Be.CULTOUR transversal innovation approaches

Be.CULTOUR has identified four transversal innovation approaches linked to the project’s objectives towards circular cultural tourism in the Pilot Heritage Sites, as well as four recent emerging trends in the visitor economy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIRCULAR TOURISM

Circular economy in the tourism sector is mainly linked to the reduction of the negative environmental externalities of the tourism industry, such as pollution and generation of waste, but it goes beyond this by embracing the wider notion of sustainability.

Circular economy models in the tourism sector are related to the effort for reducing wastes and natural resources consumption (energy, water, soil, biodiversity), enhancement of green transport means, recycling and reuse of materials and products, as well as the promotion of locally based food and craft products.

Moreover, circular models are related to the reduction of tourism pressure on over-exploited territories, overcoming mass tourism, seasonality and “stop-and-gotourism, promoting less-known and lesscrowded destinations, but also overcoming tourism dependency by diversifying the local economy and avoiding focusing on only one economic sector or tourism typology.

   

HUMAN-CENTRED, FAIR AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Human-centred services and products are generally linked to placing ‘real’ needs of people and communities at the centre of the design process, overcoming extreme standardisation and providing diverse, tailor-made experiences, considering the special needs of the person. This concept can be effectively applied to develop inclusive tourism services and products. For example, the concept of cultural tourism “for all” is based on inclusive products and services addressing people with special needs. Human-centred tourism is also based on the enhancement of human capital including skills and the entrepreneurial capacity, empowering local communities to take advantage of the benefit of sustainable tourism and enhancing local entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems through cultural tourism. From the point of view of tourism service providers, human-centred businesses are committed to respect human rights paying attention to tourism workers rights, and avoiding any exploitative measure of people in tourism-related activities. Finally, from the point of view of the visitor, the human-centred tourism is linked to fair and responsible tourism behaviour, paying attention to contributing to places sustainable development and avoiding exploitative behaviours.

CULTURAL EUROPEANISATION

The travel experience in Europe can be an opportunity to explore the extremely rich and diverse European culture, history and identity, promoting educational and recreational activities focusing on European identity, culture, history and values, as well as the development of European Cultural Routes and European Heritage Labels.

Cultural Europeanisation focuses on a shared sense of belonging based on the common history and cultures expressed in European tangible and intangible cultural heritage and landscapes.

SMART DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

ICT, AI, 5G and IoT systems can be used for better tourism flow management to avoid overcrowding, enhance accessibility and safety, and foster evidence-based policies to enhance local communities’ wellbeing, as well as the visitor experience. This includes the development of applications for enhanced travel experience, for example to visit less-known and less-crowded places, discovering ‘hidden treasures’ or accessing creative and unconventional guides to places. Through digital tools, visitors and residents can also be facilitated to become active actors of local sustainable development policies, expressing their preferences and needs and thus participating in enhancing local context, going beyond tourism by embracing regional/local sustainable development.

Innovation Areas

Be.CULTOUR innovation areas reflect potential unique selling points for the territories

Be.CULTOUR innovation areas reflect potential unique selling points for the territories:

In addition to the Innovation Areas highlighted in the pilot territories, Be.CULTOUR Consortium has identified a set of emerging trends that will be explored as potentially impact sectors for cultural tourism:

Promotion of authentic rural experiences in traditional cultural landscapes through homestay and hospitality in rural villages, stimulating relationships between citizens and visitors through their participation in traditional activities such as agricultural and landscape maintenance, crafts, etc.

Pilot: Larnaca, Cyprus

Transformative travel permanently affects you: it focuses on learning and educational experiences, self-reflection, self-discovery or re-discovery, and integrates the experiences enjoyed during the trip back into the visitor’s daily life back home. Travelling alone can be a way to develop confidence and new social skills. This is a growing tourism segment, including not only single millennials but even middle-aged people. However, women travelling alone or in small groups do not always feel safe and trustful of local people. This includes finding new ways for making women feel comfortable, find trustful local people, and develop soft skills through cultural tourism.