European Capitals of Culture as laboratories of innovation

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 21 June 2021

Funded by the European Commission under the COSME programme, the TraCEs – Cultour Is Capital project seeks to create a cultural and sustainable tourism model in European Capitals of Culture that is based on their heritage and creative and cultural industries.

Eight partners from Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain, Germany and Holland came together to show the potential of their culture capitals from a local and innovative approach.

The project will involve tourism and creative industry operators who are invited to interact in laboratories where local resources will shape an innovative thematic tourist product.

This is a unique opportunity to develop innovative products and creative industries for tourism that cross-fertilise other economic sectors.

Impact of COVID-19

In reaction to the pandemic, the TraCEs partnership decided to launch the first edition of the Cultour is Capital Fest, which is expected to become an annual event. The goal was to increase the visibility of artists, and creative and cultural operators from the European Capitals of Culture and show the transformative power of arts and culture.

On 9 December 2020, Cultour is Capital also participated in a networking event for the successful projects of ‘COSME TOURSYN Call for proposals. One of the main themes was the global impact of COVID-19 on tourism.

Following a period of growth, the EU tourism sector is among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. COSME’s funding significantly contributes to the development, promotion and preservation of the European tourism industry

Paolo Montemurro, Promoter of the event and Director of creative hub Materahub, noted that “the TOURSYN networking event has been an interesting first connection moment to build on the different projects funded by the COSME programme of EC working on tourism innovation through creative industries cross-fertilisation”.

Find out more about Cultour is Capital here.

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