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Brussels, 26 September 2011

European Tourism Day - Industrial heritage

The 2011 European Tourism Day "Industrial heritage: differentiating the European tourism offer" will be held today, on the occasion of World Tourism Day, in an ancient cinema in Brussels, the "Albert Hall". Participants of the meeting are the Polish Presidency, representatives of International Organisations dealing with industrial heritage, EU regional authorities and destinations, representative from "industrial heritage routes", tour operators and specialised press. They will be welcomed by Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the Commission in charge of tourism.

The event will be an opportunity to discuss how the European Industrial Heritage can be key to the sustainable development of tourism in a region, thus contributing both to the creation of new jobs and to the preservation of the testimonies of a important part of Europe's history. A number of experiences of preservation and promotion of industrial heritage though Europe will be shared and discussed, allowing participants to learn from each other's experience.

This MEMO gives a short overview of the destinations that will be presented and the main topics discussed:

The International Documentation and research Centre on Industrial Heritage for Tourism - United Nation World Tourism organisation (UNWTO)

The Centre was created on 4 September 2008 in Zabrze (Poland), on the premises of the Historic Coal Mine „Guido” under an initiative from the UNWTO. It seeks to provide services to the tourism sector and industrial heritage holders.

It will also engage in collaboration and exchanging experiences with other international and national institutions holding stakes in industrial heritage for tourism, saving and enhancing industrial heritage, in particular its cultural value.

The action of Council of Europe to preserve industrial Heritage

The Council of Europe's action in the field of cultural and natural heritage includes:

  • promoting diversity and dialogue through access to heritage to foster a sense of identity, collective memory and mutual understanding within and between communities;

  • contributing to development that is linked to territorial cohesion, life style and relationships through the notion of heritage and landscape as community resources.

Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya (mNACTEC)

The Catalan Museum of Sciences and Techniques has developed a strategy to give a new life and function to the industrial sites of Catalonia. This strategy involves a network of museums and cultural centres.

The mNACTEC website aims at being a reference for citizen interested in industrial, technical and industrial heritage. It proposes virtual exhibitions and visits, collections of objects and information on scientific research.

International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial heritage (TICCIH)

The aim of this charitable trust is to promote preservation, conservation, investigation, documentation, research and interpretation of the world industrial heritage. Members of TICCIH come from all over the world and include historians, conservators, museum curators, researchers, students, teachers, heritage professionals and anyone with an interest in the development of industry and industrial society.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS )

ICOMOS is an international non-governmental organization of professionals, dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites. ICOMOS constitutes a forum for professional dialogue and commits itself to promoting the theory, methodology and technology applied to the conservation, protection and enhancement of monuments and sites.

The Hanoi-Kunming railway

The Sino-Vietnamese Railway was built by France to connect Haiphong in Vietnam with Kunming in the Yunnan province of China. The 855 km line opened in 1910. The Chinese section of the railway is currently only used for freight but projects are ongoing to open it again to passengers transport.

European Route of Industrial heritage (ERIH)

This tourism information network of industrial heritage in Europe aims to protect Europe’s industrial heritage sites and use their preservation as a motor for the development of regions that are often suffering from economic decline. The ERIH network intends to encourage the trans-national transfer of knowledge and the development of joint marketing strategies and cross-border initiatives.

ERIH presents more than 850 sites in 32 European countries. All sites relate to ten European Theme Routes which show the diversity of European industrial history and their common roots.

The Industrial Monuments Route

This route connects 36 industrial sites in Silesian region (Poland). The route is visited by half a million visitors per ear with some flagship site such as Zywiec brewery, Guido coal mine and an historic silver mine. A festival "Industriada" is taking place annually and its visibility is growing with 29.000 participants recorded in 1 day in 2010, and "zobots" are becoming very popular (robots that guide tourists along the route).

Lenbur Fundazioa Bikuna – The Pyrenean Iron Route

The Pyrenean iron Route links the various iron making sites routes in the Pyrenees region.

The objectives of the project launched by the Andorran government were to make the public aware of all the different aspects of this heritage: the mines, charcoal kilns and ironworks, as well as miner’s and ironworker’s homes and some typical features of architecture of ironworks.

The transborder Pyrenean Iron Route wends through five region of Andorra, France and Spain. It received the certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” in 2004.

Les Chemins de la vigne en Europe – Grapevine route in Europe (ITER VITIS)

The European Cultural Route Iter Vitis encourages the protection of European wine-growing landscape as a sustainable tourism destination. This entails narrating the history and the life of the people, big and small local histories. These tourism activities help to create a "living landscape". They generate economic opportunities for the local population and for what is produced in the vineyards: wine.

Iter Vitis is the 25th cultural route certified by the Council of Europe.

The European Route of Ceramics - Limoges

The Limousin region’s enamels established Limoges’ reputation in medieval Europe, and the town has been renowned throughout the world for its porcelain masterpieces since the 19th century. Limoges has succeeded in using its industrial heritage to develop a high quality touristic offer. It has recently received the prestigious award of “City of Art and History”.

Limoges is part of the Urban Network for Innovation in Ceramics Association which plans to create a European ceramics Road.

European Destination of Excellence (EDEN)

This European Commission initiative seeks to promote sustainable tourism development models, giving visibility to emerging locations committed to protecting the environment and supporting local communities as well as preserving and promoting their unique cultural and historical heritage.

This fifth edition will award twenty-one destinations from across Europe for the exemplary way of regeneration and promotion of their declining physical sites, according to this year’s theme: 'Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites’.

Network of European regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR)

NECSTouR is an open network of European regions, whose aim is to develop and strengthen a coherent framework for the coordination of regional development programmes and research on sustainable and competitive tourism. NECSTouR develops cooperation between the regional organisations in the network to promote the application and implementation of concerted and coordinated actions within the member regions.

Blaenavon World heritage Site

Blaenavon’s Industrial landscape became a World Heritage Site in December 2000. It is a landscape shaped by human hand, dating from the early days of the Industrial Revolution - a significant stage in human evolution, when the iron and coal industries of South Wales were of global importance. Derelict buildings and industrial sites have been regenerated and given new destinations and attract now new visitors.

Luxembourg and Greater Region, European Capital of Culture 2007

Culture and industrial heritage was one of the themes selected for the 2007 European Capital of Culture programme. A number of former industrial sites were used as new cultural places. They will remain as legacies of the year and their further regeneration and development appears to be of great interest for tourism.

Zollverein Essen

The Zollverein is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. I

The complex consists of the complete infrastructure of a historical coal-mining site, with some 20th-century buildings of outstanding architectural interest and evidence of the evolution and decline of an essential industry over the past 150 years.

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex has been inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2001 and is one of the anchor points of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

European Federation of Museums and Tourist Railways (FEDECRAIL)

FEDECRAIL is a European parent organisation for all friends of railways who are engaged in the maintenance, preservation and operation of historical railways. Its members are national umbrella organisations from European countries.

Living industry: a new tourism concept

This new innovative tourism concept consists of "living (operating) industries" that open their doors to the public. This new form of tourism is now developing over Europe. In particular French and Italian cases will be presented at the ETD.

The European Greenway Association (EGWA)

EGWA was created by local, regional and national associations active in the scope of sustainable transport, willing to share their knowledge and objectives at a European level. One of the objectives of the EGWA is to contribute towards the preservation of infrastructures such as disused railway corridors, tow paths and historic routes in the public domain to develop, along them, non-motorized itineraries.

LOISIUM resorts

The LOISIUM is a luxury hotel and spa resort located to Vienna. Built out of a vineyard and wine cellars it was able to attract tourists in a "non-touristic area" (70.000 visitors per year and 65% occupancy rate at the hotel), also thanks to a festival and a visitors centre with a "vinoteque" and eno-gastronomy.

Ciudad de la Energia

The "Fundación Ciudad de la Energía" ("Energy City Foundation") was established as a legal public state foundation in 2006 with the objective to "strengthen economic and social development in the Bierzo region" by means of activities related to energy and environment. The action in the field of heritage insists on the regeneration of the local neglected industrial and mining heritage.

Venti di cultura

This non-profit organization aims at promoting the implementation of cultural routes along the Mediterranean coast. Current projects include the Cathedrals of the Sea along the Italian coasts. This route along the borderline between land and water focuses on the many forgotten buildings, but also on the network of the main Italian arsenals and on examples of best practice in the regeneration of coastal industrial sites.

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