OBJECTIVE for the 2016 call under the theme CULTURAL TOURISM

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 16:45

General objective

The objective of the present invitation is to support National Tourism Administrations or the bodies designated by them for the purpose of the selection of new European Destinations of Excellence open to destinations of all COSME countries.

The theme

The Commission selected as theme of excellence for 2016 “Cultural Tourism”, based on discussions with the Member States and the Candidate countries, and general award criteria for the selection of Destinations of Excellence 2016 were accordingly defined.

Europe is a key cultural tourism destination, with a large number of major cultural sites and a strong flow of culturally-motivated international and domestic visitors. It is estimated that cultural tourism accounts for around 50% of all European tourism. The great variety of European cultural heritage – both tangible and intangible – represents an important competitive advantage. Furthermore, EU cultural heritage is a catalyst for creativity and growth. Cultural tourism generates new tourism flows, jobs, undertakings in the cultural and creative sectors not only in capital cities but also in rural and/or post-industrial areas helping to mitigate economic decline. Investing in cultural tourism is a way to ensure that benefits go to a wide range of SMEs and eventually all citizens.

In 2017 destinations which might be awarded are those which have developed a specific tourism offer based on their local tangible cultural assets (i.e. cultural-historical heritage or contemporary culture, such as traditional historical or archaeological monuments/sites, industrial sites, museums, theatres, galleries, contemporary architectural sites, modern urban districts, "ethnic pockets" of towns, etc).