IGCAT contributing to UNWTO.Themis Foundation’s training course on Cultural Routes Tourism Development Strategy

From the 8th till the 12th of September, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation designed and offered the Council of Europe Cultural Routes’ (CoE CR) partners an executive training course on Cultural Routes Tourism Development Strategy. The course was carried out in co-operation with the Iter Vitis Route France in the Region Midi Pyrénées, Pays Bastides et Vignoble du Gaillac in France.

This capacity building initiative followed an agreement signed in 2013 between the UNWTO and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, recognizing the need to support the competitiveness and sustainability of the cultural tourism sector, in view of its growing economic, cultural and even environmental importance.

On May 15th 2009, the Council of Europe certified Iter Vitis the 25th place in its list of European Cultural Routes. Iter Vitis’ cultural routes focus on landscapes and sustainable development. The association promotes the safeguarding and enhancement of landscapes pertaining to wine production, as a tool for sustainable development to be used for the people who reside and make their living there. The route also aims to promote vineyards as a part of European identity, as a testimony to an ancient know-how and to the result of a man’s labour. By contributing to the local economy, and as a key player in these regions’ operation, the cultural route advocates a certain social attitude, as well as a better understanding of landscapes and the history of the men and women who depend on it and live for it, and it encourages us to better respect the environment.

Also, the association intents to connect touristic vineyards with the aim of creating a dynamic around their promotion and the preservation of this cultural heritage. The twinning and exchange between territories will strengthen the shares driven in the vineyard. Where tourist consumption in increasing, guiding the consumer in search of enriching experience is essential.

In this regard, IGCAT has contributed to the event by facilitating a course to the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, on Creating a Tourism Development Strategy. The objective of the course was to provide the participants with knowledge, skills, tools and a forum for discussion on tourism strategy at a destination level. It comprised presentations, discussions, debates, group work and practical activities. The course was facilitated by IGCAT’s director Dr. Diane Dodd, together with Iñaki Gaztelumendi do Ejo, who is an independent consultant with expertise in the tourism industry and a consultant for the UNWTO.




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