Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2014



1st PRIZE: Way of Saint James in Catalonia, Spain


2nd PRIZE: Hanseatic Town Limbaži in Vidzeme, Latvia


3rd PRIZE: Cittadella in Veneto, Italy

The Award for Cultural Tourism Development and Promotion in Europe for Tourism Destinations across Europe



The main objectives of the CHARTS Award was to generate awareness about project aims and results, to highlight achievements of results and outputs on cultural tourism amongst tourism destinations across Europe, to create a platform for sharing experience and knowledge Europe-wide and to promote networking between awarded destinations and project partners.


The focus of the Award was on 12 Good Practices themes, concerning results of actions which have been implemented and which have produced significant results and achievements.


A ceremony of the ‘CHARTS Award 2014’ prize for “Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism” will take place during CHARTS Closing Conference.


The first Award contest for Cultural Tourism in Europe attracted 27 applications during period November 2013 - May 2014.

Award Candidates

This list is published with permission of Applicant.

© Description and photo provided by Applicant


A Divine Piece of Land


Do you want to find yourself in heaven? Go to "St. Anastasia" island. The nine acres of land are only 10 minutes away by speedboat from the bridge in front of the Cultural centre Sea Casino in city of Burgas, Bulgaria. On the island, the time falls into a sleep. If you set foot there-the rain stops. And the silence is... simply deafening. Thanks to European financing Burgas municipality transformed "St. Anastasia" into Eco-island, which from May 2014 welcomes tourists. The old monastery is full of attractions for young and old-from a pirate's treasure to monastery bean soup.

Turning the Cultural – Historical Monuments in the Town of Stara Zagora from the Antique Period into Tourist Attraction


The project "Turning the Cultural – Historical Monuments in the Town of Stara Zagora from the Antique Period into tourist attraction" is intended to expose and develop the revealed part of the Ancient city of Augusta Trayana in order to become an attractive tourist destination. Another project, to develop a regional tourism product and destination marketing, named "Antique Thracian heritage", promote the city as a place of ancient culture, offering tourism product of high quality. The archaeological reserve "Augusta Trayana - Vereya" is a cultural monument of national importance. Augusta Trayana is established in year 106-107 by the Roman emperor Marcus Ulpius Trayanus (98-117). The ancien city includes area of about 480 dca which makes it one of the biggest antique cities on the territory of Bulgaria. Augusta Trayana is a big economic, political, administrative, and spiritual centre of the Roman province Thraciya. The central part of the antique city is situated in the centre of contemporary town Stara Zagora. Antique Forum of Augusta Trayana includes square with an amphitheatrically built auditorium, western gate and main trading street (decumanus maximus), remains of thermal baths, city walls, Late Antique House whit Mosaic.

Attractive Ensemble of Urban Archeology and Cultural Events as a Model for Sustainable Cultural Tourism Product 


In order to transform Plovdiv into a competitive tourist destination we decided to use the potential of an attractive ensemble of urban archaeology - The Ancient Stadium of Philipopolis, located on the city's main street and three cultural events, organized in close proximity, in order to differentiate a short route as a gravity centre for tourists; the mixture of the events are the unique in the European context: Young Wine Parade, the highly appreciated Ancient Festival and the Crafts Fair. By merging their potential, we established a sustainable model, through which each component (ensemble and events) influences each other's tourist flow. Our model is flexible and innovative as some of the events are organized in different central places, around the main street and thus our route has the ability to change each time; nevertheless the close proximity factor still allows each component to influence the others tourist flow.




"Pafos Aphrodite Festival" is an open-air stage opera festival organized by the company 'Pafos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus' which takes place at the enchanting area of the square of the Medieval Castle at the picturesque harbor of Pafos. This year the Festival is hosting on its stage in a co-production with the lyric organization Opera Futura from Verona and the participation of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra W.A. Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" on September 5, 6 and 7. In the context of this year's Festival the participation of Cypriot artists is reinforced because apart from the participation of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra the chorus singers and the ballet dancers are also Cypriot. This joint effort and collaboration between the Italian artists and the Cypriot artists is expected to offer the audiences a unique opera performance under the starlit sky of Pafos. 

The Festival is attended by 7,500 people every year foreigners and Cypriots who visit Pafos this time of the year to attend the Festival as well as enjoy the luxurious hotels, the gourmet restaurants and the physical beauties of Pafos contributing to effort made by local authorities to increase and enhance the tourist revenue of Pafos district.


"Spielkartenfabrik (playing card factory) Stralsund - a working museum between now and then"

The Spielkartenfabrik (playing card factory), proofing its name right, develops, designs and produces playing card games together with people coming from town and region. It follows a nearly 250 year old local tradition and uses the skills of the staff working in the playing card factory and in youth art school. The fabricated card games are sold in the factory, in several shops in Stralsund and on markets that take place all over the region. The workshop is also a working museum that covers the history of hand/machine setting and printing as well as the history of the development of occupational safety. The project is hold and runned by a non profit and non-governmental organization, the Förderverein Jugendkunst e.V. (Support Assiciation for Youth Art).


The Jura Transnational Travel Guide :

'Le Guide du Routard' Jura franco-suisse 2014


The cross-border guide of the Jura region is an outstanding example of transnational cooperation. It enhances the visibility of the Jura-mountains as a touristic destination through cross-border itineraries and allows to forget about administrative barriers to discover a unique territory deeply intertwined by history and environment. Common touristic products are promoted this way: food and gastronomy, environment, natural and industrial heritage. The famous travel-guide brand 'Le Routard' provides a strong impact on visitors and contributes substantially to make this product a great success.
It is also aimed at strengthening tourism professional networks beyond borders. Thus, it is the first step for bridging the gap between touristic actors – private and institutional - on both sides of the border, in order to initiate a pooling and sharing process in Regional Touristic policies.


Pelion Destination Sustainable Management Initiative


This application regarding ETIS (European Tourism Indicators System) for CHARTS Award 2014 refers to the application that EKPOL (Social and Cultural Council of Region of Thessalia) submitted to ETIS second pilot phase regarding destination Pelion mount and peninsula. ETIS is a new tool that European Commission launched and is designed to help tourism destination to monitor, manage, measure and enhance their sustainability performances. Pelion destination in ETIS second phase can measure and enhance its performance in four best practices out of twelve that CHARTS project deals with (eg.quality criteria, effective partnerships, host communities and responsible tourism, as well as place marketing).The expected benefits of the involvement in ETIS are quite enough and the need of promoting more widely this new tool of ETIS will be helpful to all destinations that desire to enhance their tourism profile.


Cittadella: A Pearl of History and Culture


Visit Cittadella, one of the most charming walled towns of Veneto Region and let yourselves be enchanted by the imposing city walls of 1460 meters, perfectly well preserved and one of the few examples in Europe of a defensive system with a still practicable parapet walk.Tourists have so the chance to walk on a height of over 15 meters and admire the city from new and privileged viewpoints.
Come and try the experience of a "walk on history" to the discovery of the medieval roots and traditions, that Cittadella still jealously preserves, throughout historical re-enactments of ancient crafts and food and wine manifestations, that enhance the aromas and the flavors of the ancient traditional recipes.
A city that looks also to the future through the participation in European projects of tourism promotion like Adristorical Lands, in order to become an example of not only Italian but European tourist excellence.


The Affirmation of VeneziaNativa as an Utonomous Tourism Destination even though Complementary to Venice

Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello islands of the Northen Lagoon of Venice preserve the most authentic traditions of Venice also if they have suffered from the effects of a socio-economic crisis and have undergone a progressive loss of functions with respect to the centre which is always seemingly further away.
The Consorzio Venezia Nativa was set up by private economic operators in order to face these problems with the mandate of promoting this part of the Lagoon also from the point of view of its potential for tourism.
The project aims at a medium to long-term time scale even though it does envisage transparent short-term tangible results by the promotion of:

- day to day activity, relating to a strategic program aimed at creating and reinforcing the identity of the area and the sense of being part of the island community; promotion of the Northern Lagoon as a particular tourism destination, albeit complementary with respect to Venice;
- representative activities addressed to those persons who are able to condition and/or favour the development of local activities;
- the promotion of special projects whose positive effects will tangibly enhance the quality of life on the islands.

The Travel of Transhumance


The project developed a seasonal ecotourism event linked to the traditional Shepherd's World and to the historical transhumance in the area of Amatrice, province of Rieti, in the Central Italian Apennine Mountains. The yearly events enables the tourist to follow the flocks in their travel to the summer pastures or back to the winter residences and to discover in a sustainable way the typical and zero-mile agro-food traditions: milk, cheese, meat, sausages, wool, textiles, music, poetry, dance, history, culture, art and legend, oral tradition, past technologies, farming and historical reception, ....but in particular landscape and biodiversity preservation. The social mobilisation of the whole community and the specific theme, deeply rooted in the local consciousness, are the key factor for the success of the Travel and for its relevance in the European context, together with the ability to harmonise economic mobilisation with sustainable growth.


Daugavpils City with its rich Cultural Heritage and Interesting Tourism Sights – the most popular tourism attraction in Eastern Latvia


Daugavpils City with its rich cultural heritage and interesting tourism sights – the most popular tourism attraction in Eastern Latvia!
Daugavpils City is the second largest city in Latvia and the largest in Eastern Latvia. The city is interesting for all travelers, everyone will find something interesting for themselves. Daugavpils is interesting for its rich cultural and historical heritage, this year the city celebrated 739th anniversary. The city is located near Lithuania, Belarus and Russia, that's why the city is very interesting in the national aspect – Daugavpils is multicultural and multi-ethnical city. The representatives of each nationality have theirs own culture, customs and traditions, but all together they are friendly residents of beautiful and green Daugavpils City.

Limbaži. Step by Step Towards Culture Tourism Destination


The Hanseatic Town of Limbaži is one of the Latvia's oldest towns, whose rich and interesting history is still evident in the town today: the town's unique layout with streets in a radial pattern, the Old Town featuring late 18th century architecture, castle ruins with a watch tower from the Middle Ages, a Lutheran church built in the 17th century, the old Town Hall with beautiful wall paintings from the 18th century, the largest Orthodox church in the Vidzeme (Middleland) region of Latvia. One of the newest product Silver museum has won the prize in Year 2013 as one of the best newest tourism products in Latvia.
Limbaži as very small destination has successfully worked not only for culture heritage, nature tourism products but is also opened for new challenges- In Year 2014 ISRA 2014 World championship for Slot Car Racing will be held in Limbaži (4th-11th of October). (

The Turaida Museum Reserve – key to millennium history


The specially protected cultural monument Turaida Museum Reserve is located in Sigulda - one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia - in the territory of the Gauja National Park, comprising the historical centre of Turaida. Turaida Museum Reserve houses a rich cultural heritage. Spanning a territory of 42 ha, it offers its visitors to get to know the unusual heritage of Gauja Livs, to experience medieval history in the medieval castle of Turaida, to visit the church hill with an old wooden church and see with one's own eyes the memorial place for the Rose of Turaida, commemorating a young girl's faithfulness to her lover. The scenic centre of Turaida estate reveals the economic history of Turaida in the course of 300 years. One of the landmarks of Turaida is the Dainu Hill, devoted to the Latvian folksong. Turaida Museum Reserve is the most visited museum in Latvia, attracting tourists from all over the globe. WELCOME TO TURAIDA!

Culture and Art open the Door to Vecpiebalga


The cultural and historical heritage of Vecpiebalga Municipality has been built on a wonderful environment for events, the traditional craft skills and business development. A success of the Culture and Art Week "Vecpiebalga opens the donors" is based on the effective partnership of Vecpiebalga Municipality, the Musical Theatre ARSNOVA, amateur groups and local people. During that week, the Municipality is attended by about half of the total annual number of tourists.
Category Host communities and Responsible tourism – a systematic and successful development of Piebalga's porcelain factory gives a significant contribution to the local economy and population self-esteem.
Traditional Skills & Trades – The Weaving Workshop Vēverīšas created the unique collection of folk costumes of Piebalga, gained prizes in global exhibitions.


Alba Iulia Municipality - the most interesting capital that you have never heard of!


Alba Iulia Municipality is included within the national heritage interest monuments being officially recognized as the Symbol of the Unification of the Romanian Nation. In the past few years the rehabilitation works of the Vauban Alba Carolina Citadel - for which more than 70 million Euros were invested - and the efforts carried out by Alba Iulia Municipality for enhancing the tourism potential and for increasing the visibility of the local heritage were appreciated at national and international level:
• In 2012 Alba Iulia Municipality – received the title of European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) ( A video was created within this program:
• In March 2013, Alba Iulia Municipality took the Jury's Special Mention Award from EUROPA NOSTRA Organisation which is the largest European Association focused on Tourism Conservation, a pan-European network composed of 250 member organisations (

Bison Land – Synergy between Natural, Cultural and Spiritual Values


The Vanatori Neamt Nature Park represents a unique place in Romania where nature, culture and spirituality are living together in peace and harmony. It is easily to understand why the reference area has attracted a long time a multitude of complex projects focusing on the nature conservation and sustainable development of local communities. The area is famous for the European bison reintroduction program. The presence of European bison represent a strong tourist interest, taking into consideration that the Park is the only place in Europe where the European bison can be found in freedom and in captivity and semifree conditions. The spiritual values of the area, closely related to Ortodox Christianity, represent the main tourist attraction, because in the area there are almost 40 churches, hermitages and monasteries. The mixture among natural, cultural and spiritual values of the Park are unique in Europa, we consider our „Bison Land" initiative a good practice regarding the sustainable development.

Water Castle - European Touristic Destination


"Modernization and preservation of Water Castle" was a project implemented in partnership by Drobeta Turnu Severin City Hall (Romania) and Negotin City Hall (Republic of Serbia), financed by the European Union with 955.681 euro through Romania - Republic of Serbia IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme. After a century of life, through the project described above, Water Castle reborn from the ashes and the local community receives new tasks that will help the city promote tourism through Info-center at a European level. Moreover, from 2012 Water Castle quenches a thirst for culture of the inhabitants by adapting, modernizing and transforming technological spaces into cultural spaces. This monument is nowadays opened for exhibition spaces, museum and recreation area that includes a café and a lookout point.

"The Glory Road of the Romanian Army during World War I"

South- East region


"Promotion of culinary & cultural tourism in the Dealu Mare Wine Area"
Buzau county, Muntenia/ Wallachia region


"Tirgu Mures cultural tourism destination"

Mures County Transylvania



Cantabria Paleolithic Rock Art Caves


Show caves with Paleolithic rock art in Cantabria: a model for sustainable tourism management

Cantabria houses in its underground hundreds of miles of subterranean galleries burrowed into limestone. 1,500 of these caves give shelter to archaeological sites, among which 65 with Paleolithic cave art are known, setting up one of the most important focus of Paleolithic cave art in the world. The number and excellent quality of these sites place the region in a prominent position in relation to one of the most important cultural manifestations in the history of mankind, and so it has been recognized by UNESCO, including ten caves from Cantabria in the World Heritage list. This major heritage asset is currently used partly as a tourism resource, with seven caves open to public visit. Tourist caves are managed by the regional administration following preventive conservation criteria and serving a "good practices" philosophy. The main aim is that human presence in the cavities not significantly alters a delicate environmental balance that has allowed the preservation of the artistic manifestations over millennia. To summarize the basic principles of management, the visit regime is adapted to the "carrying capacity" of the caves, defined by their micro environmental conditions, and the number of visitors is sized and handled according to the "management capacity", that is, human and material means available to the responsible administration. This makes possible to ensure the conservation and also to provide a satisfactory product for all types of tourists that make the visit enjoyable and relevant and encourage them to spread the universal values that hosts this underground treasure.



The "Way of Saint James in Catalonia for All" is part of the strategy of the Catalan Tourist Board for advocating ethical, sustainable and accessible tourism for mitigating seasonality and achieving balance across the regions. In particular, it seeks to facilitate accessibility to the Way of Saint James for all, thereby fostering the image of Catalonia as a destination committed to accessibility and which is well-prepared to receive all manner of tourists, including those with disabilities, reduced mobility or special needs.
The "Way of Saint James in Catalonia for All" is a benchmark initiative on a national and international level when it comes to implementing solutions to facilitate accessibility for all on this kind of itinerary or route, including those with disabilities or reduced mobility, especially the sensory impaired (the deaf and the blind).

Land of Counts and Abbots, Journey to the Origins of Catalonia


The project "Land of Counts and abbots, journey to the origins of Catalonia", that offers a journey through the cultural and natural heritage of the Ripollès region which, closely linked with the roots of Catalonia, shows the deep imprint left by history in a variety of places. Visitors to the zone will find heritage sites of worldwide renown, and three new interpretation centres built with this Project. The project includes 4 important cultural equipments/elements: Monastery of St. Mary of Ripoll (the most impressive Romanesque monuments around Catalunya, founded by Guifré el Pelós -Wilfred the Hairy- in 879. It contains a majestic sculptured portico dating back to the 12th century, also known as the "Stone Bible", and at the moment we are working to be declared World Heritage by UNESCO.); Monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses and the Abbey Palace (also founded by Guifré in the ninth century, this was Catalonia's first nunnery); the Montgrony Sanctuary (in an extraordinary setting on the outskirts of the village of Gombrèn); settings of Count Arnau (the Gombrèn museum, the Mataplana castle and in Sant Joan de les Abadesses, "The myth of Count Arnau Interpretation Centre" that reveals the history and legends of this count around the folklore, the literature and the music).

Hotel ESTELA BARCELONA – The Art Hotel


"Portalcaching Montseny trees", "Portalcaching 6 stumps and a hanged"

Viladrau village, Montseny, Catalonia


"Nordic cultural heritage across all boundaries: Development of Bohus fortress"

Bohus fortress, Kungälv, Västra Götaland


Valleys Regional Park ‘Heart and Soul Campaign’ 


"Valleys Regional Park (VRP) seeks to stimulate socio-economic regeneration through the specific investment in and promotion of the Valleys' natural resources and heritage. The Community Tourism Ambassador Programme works across the VRP to encourage community based tourism to support and develop Valleys Communities for the long term and support visitors. Although the region has a recent history of economic downturn and neglect, it is blessed with beautiful landscape, diverse natural environment, fascinating history, rich industrial heritage, distinctive culture and welcoming communities. The programme builds on these positive attributes to encourage tourism that helps to regenerate communities through a range of activities. It trains Community Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) (since 2011 over 400 individuals involved) to improve their customer service skills and enhance their knowledge of the attractions in their own communities. CTAs come from a variety of businesses and other community organisations; some are primarily visitor facing, others have specialised local interests. The programme aims to improve the visitor experience and increase local awareness and pride in community and regional attractions."

Application is closed!

AWARD leaflet 3-04-2014 final.pdf
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CHARTS Award 3-04-2014.pdf
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CHARTS Award 2014 Application Form 3-04-[...]
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