The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Council of Europe will work together to develop the opportunities tourism offers to local communities and enhance the tourist experience along the European region’s Cultural Routes.
According to an announcement by the UNWTO, the joint actions will be aimed at recognizing the added value that cultural routes offer for sustainable tourism development, cultural heritage safeguarding and intercultural dialogue.
The collaboration will further highlight the routes’ potential for advancing social, economic and cultural development, benefitting both Europe and its partner countries by strengthening cultural and historical ties.
Int’l Year of Creative Economy 2021
The two organizations will be collaborating first in the sphere of creative tourism, to showcase good practices in line with the International Year of Creative Economy 2021, and further promote destinations encompassed by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) of the Council of Europe.
“All along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to support jobs and create other development opportunities for communities. It is also a chance to protect and promote cultural heritage and celebrate creativity,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.
Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić also referred to the role of the program in promoting European cultural heritage.
“The Cultural Routes program plays an important role in the promotion of Europe’s rich cultural heritage, in addition to being an effective tool for fostering intercultural dialogue and transnational co-operation,” she said.
The partnership will also see UNWTO and the Council of Europe harness their individual expertise and technical capabilities to further develop Cultural Routes, through research, training and policymaking.
Special attention will be paid to the mapping of Cultural Routes and promoting greater accessibility for persons with disabilities and specific access requirements.