"European Cultural Routes" crossing several regions or countries is a good starting point to promote the variety and complexity of European cultural tourism offer. Cultural routes have a strong potential that is still mostly unexplored. They are both - transnational and representative of European common heritage and values. They are also regarded as being a sustainable, ethical and social model, because they are built on local knowledge, skills and heritage assets; they often promote lesser known European destinations. Moreover, 90% of their trails are in rural areas. Active cooperation with the Council of Europe, the European Travel Commission, UN World Tourism Organisation and other international partners is a contribution to further development of Pan-European Thematic Tourism Routes. At the time being there are 29 trans-national itineraries connecting several cities, villages, rural communities across the continent and representing Europe as a single tourism destination.


The last, 12th Thematic Workshop of CHARTS for exchange of experience between partners and experts on good practice ‘cultural routes’ took place on 28 – 29 November 2013, in Palma del Mallorca, Spain, all together 28 participants. Event was organised by project partner Consell de Mallorca, Spain, and strongly supplemented by technical visits.


In two days event there were demonstrations about hiking and cultural routes in Mallorca, UNESCO Cultural Landscape Serra de Tramuntana, ways to support services of cultural routes, cultural route of Soller train, Euroregion Mills Route, circular route ‘The Raven Walk’ in Wales, cultural routes in Veneto region, Greece and South-East Region of Bulgaria, pilgrim routes ‘St.Olav Ways’ in Scandinavia and transnational cultural routes in Europe.

The Workshop was strongly supplemented by technical visit at Dry Stone Route (GR221) which, as method, will be transferred to North Wales, UK and Vastra Gotaland region in Sweden.  

In the first day, participants had a guided tour to Modernism in Old Town, visited Palau Reial (Head Office of Consell de Mallorca) with reception of Catalina Soler, Councillor of Environment Department of Consell de Mallorca and one of the highest gothic cathedrals in Europe - Cathedral of Palma. Day was concluded with a guided visit to private exhibition of ethnological elements, agricultural and craft tools at Es Ramanya wine cellar with attendance of Mallorcan traditional dances show and dinner based on local products and recipes.

Participants had an opportunity to ride with centenary Train of Soller to Soller village – a successful example of how cultural tourism can contribute to the diversification of seasonal tourism with specialisation in hiking and cycling tourism.

Study visit continued at the Dry Stone Route GR 221where they saw the restoration works taking place in a ‘snow house’ carried out by dry stone wallers staff of Consell de Mallorca. The last visit was to the most important pilgrimage place in Mallorca - Llus Sanctuary, participants got to see a concert performed by children’s choir at the basilica of the sanctuary.




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Place marketing is particularly appropriate for places that are not so widely known, but have a rich cultural heritage and in particular - specialised cultural assets, such as industrial heritage, maritime heritage, local cuisine/products/gastronomy, sports events, leisure facilities and cultural festivals. It is an innovative tool for local authorities and agencies and it can also form the basis of a sustainable development strategy of an area.

The 11th Thematic Workshop on good practice related to ‘place marketing’ took place on 24 – 26 October 2014 in Pafos, Cyprus, supplemented by study visits at UNESCO sites in Pafos. Three days event was organised by project partner Pafos Regional Board of Tourism.

41 participants came together in order to exchange experience on Place Marketing Innovative Strategies based on cultural heritage, local distinctiveness and regional identity, branding procedures with culture and heritage synergies and marketing actions all year round for sustainable and cultural tourism development at destinations.


The depth and quality of the presentations have proven to be extremely helpful and encouraged the partners into further utilisation of place marketing in their regions. An opportunity to discuss the project development was raised during the sessions this day and many benefits were gained through the exchange of ideas, good practices and experiences. 

Workshop was concluded with a commitment from relevant project partners to start the transfer of place marketing strategy in Mallorca region in order to promote Dry Stone Rout GR221 and possibly in South-East region in Bulgaria based on the good practice experience of Pafos region.


On the next day, Thematic Workshop was extended in ‘experience economy’ with a Conference “Cultural tourism in the experience economy”.

Experience Economy” is defined as the interactions between related industries, notably cultural and creative industries, leisure and sport, tourism, entertainment and eco-industries. 

European Commission opened Public consultation on the "Experience Economy" as an emerging industry from 12/07/2013 to 31/10/2013. Public consultation was opened for all citizens and organisations in order to better understand the relevance of setting up specific policy initiatives related to the “Experience Economy” and how to support the development of new industrial value chains. 

The Conference brought together two European Capitals of Culture (ECoC)- Sibiu 2007, Pafos 2017 and one candidate on ECoC - Burgas 2019, together with external experts. They presented and exchanged their experiences with the ECoC at various stages: ex-post evaluation, ex-ante in preparation and in bidding process.

In the conference especially emphasized was the contribution of cultural tourism to the ‘experience economy’, challenges and possibilities for the cultural tourism sector with open discussions. 


Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for Culture, has sent a video message to the delegates of the International Conference

She emphasized that cultural tourism has huge potential for developing experience economy, stimulating regional growth, creates connections between cultural and creative industries and cultural heritage and tourism promoting innovative business models. 


Three days event was concluded with study visits UNESCO sites in Pafos. The study visits included St. Paul’s pillar and Church which has been upgraded partially by an EU funded initiative in the past. The other sites visited was the archaeological park where a tourist guide presented to the participants the importance of the park to the city both from an academic point of view, as well as from a tourist perspective. Participants also visited an open air theatre which is the biggest in Cyprus and excavation is still in progress. 


Partners renewed their appointment for the next CHARTS event to be held on 28 – 29 November 2014 in Mallorca, Spain on good practice ‘cultural routes’. This event will be the last Thematic Workshop of the project.



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Message from Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for Culture, to the delegates of the International Conference with the theme: "Cultural Tourism in the Experience Economy"

TWO THEMATIC WORKSHOPS and meeting of two European Capitals of Culture held in Latvia


The thematic workshop on good practices related to ‘visitor information’ and ‘cycling for tourists’ with study visits at five tourism information centres took place on 9 - 10 September 2013, in Vidzeme region, Latvia. Event was hosted by the project partner Vidzeme Tourism Association, Latvia. 37 participants came together in order to exchange experiences on these topics related to good practices particularly for tourism destinations among project partners together with two experts from Latvia: Mr. Armands Slokenbergs, Director of Latvian Tourism Development Agency and Mrs. Aiva Rozenberga, Head of European Cultural Capital Riga 2014 Foundation.


Workshop was concluded with the commitment of Lead Partner to start pilot implementation of visitor information centre in South Pelion Municipality, and commitment of Pafos to implement bike schemes in Pafos for visitors based on the good practices experience of Vidzeme Tourism Association in Latvia.


Events were supplemented by study visits at varied objects in Vidzeme.

Visits started with optional tour to “Banitis Festival” – 110 Anniversary celebration of Gulbene – Alūksne Narrow gauge railway Bānītis. Participants had a chance to learn about history, technical parameters about narrow gauge railway and experience retro musical and theatrical performances in the Bānītis itself. Study visit continued in UNESCO World Heritage site Riga Old Town – Historic centre of Riga which consists of three elements: the medieval Old City, the 19th century semi-circle of boulevards and the 18th and 19th century former suburban quarters lying outside the boulevards, with a chequerboard layout.

Other study visits were at Cesis Tourism Information Centre (TIC), Sigulda TIC, Turaida TIC, Saulkrasti TIC, Limbazi TIC, Turaida Museum Reserve, Cycling museum in Saulkrasti and Silver Museum in Limbazi. Participants had the opportunity to take a cycling tour in Saulkrasti city and participated in the medieval programme at the Castle in Cesis.


In the end, Partners renewed their appointment for the next CHARTS event to be held on 24 – 26 October 2013 in Pafos, Cyprus, on good practice ‘place marketing’ for cultural tourism destinations. This thematic workshop will be extended to the International Conference on ‘Cultural Tourism in the Experience Economy’ on 25th October.


On 11 September 2013 in Riga, the Organization "Cultural Capital of Europe Pafos 2017" met “Foundation Riga 2014” in order to share experience and discuss on organisational matters with particular reference to the idea of ‘Open Air Factory’.  The meeting took place within the frame of CHARTS INTERREG IVC project, arranged by Latvian partner Vidzeme Tourism Association. Representatives of both organisations shared their experiences regarding organizational matters, relations with local authorities and central government, funding issues from various sources and practical organization of artistic activities. They are agreed that they would develop more relationships with each other, via interactions and posts on the websites of the two organizations and frequent contacts on both sides.

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Three thematic workshops on good practices related to ‘local products and gastronomy’, ‘traditional skills and trades’, as well as ‘railway heritage preservation and promotion’, with five study visits, took place on 7 – 10 June 2013 in South Pelion Municipality, Greece, organised in the frame of the INTERREG IVC project CHARTS.


It was the first time when Lead Partner of CHARTS project Municipality of South Pelion organised and hosted thematic workshops, as extraordinary events for CHARTS project implementation, in order to exchange experience on these topics of good practices in cultural tourism particularly for tourism destinations among project partners. These topics were in addition to those originally planned.


The thematic workshops were held in Milies, the cultural capital of South Pelion, and started with welcome by Kostas Papamarkakis - Chairman of Municipal Council of South Pelion, Athanassios Fleris - Deputy Mayor of South Pelion, Kostas Chalevas - President of the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) and Regional Councillor of Thessalia Region Authority. The Project Coordinator Manos Vougioukas introduced to participants the CHARTS project, objectives, approach, actions and achievements, results todate and next events in future till project completion in 2014.


The first workshop day on Friday 7 June was dedicated to ‘local products and gastronomy’ as intangible heritage. Penelope Nompilaki, representative of Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) based in Athens introduced participants with Greek Cuisine and special quality label for Greek Cuisine which have been establish by GNTO in collaboration with the federation of the catering business. She outlined that the goal of this initiative was the reinforcement of the cultural resources in Greece.


Afterwards, Athina Argyropolou presented ‘The Olive and Olive Oil Museum’ at Ano Gatzea in Mount Pelion established and operated by the NGO “Pelion Oros” which organizes museum-based educational programs for schools and students in order to make closer contact with Pelion agricultural-traditional culture around the cultivation and use of olives as a local product heritage. Olives and olive oil has important contribution to health and life, since ancient times.


Enni Levendi, journalist and author, presented her book “the cuisine of centaurs” with 80 traditional Pelion recipes what was written with a personal wish to discover homeland through the variety of flavours and preserve traditional Pelion cuisine. Promoting local cuisine and gastronomy as intangible heritage is a good practice within CHARTS project.


On behalf of project partner IBERTUR/University of Barcelona the Catalan Culinary heritage safeguarding project was presented as a method how to include regional Cuisine in the List of UNESCO Intangible Heritage.


Dimitris Vassiliadis and Areti Prinou, representatives of GNTO presented ‘Wine routes’ as wine tourism and a special form of agrotourism and the ‘routes of Olive tree’ as an instrument for promotion of local economies. The olive tree heritage was promoted through cultural activities, support of thematic tourism in the olive oil producing areas and sensitization of consumers and young people on the nutritional value of olive tree products and the advantages of the Mediterranean diet across Europe.


The workshop was closed by Mr Apostolos Papatolias - General Secretary of Regional Authorities Union of Greece, who stressed that regional authorities look out for results of cooperation projects such as CHARTS. In particular, the project events in South Pelion can contribute to the development of a common cultural identity based on day to day activities, such as local products and gastronomy, traditional skills and trades as well as exploiting unique features of regions such as railway heritage for cultural tourism. Furthermore, the way culture and heritage can contribute to sustainable regional development through cultural tourism is very important for the creation of a new development culture that may help particularly in getting out from the current deep economic crisis. The results of the CHARTS project events will be very useful to the Regional Authorities Union of Greece and will contribute to the promotion of European regions in terms of cultural tourism as a lever of sustainable development. The development of regional airports with direct flights is also important for the promotion of cultural tourism.


The next day, Saturday 8 June, was dedicated to study visits in Koropi on traditional skills and trades with display of horse shoeing, saddle making and local gastronomy with display of Pelion cuisine and tasting, traditional dish recipes prepared by two Women Cooperatives of Trikeri and Vizitsa villages in South Pelion Municipality. Participants had the opportunity to experience horse riding organised by the ‘Horse & Nature Society of Milies’, which was also opened to local children to familiarise them with traditional skills and trades around horse keeping and riding. The day’s events were concluded with traditional music and dancing by folk groups.


In second day of study visits on Sunday 9 June participants had a study trip by traditional boat to traffic free Old Trikeri island, where they were welcomed by the Mayor of South Pelion Mr Nicolaos Fortounas who gave a guided tour to the island’s heritage assets. Participants visited the Monastery of the Virgin Mary that has been built by the local residents and attracts pilgrimage tourism. Later on, they tasted local cuisine of Old Trikeri island based on freshly caught seafood.


The last day Monday 10 June was dedicated to thematic Workshops on ‘Traditional skills and Trades for Cultural Tourism Development’ and ‘Railway Heritage Preservation and Promotion for cultural and special interest tourism’. It started with Pelion Heritage Railway study trip (Ano Lechonia – Milies route) with stop at Ano Gatzea station for technical visit to “Olive and Oil Museum”. The Pelion Heritage Railway celebrates this year its 110 years anniversary of the completion of the narrow gauge line to Milies, the same as the ‘Banitis’ Gulbene-Aluksne Railway on Vidzeme, Latvia, where Vidzeme Tourism Association is a partner in the CHARTS project.


In the afternoon, Conny Boersma, ECTN expert from Zeeland province, the Netherlands, presented Maritime Heritage, preserving heritage, motives to develop traditional maritime skills. She outlined solutions to sustain the Maritime heritage. Astra Binde, representative of Vidzeme Tourism Association, Latvia presented traditional skills and crafts in Ape Municipality. Discussion followed between the partners from Vastra Gotaland Region – Sweden, Mallorca - Spain and Wales – UK on exchange and potential transfer of good practices.


The rest of the last day was devoted to on ‘Railway Heritage Preservation and Promotion for Cultural & Special Interest Tourism’. Yiannis Antoniadis, Chief Engineer of Helenic Railways Organization OSE presented the Volos-Pelion Railway Restoration Works on steam locomotives and wagons, tracks, bridges and buildings. Andris Biedrins, representative of Industrial Heritage Trust in Latvia introduced participant with the only operational narrow gauge railway in the Baltics “Gulbene – Aluksne Railway - Banitis” which is both local transport and tourist’s attraction with many activities for tourists. Kostas Petrakis, expert of CHARTS project MCU, Greece, presented Greek Heritage Railway potential for tourism with experience and case studies in Greece.


In total, six project partners were represented:  Vidzeme Tourism Association - Latvia, Consell de Mallorca - Spain, Welsh Government CADW - UK, Vastra Gotaland Region - Sweden, European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) - Belgium, Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) together with Municipality of South Pelion from Greece.


The five Study Visits were: Vizitsa village (local architecture and women’s cooperative), Koropi (traditional skills for horse riding and local cuisine displays), Old Trikeri island (religious tourism and local gastronomy), Pelion Heritage Railway (110 years anniversary of Ano Lechonia-Milies line) and Olive & Oil Museum at Ano Gatzea.


The partners renewed their appointment for the next project event to be held in Vidzeme, Latvia, on good practice topics of ‘Visitor Information’ and ‘Cycling for Tourists’ in September 2013.


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The thematic workshop related to quality criteria with study visits took place on 29th April – 1st May in Göteborg (Sweden), hosted by the project partner  Västra Götaland Region Authority, Sweden. There, 35 participants came together in order to exchange experience on workshop`s topic for cultural tourism destinations together with Mrs. Krisztina Boros, Policy Officer of European Commission who presented the work on EU Tourism Policy Actions.


The first workshop day, 29 April, was opened by Mr.Lars Nordström, Vice president of the Cultural Committee of Region Västra Götaland. He stressed the importance of international relations within the cultural area and underlined the danger of being too sure about what quality is. He said: “We cannot always know what the future will consider as high quality and subsequently, it is crucial to be open to new impulses and always keep an open attitude”.


Mr. Manos Vougioukas, project Coordinator welcomed participants and introduced the CHARTS project, objectives, approach, actions and achievements so far and the forthcoming program up to 2014. He reminded about the Göteborg Declaration of Environment in 2001 and said, that if we will be as successful this time, quality criteria will, through ECTN, hopefully be on the EU agenda from next year.


The workshop was led by Mr. Bo Bergman, Professor of Quality Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg. He introduced the workshop on quality improvement and the method of emotional mapping by underlining the fact that improvement is the most important aspect of quality and without continuous improvement, all labels and quality assessments are of no use. He said that our own experience – as visitors and customers is the most important starting point for quality improvement. To make his point clear, Bo Bergman asked the audience, forming five different groups, to make an emotional mapping about their travelling to Göteborg – what were their feelings when they prepared for the visit to Gothenburg, when they travelled, and when they arrived. By doing this, he stressed the importance of using a customer perspective in developing quality criteria.


Mr. Peter Cole, expert from European Cultural Tourism Network gave his opinion about how to measure the quality of cultural destinations. He said that developing quality criteria is far more important than destination management and marketing. 


Mrs. Kaisa Kutilainen, representative of Turku Museum Centre presented Quality programme for cultural tourism destinations `Culture Destination Quality Net (DQN®` based on three dimensions (education, research, development) and worked in three levels (organizational, locally, nationally). She introduced with Quality programme Q1000 for tourism companies, research with focus on customers and their needs and model for quality development  in destinations.


Mr. Robert Cullen presented fully integrated advisory system that offers quality assurance from a guest and sustainability perspective - Quality Assurance System `Swedish Welcome` developed by The West Sweden Tourist Board. He pointed out that the customers tend to be more critical than the providers expect and the assurance system made the providers aware of this fact.


The following day, April 30, workshop started with the emotional mapping of guided visits in the first workshop day and moderated by B.Bergman. Every group had to write down their emotions during the walk and the study visits – how they felt and why. Then every group discussed the sheets, as if they were the providers. Finally, the workshop ended up with an open discussions around the need for developing a creative and dynamic destination development, where the customer’s and resident’s points of view are important.


Mrs.Krisztina Boros, Policy Officer of European Commission, presented the work with creating tools for EU Tourism Policy Actions in order to improve service and products quality and sustainability,European Label for Tourism Quality Schemes in order to improve service quality and sustainability and European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS) for sustainable destinations. She stressed that ETIS is anindicator-based management system designed for monitoring, managing and enhancing the sustainability of a destinations for all types of European tourism destinations.


Representatives of The Greek National Tourism Organization, introduced with its contribution to cultural tourism of Greece.


In the end of workshop, M.Vougioukas outlined the next step for the transfer of good practice of quality criteria and stressed the importance of adopting the quality criteria in order to reach a concrete and measurable impact. Wales, Romania and Latvia are the recipients of the methods of quality criteria and expressed their ideas about how they will use the tools: Wales claimed that they will undertake some emotional mapping together with tourism partners. Latvia will do a pilot during the year and Romania will try to apply the mapping on the Sibiu region and Mosna. Bulgaria also expressed their interest in applying the tools for quality improvement.


Workshop was closed by Mr.Kostas Chalevas, President of ECTN – European Cultural Tourism Network. He outlined that CHARTS project  partners and ECTN members have a wealth of material to work on exchanging good practice on quality criteria in cultural tourism and in particular destinations and to start the process of transfer of good practice for the benefit of visitors and citizens who rely on sustainable development of tourism.


The Workshop was supplemented by Study Visits to Gothenburg Museum of Art (with special focus on the 20th century’s collection of modernism), Gothenburg Art Gallery (with open discussions on the important role of contemporary art), the Museum of World Culture (with focus on the commercial culture), Gothenburg opera, The Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn (awarded the “Museum of the Year” in 2010, participating in the programme of Swedish Welcome) and the Herring Museum on the island of Klädesholmen.


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Workshop took a place on 28 – 29 March 2013 in Sibiu, Romania. It was hosted by the project partner NIRDT – National Institute for Research and Development in Tourism in close collaboration with the Sibiu Regional Eco-museum Association and Sibiu Tourism County Association.
There, 44 participants came together in order to exchange experience and examine approaches to responsible tourism and safeguarding heritage, cultural expressions and identities that engage with communities through partnerships between communities and cultural organizations/associations and through full community stewardship.


Mr.Ovidiu Teodorescu, the General Manager of NIRDT (Romania), welcomed the participants and underlined that the Sibiu region was chosen in order to represent Romania in this project, as it can represent a good model for other areas and communities. Then, welcome remarks were also expressed by Mr. Ioan Cindrea, the President of the Sibiu County Council (Romania), Mr. Kostas Papamarkakis, the Chairman of South Pelion Municipal Council (Greece) and Mr.Constantinos Chalevas, the President of European Cultural Tourism Network (Greece). In the end of Opening Plenary session Project Coordinator, Mr. Manos Vougioukas (Greece) provided participants with overview of CHARTS project, achievements so far and initiatives that will take place in the next project periods.


Second session was divided in the three parts and dedicated on the project partners experience in the workshop's topic by presentations. This session was moderated by Mr.Vasile Crisan, Honorary President of the Sibiu Regional Eco-Museum Association, Director (2003-2009) of the Sibiu Culture and National Culture Patrimony County Department (Romania).

Number of project partners and participants each presented good practices.

  • „Visiting Places with Local Faces" by Mr.Joseph Newbury, Community Tourism Development Officer in the Valleys Regional Park (Wales, UK). He presented how the Valleys Regional Park project is developing community tourism through an innovative training programme and how the training has helped local people by improving their job prospects, developed links between the public, private and voluntary sectors and has enhanced the tourism offer.
  • "LAB PATC – Laboratory of Heritage and Cultural Tourism" by Víctor Fraile López, Projects Coordinator of University of Barcelona (Spain). He presented the LAB PATC, who is an innovative initiative, created under CHARTS project and promoted by a multidisciplinary group of professionals, researchers, educators, consultants, postgraduate students and PhD candidates linked to the University of Barcelona.
  • "Cultural tourism in a labelled Barcelona" by Mr.Amilcar Vargas, Researcher of University of Barcelona (Spain). He presented cultural heritage in Barcelona by showing many reasons to visit Barcelona.

Second part of session was dedicated on European Capital of Culture experiences, impacts and plans.

  • "Sibiu, after the European Cultural Capital 2007" by Mr. Ilie Rotariu, Professor Phd., Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (Romania). He presented the preliminary findings concerned to the impact on major stakeholders and focused on the main goals of the event: image of Sibiu, economic, social and cultural impact, results of renovation's works with effects on local pride, implication of local authorities. He said that one of the most immediate impacts of the increased visibility of Sibiu was a greater flow of domestic and international tourists.
  • "Pafos 2017 – European Capital of Culture" by Mr.M.Vougioukas. He presented a bid of Pafos – European Capital of Culture in 2017 and stressed on the main characteristic of the Pafos candidacy - Pafos 2017 Motto "Linking continents, Bridging cultures".
  • "Burgas – Candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019" by Ms. Silvia Nestrova and Mr.Kamer Ahmedov, representatives of Union of South-East Region Local Authorities (USERLA, Bulgaria). They are presented concept and campaign with focus on the city and region of Burgas as a major European cultural centre.

Third part of the second workshop session was dedicated on good practices identified in Romania with engaging host communities and responsible tourism.

  • Ms. Simina Manea, Director of the Sibiu County Tourism Association presented the CERTESS INTERREG IVC PROJECT – Cultural European Routes: Transfer Experiences, Share Solutions as the Sibiu County Tourism Association being a partner in this project.
  • Mr. Mihai Dragomir, project expert at the Mioritics Association, presented the good practice"The responsible tourism along the fortified churches".
  • Mr. Marius Halmaghi, the President of the Sibiu Regional Eco-Museum Association focused on the eco-museum, as an instrument of local development. He presented project "Sibiu Regional Ecomuzeu" which supports six rural authorities and communities in the order to save cultural and natural heritage with competitive products, creating a quality travel offers, shaping specific identity to the territory by involving local communities.
  • Ms. Caroline Fernolend, the Vice-president of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, presented MIHAI EMINESCU TRUST Foundation and its Whole Village Project what works by "adopting" an entire village community, assessing its various problems, needs and trying to identify integrated solutions.
  • Ms. Maria-Mihaela Antofie, professor at the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, highlighted that to reveal some major components of the traditional knowledge taken into consideration by the Eco-museum Sibiu in order to underline the real needs for further development and to further integrating them into their concept.
  • The last speaker, Mr. Ben Mehedin from the ADEPT Foundation presented"The involvement of local communities in the capitalisation of the gastronomy patrimony". He pointed out that some of the most important high nature farmed landscapes in Europe are found in Romania.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to activity and exchange among the participants themselves and started with a short video presentation about the most important theoretical issues on Responsible Tourism by Mr. Pavlos Arvanitis, Researcher at The University of Aegean (Greece). Divided into two groups, they discussed:


A: "Active participation of host communities in cultural tourism product development and delivery" moderated by M.Antofie (Romania). The project partners from Latvia, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Wales shared with others the most pressing challenges in their regions and possible solutions to these challenges mainly in the field of rural development for responsible tourism.
B: „Responsible tourism – modality to discover and respect the community way of life" moderated by M.Vougioukas. The project partners from Romania and Bulgaria discussed on the responsible tourism with focus on the issues of a partnership between visitors and residents.


The press conference was held during the first day of the workshop. The press was represented by Mr. Suptirelu from Star Sibiu newspaper that had two interlocutors - Mr. M.Vougioukas and Mrs. Ieva Treija, Communication Manager of the CHARTS Project


The first day of the workshop ended with a walking tour of Sibiu City – Historical Centre, guided by Mr. Răzvan Pop, Director of the Sibiu County Department for Culture (Romania). On the next day participants visited Biertan village, Biertan local municipality and the Biertan Fortified Church which is a historic monument included on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Later participants visited The Sibiu County Ecomuseum and Alma Vii village in Mosna.


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Workshop was held in Burgas (Bulgaria) on the 6 – 7 December 2012 hosted by the USERLA – Union of South-East Region Local Authorities, Bulgaria.

In this workshop 25 project partners and experts came together in order to examine good practice on building effective partnerships at the destination level between cultural and tourism sector,s to improve the offer and to develop innovative pilot projects that encourage visitors to stay longer and engage with local culture and heritage by involving stakeholders from the public, the private and voluntary sector.

Workshop was opened with speech of welcome by Deputy Mayor of Burgas Municipality and Secretary of USERLA in Bulgaria, Ms. Atanaska Nikolova and speeches by Council Chairman of South Pelion Municipality, Mr.Kostas Papamarkakis and ECTN President (from Jan 2013) and President of EKPOL (Social & Cultural Council of Thessalia Region Authority) in Greece, Mr.Kostas Chalevas.

Project Coordinator, Mr.Manos Vougioukas presented CHARTS project objectives, project past and future project activities and transferring process of good practice from the one partner to other partner's region.
CHARTS Project Communication Manager and Public Relation specialist of Vidzeme Tourism Association in Latvia, Ms.Ieva Treija-Moraitis presented EU Tourism Policy (COM 352) with links to project CHARTS.


Session 2 was dedicated on experiences with effective partnerships within project composed by following initiatives:

  • USERLA Organization and Achievements
  • Partnership as a key factor to integrated approach and sustainable tourism by Atanaska Nikolova, Deputy Mayor of Burgas Municipality, Secretary of USERLA, Bulgaria
  • Tourism sector partnerships by Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, Director of Pafos Regional Board of Tourism , Cyprus
  • Effective partnerships in Vidzeme by Janis Sijats, specialist at Vidzeme Tourism Association, Latvia
  • Tourism development, effective partnerships and regional airports by Pavlos Arvanitis, Researcher at the University of the Aegean, Greece

Session 3 was dedicated experience of USERLA members municipalities on effective partnerships by following presentations:

  • Burgas: Candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019: effective partnerships – the way to success by Kristina Valcheva, senior expert of "Public Relations", Burgas Municipality, Bulgaria
  • Tourism development and experience in Sliven municipality by Krasimir Marchev, Chief Expert of "Projects, programs and economic development", Sliven Municipality, Bulgaria
  • Effective Partnerships for Regional Development Project by Reni Andonova, Chief Expert of "Sustainable Development and Eurointegration" Department, Stara Zagora Municipality, Bulgaria
  • "The masquerade festival Kukerlandia- symbol of Yambol traditions around the world: culture partnerships" by Galina Karadzhova, Junior Expert of "Strategies and programs"Directorate, Yambol Municipality, Bulgaria

Seminar was closed with "Effective partnerships Café" for stakeholders from Bulgaria and Greece and with good practice transferring from one partner to other partner region on effective partnerships models through discussions and final conclusions.


In two days participants had guided tours in the local events regarding St Nicolas Day with a lecture on the topic "Cultural, historical and tourist attractions of the city Burgas". During workshop participants had technical visits to Poda Protected Area and UNESCO Heritage city Nessebar.


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Workshop was held in Tullamore, Ireland on 12 – 13 November 2012 and was hosted by the Midland Regional Authority, Ireland.

Workshop involved 41 project partners and experts together in order to examine good practice on physical and intellectual accessibility to heritage, how to preparing accessibility to heritage for tourism destinations and heritage assets, as well to assess the scope to transfer theses practices to other partner region.

Workshop was opened with speeches of welcome by Chairman of Offaly Council, Member of the Midland Regional Authority and Manager of Mid Ireland Tourism, Mr.Peter Ormond, Director of Midland Regional Authority, Ms.Ruth McNally. Council Chairman of South Pelion Municipality, Mr.Kostas Papamarkakis. He talked about challenges and prospects on accessibility to heritage and South Pelion experience in it. He highlighted that for cultural areas the increase of accessibility is related to an increase of "understanding", as well as in the context of tourism an essential factor is that of "multilingualism" and that "Planning for All" is of great importance for culture and tourism.

After workshop opening Project Coordinator, Mr.Manos Vougioukas presented CHARTS project, objectives, past and future project activities. Also, he explained transferring process of good practice from the one partner to other partner's region.
Director of EKPOL – Social and Cultural Council, Region of Thessaly in Greece, Dimitris Apostolou, presented project CLEAR – Cultural Values and Leisure Environments Accessible Roundly – For All.


The first day of workshop was composed from following initiatives:
• Creativity is the key to understanding: Experiences with media to connect with audiences by Director of CADW, Ms Marilyn Lewis and Head of Interpretation of CADW, Mr. David Penberthy
• Placebooks: The Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Collaborative Tools for the creation of, and Access to, Digital Cultural Tourism Resources by expert of ECTN, Tom Pert
• The Pilgrim's Path Project 2000-2012 by Heritage Officer, Offaly County Council from Ireland, Amanda Pedlow
• Tillgänglighets Databasen - Access to Public Institutions by Expert of Västra Götaland in Sweden, Åsa Kågeson


The second day of workshop was closed with good practice transferring from one partner to other partner region on accessibility to heritage through discussions and final conclusions.


In two days of workshop participants had guided technical visits to Offaly Historical Society, Lock House, Tullamore Dew Visitor centre, Abbeyleix Library and Lough Boora Parklands with 10 km bike ride.


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Technical visit on railway heritage was held on the 25 September 2012 in the North Wales, UK and was hosted by the CADW Welsh Government, UK with ECTN assistance. Number of participants has reached its 12 participants of project partners.

Technical visit involved together partners from Wales, Greece, Latvia and Romania having narrow gauge railways in their regions and experts on railway heritage.

A day long visit was composed from journey with Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway, visit in Boston Lodge Works with talks about company operation, provided services for engines and rolling stocks, building new carriages, repair and major refurbishment of existing engines and building new engines by General Manager of Boston Lodge Works, Paul Lewin. Journey was closed by discussions on the marketing and commercial aspects with Commercial Manager of Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, Clare Britton.


Technical visit was organized by project partner Welsh Assembly Government, UK with ECTN assistance.


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Workshop on climate change was held with success in Conwy, North Wales, UK on 24th September 2012 and was hosted by the Welsh Government CADW.


Workshop involved together 29 participants of project partners and experts to examine good practice on climate change, how to preparing impacts of climate change on tourism destinations and heritage assets, as well to assess the scope to transfer theses practices to other partner region.

Workshop was opened with speeches of welcome by Director of CADW, Marilyn Lewis , Mayor of Conwy, Councillor, Cedric Rigal and the Chair of the Municipal Council of South Pelion, Mr Kostas Papamarkakis, who highlighted the challenges posed by extreme climatic conditions.

After workshop opening Project Coordinator, M.Vougioukas introduced participants with an overview of the CHARTS project objectives and process of good practice transferring from the one partner to other partner's region.


One day seminar composed from following initiatives:
• Climate Change & Tourism Overview by Nigel Adams, ECTN
• Impact of Climate Change and Measures to minimise the impact of Climate Change in the Historic Buildings of Wales by John Edwards, Assistant Director Properties in care
• Preparing for Climate Change in the Historic Environment by Jill Bullen, Senior Landscape Specialist, Countryside Council For Wales
• The National Trust Approach in preparing for Climate Change by Paul Southall, National Trust
• The Offaly 3D Laser scanning project – Recording of Carved Stone by Amanda Pedlow, Heritage Officer, Offaly County Council, Ireland
• The role of Destination Management In preparing tourism destinations for climate change: The Welsh model by Peter Cole, Regional Strategy Director, Capital Region Tourism and ECTN Board Member
• Achieving effective destination management on the ground by George Brookes, Destination Manager, Conwy County Borough Council


Good practice on climate change was exchanged from one partner to other partner region during four specially organized discussion groups on:
• Mitigation measures to reduce carbon emissions
• Adapting to the direct impact of climate change
• Achieving "buy in" to a partnership approach
• Implementation


Workshop was closed with a guided tour of Conwy Castle and visitor centre.


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