributors in the conference format, entitled: ‘Intangible Heritage: Incomparable Asset for Sustainable and Responsible Tourism Development’.
Keynote speakers were: the Vice-Chair of the Commission for Natural Resources, Committee of the Regions, Mr. Anthony Buchanan who spoke about ‘Tourism as a Driving Force’; Council member of Europa Nostra, Prof. Konraad Van Balen who presented 10 key findings and 5 strategic recommendations of the study ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’; representative of the European Travel Commission Ms. Iulia Niculica, presented ‘The European Tourism Manifesto for Growth & Jobs’; and the Chair of NECSTouR Working Group Cultural Tourism and Cultural Sustainability, Mr. Jose Luis Maestro Castineiras presented good practices, and results on intangible heritage in NECSTouR regions.
The conference was supported and specially addressed by video messages from Ana-Claudia Tapardel, Member of the European Parliament, Co-chair of the Intergroup for European Tourism Development, European Parliament Committee on Transport & Tourism Member and Carlo Corazza, European Commission, DG Growth, Head of the Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries Unit.
Executive Secretary, Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes Dr Stefano Dominioni made live intervention online by presenting the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme and practical examples of cultural and responsible tourism based on the immaterial heritage.
Through a ‘Call for Presenters’, 21 presentations have been selected in the programme coming from 11 countries, including from CHRISTA project partner`s regions.
All Presenters showcased relevant experience, shared best practices, methods, concepts and provided practical recommendations in order to preserve, deploy and promote intangible heritage for responsible and sustainable tourism development.
The third day of exchange of experience, 24 September, was dedicated to Study visits in Ave region, organised around the topic by including two days activities and conclusions/findings presented ‘on the ground.
Ieva Treija, CHRISTA Communication Manager, European Cultural Tourism Network
CHRISTA project is made possible by the financial support from the European Union – the Interreg Europe programme and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).