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Culture and Creativity


TraCEs, Cultour Is Capital - Transformative Tourism across European Capital of Culture

Funded under the EU’s COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and SME) programme 2014-2020, TraCEs seeks to lay the foundations of a cultural and sustainable tourism model in European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) that pivots around their heritage, cultural and creative sectors, and ways of living.

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Woman with a backpack looking at a distant city

Its aim is to develop methodologies, procedures, and tools that will favour the creation of new tourist experiences in ECoC cities, involving two key sectors: creative and cultural industries and tourist operators. Ultimately, TraCEs believes that ECoC should not be a one-year event but should build a future for the cultural and creative sector of cities and region, for their impact on other sectors and for cultural tourism.

For this project 8 partners from Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain, Germany and The Netherlands came together to share the unique qualities of their countries and, above all, the potential of their culture capitals from a local and innovative perspective. This is how TraCEs understands transformative tourism: linking communities so that visitors tap into regional cultures and meaningfully interact with locals, reinforcing the concept of the tourist as a temporary citizen rather than a holidaymaker. TraCEs brings all this together by putting forward a new way of traveling to European Capitals of Culture.

The project actively involves tourism and creative industry operators to interact in “laboratories”, where local resources – previously mapped and clustered – are used to shape an innovative thematic tourist product. Synergies between tourism and culture are used at the outset of the overall project development process, and the project provides a unique opportunity for the tourism sector to develop innovative products, and for creative industries to cross-fertilize other economic sectors.