Projects
April 2004 / January 2007

Pro-active management of the impact of cultural tourism upon urban resources and economies - PICTURE

PICTURE develops a strategic urban governance framework for the sustainable management of cultural tourism within small and medium-sized European cities. The objective is to help establish and benchmark integrated tourism policies at the local level with a view to maximising the benefits of tourism upon the conservation and enhancement of built heritage diversity and urban quality of life.

PICTURE develops a strategic urban governance framework for the sustainable management of cultural tourism within small and medium-sized European cities.
The objective is to help establish and benchmark integrated tourism policies at the local level with a view to maximising the benefits of tourism upon the conservation and enhancement of built heritage diversity and urban quality of life. This is achieved by:

  • Evaluating the dynamics of the effects of tourism upon the social, environmental and economic wealth of European small and medium-sized cities, considering the built heritage diversity and the urban quality of life that characterise such environments;
  • Identifying and benchmarking innovative urban governance strategies for sustainable development of cultural tourism within small and medium-sized cities;
  • Providing local governments and decision-makers with tools to facilitate the assessment of the local impact of tourism, in order to improve their strategies and policies;
  • Focusing upon the impact of the sector upon the conservation and enhancement of built heritage diversity and urban quality of life.

FEEM is in charge of the analysis of the impacts of cultural tourism upon urban economies. PICTURE is coordinated by the Laboratoire d'Études Méthodologiques Architecturales (LEMA) at the Université of Liège.

Main Results and Outputs

Following an extensive survey of existing literature and a questionnaire-based survey of over 60 European cities, a multi-dimensional matrix of impacts has been constructed. The matrix includes i) likely positive and negative impacts of cultural tourism, ii) existing methods of assessing and predicting these impacts, when available, and iii) proposed policy measures to increase positive impacts and reduce, mitigate or compensate adverse ones.
FEEM has collected the following data for the years 1991 and 2001 at NUTS 3 level:

  • Gross value added and employment - from Eurostat REGIO database
  • R&D effort and number of patents – from Eurostat REGIO database
  • Population (by age, status, sex, level of education and nationality) - from national Censuses of population
  • Local prices (hotels and restaurants) - from Michelin guides.

The matrix is downloadable from the Picture website.
Three case studies (Syracuse (Italy); Belfast (UK); and Alicante (Spain)) have been drawn up in collaboration with local authorities. The case studies are complemented by an econometric analysis of the relationships between income, prices and tourism specialisation across European cities.

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