About the project

Integrating cultural heritage and tourism sustainably

TExTOUR project will work with local communities to create social, environmental and economic benefits for all stakeholders.










Cultural tourism is about managing cultural heritage and tourism in an integrated way. It’s about working with local communities to create benefits for everyone involved. This helps preserve tangible and intangible cultural heritage while developing tourism.

TExTOUR is an EU-funded project which co-designs pioneering and sustainable cultural tourism strategies and policies. The ultimate goal is to improve deprived areas in Europe and beyond. To do this, it sets up Cultural Tourism Labs at eight pilots located within the EU and outside it. Various societal players and stakeholders in the Cultural Tourism sector will be involved in the Cultural Tourism Labs.

The selected pilots have diverse and complementary characteristics, which enables the project’s experts to develop a wide range of scenarios for inland and coastal areas, rural and urban, deprived remote or peripheral areas, facing multiple social, economic and environmental challenges.

Are you a policy maker, practitioner or part of a local community? Via the TExTOUR open access platform, we will share with you our knowledge gained as the project unfolds so that you can benefit directly.



Scientific and technical objectives

  • Identify the difficulties that certain regions face when promoting and enhancing their cultural heritage
  • Demonstrate that cooperation between regions and countries can encourage cultural tourism development and socio-economic growth in regions
  • Set out sustainable cultural tourism strategies
  • Integrate the generated knowledge into a platform to support policy makers and practitioners in assessing cultural tourism strategies and services
  • Test the platform in the eight selected pilots

Socio-economic objectives

  • Create an adaptable inclusive and modular investment strategy
  • Foster local capacity building in the pilots and their local communities
  • Understand how cultural tourism can promote local development
  • Create an overarching, inclusive and modern European identity based on a network of local identities


TExTOUR impacts can be put into four categories:

  • Policy impacts

    We will propose new policies and strategies on cultural tourism by assessing current trends and identifying best practices.

  • Economic impacts

    We will assess costs and foster new policy approaches and sustainable business models with public-private-people partnerships. We will also advise on how to better use European Structural Funds.

  • Social impacts

    We will help preserve Europe’s cultural identity, including minority cultures.

  • Research impacts

    We will produce actionable data to assess synergies for implementing cultural tourism policies and operations.

  • Cultural impact

    We will help valorise all type of cultural heritage, understand tourism diversity, site attractiveness and accessibility with Cultural Tourism Labs.


Fellow projects

Interesting projects which share objectives and thematics with TExTOUR.


HERIT-DATA aims to identify innovative solutions, with the support of new technologies and big data, to reduce the negative impacts of tourism on cultural and natural heritage sites.


International network for Leveraging sUccessful Cultural heritage Innovations and Diplomacy, cApacity building and awaREness raising.


IMproving Sustainable Development Policies and Practices to access, diversify and foster Cultural TOURism in European regions and areas.


OpenHeritage aims at developing and testing an inclusive governance model and a supporting toolbox for the adaptive re-use of cultural heritage assets.


POCITYF aims to transform cities, with a strong emphasis on cultural and historical protected areas, into healthier and more accessible, reliable and competitive spaces for their citizens.


SoPHIA – Social Platform for Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment is a project that aims to promote collective reflection within the cultural and political sectors in Europe on the impact assessment and quality of interventions in historical environment and cultural heritage at urban level.


Social and innovative Platform On cultural Tourism and its potential towards deepening Europeanisation

INCULTUM – Visiting the margins: INnovative CULtural ToUrisM in European peripheries

The INCULTUM project deals with the challenges and opportunities of cultural tourism with the aim of furthering sustainable social, cultural and economic development. It will explore the full potential of marginal and peripheral areas when managed by local communities and stakeholders. Innovative participatory approaches are adopted, transforming locals into protagonists, able to reduce negative impacts, learning from and improving good practices to be replicated and translated into strategies and policies.

RURITAGE - Heritage for Rural Regeneration

RURITAGE establishes a new heritage-led rural regeneration paradigm able to turn rural areas in sustainable development demonstration laboratories, through the enhancement of their unique Cultural and Natural Heritage potential. RURITAGE has identified 6 Systemic Innovation Areas (pilgrimages; sustainable local food production; migration; art and festivals; resilience; and integrated landscape management) which, integrated with cross-cutting themes, showcase heritage potential as a powerful engine for economic, social and environmental development of rural areas.

SmartCulTour- Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions

The EU-funded SmartCulTour project intends to redefine the concept of cultural tourism to provide European regions with strategies that engage stakeholders in co-creating smart cultural tourism practices.

rurAllure - Promotion of rural museums and heritage sites in the vicinity of European pilgrimage routes

The project fosters cultural cooperation and sustainable tourism in the proximity of European pilgrimage routes, having its pilot actions along the the Saint James’ Ways, the routes to Rome (Via Francigena, Via Romea Germanica and Via Romea Strata), Saint Olav ways in Scandinavia and the Way of Mary to Csíksomlyó in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The project aims to conduct mapping and digitalise cultural heritage along the routes, develop innovative IT products, enhancing travel experience and launch of the first European cooperation network along the pilgrimage routes. To valorise experience of every pilgrim, rurAllure launches the second edition of the Photo Contest “Share your route” 2023 to feature the best shots from the European walking routes.

🇪🇺 Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s flagship initiative for securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Visit the official website to know more.