Promoting culture and sustainability to rethink the tourist modelThe conclusions from the debate ‘City, tourism and culture: a joint opportunity’, which concludes on Wednesday after ten sessions, offer a means of reflection and propose an action plan for a more sustainable and resilient model of tourism, with culture as a one of its cornerstones.
The visitor economy generates around 15% of Barcelona’s GDP. The tourist sector is of strategic value for the development of the city, but it needs to be matched with a sustainable and resilient city model which backs diversification and does not lead to dependence. To reflect on this and find responses, the debate ‘City, tourism and culture: a joint opportunity’ has been running since November, with ten sessions involving 150 stakeholders from the spheres of tourism and creative industries, the goal being to rethink the tourist model and offer solutions.
Twelve areas for strategic action
The result of the ten debate sessions is a document setting out 12 areas of action, particularly geared towards increasing culture on offer for visitors and locals alike:
- Facilitate the swift integration of students from vocational training and university into artistic branches of the professional world.
- Create a cultural attraction and information programme specifically designed for foreign residents in Barcelona.
- Diversify culture on offer in the different districts.
- Develop a map and a census of cultural events and activities.
- Launch a public and private fund through Fundació Barcelona Cultura, to develop new cultural content.
- Create a support and aid plan for SMEs and new enterprises in the sphere of culture and the creative industries.
- Concentrate coach arrivals from the Costa Brava and Maresme areas at the Estació del Nord to reduce their circulation in the city centre and provide information on options available away from major tourist attractions.
- Drive the digitalisation of information and the promotion of tourism.
- Create a Metropolitan Agency for Spectators and Audiences to handle statistics using big data criteria, and to increase the interaction between culture on offer and consumer profiles on a metropolitan scale.
- Propose the creation of a Cultural Smart City Network with value-added tourist interests and a national and European scope to generate meeting places for the exchange of information, data, experiences and projects.
- Extend the Tourism and City Board to cultural sectors and increase the cultural sector of the Barcelona Tourism Consortium.
- Promote a Charter for Commitment to the Rights and Duties of visitors to foster civic, respectful and responsible tourism.
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