Cult-CreaTE Partnership Declaration:

“Cultural and Creative Tourism Development based on CCIs for Competitiveness of SMEs”

This Declaration is launched by the Cult-CreaTE Interreg Europe project partnership, based on the results of interregional cooperation, exchange of experience, action plans implementation and resulting policy changes.

The first draft Declaration was launched at the final Conference of the Cult-CreaTe project, in Cesis, Vidzeme, Latvia, on 24 May 2022.

The Cult-CreaTE Interreg Europe project (June 2018 – November 2022) has devised and introduced several concepts, policies and initiatives in Cultural and Creative Tourism (CCT) development, based on Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) - Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The importance of these concepts, policies and initiatives in promoting CCT development based on CCIs SMEs has been demonstrated by the Cult-CreaTE project results, in terms of contributing towards enhancing the competitiveness of CCIs SMEs.

On the basis of the Cult-CreaTE project results, further achievements and related initiatives, the Cult-CreaTE partnership hereby declare its determination to:

 Continue to apply the initiated policies for CCT development based on CCIs SMEs, as an important legacy of the Cult-CreaTE project in the partner tourist destinations.

 Capitalise the results and outputs of the Cult-CreaTE project as a contribution for important improvements in relevant policy instruments, also related to EU programmes in the period 2021-2027 (Interreg Europe, Other Interreg, Horizon Europe, Creative Europe).

 Encourage making the procedures in the framework of the Cult-CreaTE project an ongoing feature for close and effective stakeholder engagement in the partner destinations.

 Continue to actively support the EU initiatives on SMEs and CCIs, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to Cultural and Creative Tourism.

 Introduce further enhancements for CCT development policies, based on CCIs SMEs, in the partner tourist destinations.

 Strongly support the ‘Transition Pathway for Tourism’ initiative and process, launched by the European Commission DG GROW in February 2022.

 Maintain the Cult-CreaTE partnership as an informal, specialised network of regional and local destination authorities, tourism boards and associations, and related stakeholders, for sustainable CCT policies and initiatives based on CCIs SMEs.

The Cult-CreaTE Partnership, strongly calls upon tourism and cultural authorities in Europe:

 To work together towards the development, upgrading and implementation of CCT development policies with further initiatives, towards enhancing the competitiveness of CCIs SMEs.

 To raise awareness regarding the above to national authorities, EU institutions, relevant European networks, competent pan-European and international organisations (UNWTO, UNESCO, UNCTAD).

 To coordinate and advance sustainable CCT development and promotion policies that facilitate the competitiveness of SMEs CCIs.

 To organize tourism offers in such a way for maximising social inclusion and to provide the visitors with sustainable CCT options based on CCIs SMEs.

Furthermore, the Cult-CreaTE Partnership, strongly calls upon European Union Institutions and international organisations:

 To continue to formulate, promote, upgrade and support policies on CCT development and promotion and related actions with adequate EU funding, including support for CCIs SMEs involved in CCT operations.

 To incorporate the above in EU relevant initiatives, such as the Creative Europe Programme, Smart Tourism Capital (Cultural Heritage and Creativity aspects), UNWTO activities on Cultural Tourism, Creative Tourism and Sustainable Development of Tourism.

 To promote the advantages of CCT based on CCIs SMEs in social and economic development and cohesion, as well as in relation to the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda.

 To facilitate the co-funding of relevant initiatives, infrastructures, products, and services with quality and CCT options, on the basis of their sustainability, innovation, efficiency, cohesion and resilience benefits.

 To exploit synergies of the above with the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

We encourage other local and regional destination authorities, tourism boards and associations, CCIs associations and networks, universities, and research institutes throughout Europe, to adopt this Declaration and to join us in future, related initiatives for sustainable CCT concepts, policies and innovations, towards enhancing CCIs SMEs competitiveness in the European Union and beyond.