Local communities and cultural heritage preservation are at the centre and constitute key ingredients in ensuring sustainability in tourism. Cultural heritage inherently provides information about the history and identity of a community through its interpretation and communication to visitors and locals (new generations) and is essential to it's sustainability. While the valorisation, exploitation and promotion of the tangible cultural heritage is well established, the exploitation of the intangible cultural heritage is lagging behind.
Despite the fact that there are well established examples and success stories, there are still ample opportunities in tourism for new and innovative products (and thus the preservation of local communities through the creation of tourism-related job opportunities). Therefore, the L’AQUA consortium feels that the intangible heritage that focuses on local traditions, sayings, stories, sagas, legends, deserves the same level of attention as the tangible heritage.
L ́AQUA focuses on the tourism potential of intangible heritage, establishing a transnational route with regional sections covering in total 8 areas/countries (Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Hungary) where water and related activities play an important role in their geography and/or history, and putting the magnifying glass on the sagas, myths, legends and traditions associated to water.
In the participating countries/regions, the needs of private companies are very much concentrated in just one issue, attracting more visitors. This is a growingly hard task as travellers are no longer where they used to be (new ways of marketing and new consumers need new strategies; pursuing internationalization strategies requires more specific tools and placing the traveller at the centre of the tourist product or experience).
Transnational potential demand should be considered and addressed, taking into account the variety of institutions that are already working in different fields and have access with potential markets. Marketing tourism products in foreign countries is essential for survival.
for more information please contact Elias Kouloumis
The L'AQUA project is being funded with support from the European Commission. This publication/communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.