CulTourData. EU-funded Project Enhancing Data-driven Cultural Tourism in European Capitals of Culture

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CulTourData aims to boost the data and analytics skills of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMEs) through a financial support scheme, leveraging synergies between tourism, culture, creativity and digital technology to develop more inclusive, sustainable and attractive products.

Image of meeting room with project team sitting at tabel with laptops and wall poster with name Materahub Photo: Project Kick-off meeting at Matera, Italy.

Co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Union, CulTourData will foster the development of tourism Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the European Capitals of Cultures (ECoC) network, showing how a data-driven approach can improve the quality of cultural tourism.

Project Director, Paolo Montemurro of Materahub (Italy), highlights the partnership approach, which is fundamental to the project:

“What raises the impact of this project for the Cultural Capitals is that 60 tourism SMEs, together with 120 cultural and creative organisations and 60 IT experts and data analysts will be funded to help develop their innovative projects, designed thanks to the support given by the CulTourData programme.”

Supporting tourism SMEs

The project will support tourism SMEs by:

  • Developing a data-driven approach beyond the right website, tool or application, helping them grasp the importance of making data and analytics part of the tourism business strategies, offers and products, of their organizational processes and culture, if they want to be competitive, sustainable and attractive.
  • Building the link between tourism destinations and tourism SMEs; the project focus on European Capitals of Culture and stretches the year event over a long- lasting period – from about ten years before the bid to a very long legacy – and actively involves tourism SMEs in the co-creation of the event, to spur sustainable tourism and sustainable development.
  • Creating a multidisciplinary business approach that leverages synergies between tourism, culture, creativity and digital technology.
  • Offering a support scheme that includes capacity building, mentoring and learning, along with a collaborative creativity-oriented matchmaking, including opportunities for financial support.
  • Immersing themselves into a fun, evidence-based assessment process that combines communication, impact evaluation and self-assessment.

The public-private partnership is made up of 8 partners, representing 7 countries. It includes different entity profiles, including SMEs in Cultural Capital cities, Tourism and Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI Clusters), a Public Tourism Agency, a Business Incubator, a Public Business Support Organisation/Public Authority, a University and the European Network for Accessible Tourism non-profit association.

Each partner is linked to one European Capital of Culture, past or present: Matera 2019, Leeuwarden 2018, Chemnitz 2025, Košice 2013, Lieira 2027 and Extremadura 2030.

Main activities

The project includes the following main actions:

ECoC-led Ecosystem – Supporting cooperation, capacity building and knowledge transfer among past, present and upcoming European Capitals of Culture.

ECoCs Watch – Boosting and learning how to create a data-driven culture among European Capitals of Cultures, especially future Capitals, by organising a system of market intelligence that will help collect and analyse, then provide open access to, a broad amount of information, data, analysis, best practices, and lessons learned, enhancing skills and strategies when these using data for tourism development and working at ECoCs’ legacy.

Transformative Bootcamp – Building on information and insights from the EcoC Watch to improve the business environment for tourism SMEs to be data-driven through:

  • Inspirational mentoring between digitally advanced SMEs and those lagging behind in the digital transformation process.
  • Virtual training programme to explore and learn data-driven approaches.
  • Collaborative Matchmaking to help tourism SMEs move through their digital transformation, supporting them to be more sustainable and provide travellers with more personalised experiences.

ECoCs Policy Lab – Stimulating active participation in cultural and tourism policy making at local and regional level helping diverse audiences (public authorities, businesses, associations and NGOs, foundations and communities) explore and understand the data collected through the ECoCs Watch.

Finally, the project will engage in an “impact based” communication and dissemination strategy, showing with the use of new media and storytelling how the project’s activities can trigger contacts, cooperation and opportunities within the involved stakeholders in the 6 destinations piloting the CulTourData approach.

Further information

CulTourData project website

CulTourData project page on ENAT website

Download this Press Release in PDF format from the Downloads section.

EU flag and COSME co-funding textCulTourData has received funding from the European Union’s COSME  Programme. The content of this Press Release represents the views of the Partners and is their sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.