The project, co-financed by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, aims to enhance and implement a transnational thematic cultural route following the extraordinary system of maritime routes, settlements, defensive fortifications and cultural heritage left by the Venetians under the rule of the Republic of Venetia since 1300 and throughout almost five centuries.
Based on a vast network of stakeholders and cooperation between the public-private partners of the consortium, the project aims at contributing to the diversification of transnational thematic tourism offer in Europe, by capitalizing on common cultural heritage at European level and by making sustainability an essential element to be more competitive.
In the “Study on the Impact of European Cultural Routes on Small and Micro-sized Entreprises (SMEs) innovation and competitiveness”, the economic potential of Cultural Routes is put in evidence and Cultural Routes are clearly indicated as a way to enhance competitiveness and sustainability of European tourism. The role of Cultural Routes is furthermore highlighted by intergovernmental organizations. In the document “The impact of Culture on Tourism”, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) highlights the importance of European cultural routes that allow visitors to rediscover important aspects of heritage and the flows along the routes that help stimulate intercultural dialogue and exchange.
The project will reinforce public-private cooperation around the theme of the Venetian influence in Euro-Mediterranean countries and develop an integrated, joint transnational communication and visibility strategy while developing transnational tourism product that promote sustainable tourist practices. A high number of SMEs will be directly involved in the project thanks to a strong participation in the project of chambers of commerce, Adriatic and Ionian, with the aim to increase SMEs professionalism and, thus, competitiveness in the context if the new economy.
The overall objectives of the project are to capitalize on common Venetian legacy in Europe to diversify European tourist offer; to promote sustainable cultural-tourism approach toward Euro-Mediterranean cultural and natural heritage linked to Venetian routes; to take advantage of the growing importance of the Silk Road tourism to enhance Venetian routes as the European terminus of the Silk Road; to contribute in the European Union policy of making Europe a more competitive tourist destination; create business opportunities in sustainable cultural tourism sector; and, to encourage local authorities and stakeholders to invest in Venetian routes-related products.
The specific objectives are to create a permanent network and fostering networking among public-private partners; to develop transnational tourist offers and packages linked to Venetian legacy in the Euro-Mediterranean area as a means to stimulate business opportunities while promoting dialogue, democratic culture and sustainable tourism; to increase SMEs capacity and stimulate co-operation among Venetian routes countries and regions while working to ensure a unique travel experience along the Venetian route; and, to develop transnational communication and branding strategy to increase visibility and market uptake.
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The Project is co-financed by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Union and its call for proposals on "Support to transnational thematic tourism products". The project will have a duration of 18 months (1 Maggio 2013 - 31 October 2014).
The project is led by the Veneto Region (Italy), together with 14 co-beneficiary partners. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey is one of the associated partners, and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Council of Europe - Venice Office, and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy) are supporting partners.