Innovative approaches to urban and regional development through cultural tourism

What is it about?

Although cultural tourism by its nature invites cross-border regional and local cooperation, its full innovation potential in this respect is not yet fully explored and exploited. The level of development of cultural tourism between certain regions and sites is still unbalanced, with deprived remote, peripheral or deindustrialized areas lagging behind whereas high demand areas being overexploited in an unsustainable manner. There is also a significant knowledge gap in terms of availability of both quantitative and qualitative data on the phenomenon of cultural heritage tourism and on understanding its contribution towards cultural Europeanisation and economic and social development in Europe.


Proposals should comparatively assess how the presence, development, decline or absence of cultural tourism has affected the development of European regions and urban areas. They should investigate motives for cultural tourism and assess the effectiveness and sustainability of multilevel strategies, policies, trends and practices in attracting, managing and diversifying cultural tourism in Europe in view of identifying best practices that should be communicated to policymakers and practitioners. This should include considerations of specific strategies to promote cultural tourism at a regional, national and European level, including the use of structural investment funds where appropriate.

Minority cultures and regions, as well as urban areas currently less attractive to cultural tourism, should receive special attention. Historical perspectives, as well as comparison with lessons learned at the international level on the emergence of particular forms of cultural tourism or reasons for cultural tourism in particular areas, should also be investigated. Innovative methods and techniques, including statistical tools and indicators, for measuring and assessing various practices and impacts of cultural tourism should be developed and tested.

Proposals should also deploy place-based and participatory approaches to investigate the relation between intra-European cultural tourism and Europeanisation and whether it impacts identities and belonging.

Expected Impact:

The action will improve policies and practices on cultural tourism at various levels. It will also provide strategic guidance at European level concerning the efficient use of European Structural Investment Funds. In addition, it will contribute to the establishment of partnerships between public and private stakeholders in this area. Creation of innovative quantitative/statistical as well as qualitative tools and methods will improve available data on and understanding of the impact of cultural tourism on European economic and social development and on cultural Europeanisation.

Deadline: 14 March 2019

Available call budget in EUR: 9,000,000

In the same framework, iED has already implemented several innovative projects which included innovative practices.  If you are interested in applying for this call you could contact us and further discuss the available options.

Contact us

Do you want to write for us? Read our guest post guidelines here!

Vasiliki Soumpenioti
Proposal Writer