The COVID-19 emergency has hit all sectors hard, no countries excluded, forcing governments to enact restrictions on travel and free movement.
This summer, many have given up their holidays in exotic locations to rediscover cultural heritage in their own city. The sudden drop in international tourist numbers has caused huge economic losses, putting the entire sector at risk, especially in terms of job losses.
At the same time, the destinations most reliant on tourism in terms of employment and economic growth are likely the most affected.
The pandemic also threatens wildlife conservation initiatives and the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage.
In this context, we must rethink the future of tourism by converting the social, cultural and economic value of the sector into initiatives contributing to sustainable development and promoting social solidarity.
Development through tourism can keep rural communities alive and be a lifeline for those young people who decide to invest time and resources in their territory.
With our projects, we want to support the recovery of the sector and contribute to the upskilling of professionals, encouraging the rediscovery of the roots and cultural blends that characterize our heritage.
Below are just some of our initiatives related to the world of tourism.
ECHO-Tourism – Sustainable development in the tourism sector
The ECHO-Tourism project aims to inform and train operators in the tourism sector (tourist services, accommodation and all other facilities) focusing on strengthening their knowledge in the field of ecotourism and sustainable tourism. During the project, we will focus on enhancing good practices and environmental monitoring systems related to ecotourism and the management of tourist services in general. We will work on the creation of online training modules, in the form of MOOC, to improve theoretical knowledge on ecosustainability issues. This online training modules will be followed by practical advices, the “Ecogesture guides” on how to reduce energy consumption and waste, thus thinking on small activities and daily gestures, to be adopted by both tourism professionals and tourists.
Metropolis – Hidden potential of cultural heritage
Inspired by the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the Erasmus+ project Metropolis aims to educate youngsters about the employment potential of post-industrial areas, through a rediscovery of their glorious past. The project combines the valorisation of local cultural heritage with the analysis of new opportunities in the present. To achieve these goals, interactive city maps were created to guide users along the principal places of local industrial heritage.
ouRoute – A new generation of cultural heritage ambassadors
The main objective of the European project ouRoute is to allow high school students to know their tangible cultural heritage (museums, works of art, artistic and architectural heritage) and intangible (customs, traditions, folklore, dialects etc.), rediscovering its origins and specificities. Students from Italy, Portugal and Spain are engaged in a series of cultural workshops, as well as in a field research through the organization of focus groups and interviews with local artisans and artists. During the project, students will also be involved in the production of videos, in order to participate in an international competition about city’s cultural heritage. The resources will soon be available on: https://ouroute.eu/resources/?lang=it.