IMPACTOUR: Europa Nostra launches consultation on sustainable cultural tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has has led us all to realise how things we take for granted are vulnerable – even our liberty to move freely and our means to be part of society through employment or friendship. Travel is essential for the economy and leisure, so what might cultural heritage tourism look like after the pandemic? How can Europa Nostra contribute in these times of crisis?

The EU-funded project IMPACTOUR began in January 2020 with the aim of improving the performance of tourism in Europe, especially by supporting marginalised locations. However, in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the project has taken on a new urgency of purpose. In addition to the vital aim of building more sustainable tourism, now is added the urgent need to help rebuild local economies that have suffered from the impact of the health crisis and need help.

Greek Paths of Culture, Greece

In this context, Europa Nostra has launched on 1 April 2020 a consultation among its wide-ranging network of members, partners and laureates of the European Heritage Awards/ Europa Nostra Awards to ask for their input on good practice models of cultural heritage tourism, especially those from which others who need help can find inspiration and practical support. In these testing times, sharing experience can help others to plan for recovery.

Europa Nostra’s contribution to IMPACTOUR relies on its wide community of extraordinary collective diversity and experience. Across Europe, Europa Nostra has many inspiring stories to tell. These are stories of strengths and resilience, and of how adversity has been overcome; for every plea for help arising from the pandemic there will be someone who can share encouragement and a possible way forward.

In these times of lockdown, we are fortunate to have the internet and therefore the means to communicate with, share and support each other. We may not be able to travel but we can provide virtual help. Together we can make a positive impact: we encourage you to please read the Call for Help and respond in whatever way you can, ideally by Wednesday 8 April, but we are happy to hear from you also afterwards.

About IMPACTOUR

IMPACTOUR aims to create an innovative, easy-to-use methodology and tool to assess the impact of cultural tourism on Europe’s economic and social development, and to improve policies and practices in this field. Europa Nostra is among the 12 project partners who are working on this project between January 2020 and December 2022. IMPACTOUR is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

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