NECSTouR, the Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism, is the voice of European regions committed to sustainability – economic, social and environmental – as a crucial driver of destination competitiveness. The network brings together 36 Regional Authorities competent in Tourism (NUTS I and II)1 and 30 academic organizations, sustainable tourism business associations and networks, representing 20 European countries ensuring a wide regional outreach and impact.
NECSTouR represents the 80% of the European Top 20 regions in terms of number of nights spent in tourist accommodation, working with its Regional Tourism Authorities since 2007 in strengthening their capacity to lead communities in delivering smart and sustainable growth through the visitor economy. Therefore, NECSTouR deploys an interregional cooperation strategy (2019 -2021) to learn, benchmark and cooperate on how regional tourism policies tackle the five trends of the sustainable tourism of tomorrow: Smart Destinations, the Socio-Cultural Balance, Skills and Talent, Safety and Resilience, Statistics and Measurability: the NECSTouR “5S of the Sustainable Tourism of Tomorrow”.
The European Union’s main priorities such as the European Green Deal and the Digital Age, as well as the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are embedded in NECSTouR interregional cooperation strategy and implemented through:
i) the network’s participation in European:
- Initiatives: as the “Digitalization and Safety for Tourism Partnership” and its investment project idea “Tourism of Tomorrow LAB” one of the thematic Industrial Modernization platforms of the European Commission S3 and the “Better Places to Live Better Places to Visit” declaration aiming to establish a sociocultural balance in European tourism destinations.
- Projects such as: MED Sustainable Tourism Community, CHARM (COSME), MITOMED + (Interreg MED), Civitas Destinations (Horizon 2020), Star Cities (Interreg Europe)
ii) the NECSTouR programme “Driving behavioural change for European sustainable destinations through trans-regional cooperation” which supports tourism regional governance by linking local, regional and European policies through participatory policy workshops and capacity building sessions on topics related to: EU funding for tourism, data for policy and business intelligence, tourism socio-cultural balance, sustainable certification, sustainable product development and consumption, sustainable mobility, plastic reduction, among others.
NECSTouR is committed behind the climate goals as an organisation as it is reflected on NECSTouR’s Position paper “A European Agenda for A Sustainable Visitor Economy: Making Europe a Better Place to Live and Visit Through Interregional Cooperation”.
NECSTouR and COVID-19 Pandemic o KNOWLEDGE SHARING and BUILDING:
Since the start of the pandemic, NECSTouR strategy is at the service of the COVID19 recovery of the EU Tourism destinations and emphasises the urgency of boosting this recovery by fostering their twining transition: Green and Digital. NECSTouR work deployed during the past months – reacting to COVID-19 effects on the tourism ecosystem and needs from the destinations needs.
- ENSURING REGIONAL – EU DIALOGUE:
- Exchanges with EU institutions – some participated to NECSTouR webinars: DG GROW, DG MOVE, DG REGIO, EP
- Participation to the Weekly EU tourism and COVID-19 informal working group
- Bilateral meetings with Cabinets of Commissioner Timmermans and Commissioner Breton
- TOPICs related to the different phases of the crises: i) Immediate measures, ii) Preparing summer season, iii) tourism regional.
- “TOURISM AND MOBILITY: SUSTAINABILITY, INNOVATION AND RESILIENCE” 09/07/20.
- “GREEN, DIGITAL AND SDGS: BUILDING THE EUROPEAN TOURISM AGENDA 2050 FOR SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY 15/06/20.
- “DRIVING BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE THROUGH INTERREGIONAL COOPERATION: FOSTERING RESILIENT DESTINATIONS THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY AND DIGITALISATION” 14/05/20.
- “RESCUING THE REGIONAL TOURISM ECOSYSTEMS FROM CRISIS” 24/04/2020
- “COVID-19 AND EU TOURISM DESTINATIONS: IMPACTS AND RESPONSES” 23/03/2020
- Scale up regional recovery plans at EU level ensuring bottom-up approach
- Mainstream tourism in the use of the EU Recovery Fund and the upcoming MFF 2021-2027
Currently, NECSTouR is focusing on the regional Recovery plans for tourism and monitoring proactively the EU Recovery Fund and MFF 2021-2027 to:
NECSTouR list of services for EU Tenders:
- UNWTO: NECSTouR is Board of the UNWTO Affiliated Members since 2019
- EU institutions: NECSTouR has strong experience in working jointly with the EU institutions: with different Directorates Generals of the European Commission like DG GROW, EAC, REGIO, MARE, CLIMA, MOVE; with the European Parliament, mainly with TRAN Committee and with the Committee of the Regions (CoR) with the NAT Commission.
- European Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs: NECSTouR is signatory organization of the EU Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs and Steering Committee member leading with the Sustainability priority
KNWOLEDGE RAISING and POOL OF EXPERTS:
NECSTouR has a consolidated pool of experts represented by its members: tourism regional authorities, tourism academics and researchers, tourism private sector representatives, sustainable tourism associations, and the NECSTouR Permanent Secretariat per se. The network has more than 12 years of experience on developing and implementing regional tourism models driving the sustainability and competitiveness of the destinations where it is deployed. Some of the tasks can relate to: mapping and collecting good practices, quality checking outcomes, policy recommendation, while ensuring a territorial approach and an effective transferability of the outcomes at territorial level.
MANAGING/LIAISING WITH STAKEHOLDERS
NECSTouR has well stablished alliances with some key European and international tourism related organizations for different purposes such as: advocacy actions, good practices sharing, knowledge building, events organization.
- European Tourism Association – ETOA: NECSTouR and ETOA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2018
- European Travel Commission – ETC: both organizations have a well-established cooperation relation specially in the framework of advocating to position Tourism higher in the EU agenda.
- Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions – CPMR: both organizations strongly cooperate the framework of EU projects, especially on the MED area and signed in 2019 a MoU
- European Heritage Alliance 3.3.: NECSTouR became member of the Alliance in January 2018 which enabled the network to strengthen its cooperation with Europa Nostra and the European Cultural Tourism Network – ECTN
- Tourism digital platforms: AMADEUs, ADARA, MABRIAN, ACTUR
Moreover, NECSTouR is used to cooperate with other sectorial networks such as: POLIS network, European Cycling Federation, Eurocities, EPSI and Europarc Federation.
NECSTouR has been managing the organization of events, focus groups, consortium meetings, capacity building sessions, among other, under the framework of EU projects and tenders since 2012. Moreover, NECSTouR is used to regularly lead and host meetings for NECSTouR members internally as well as with EU institutions and stakeholders
EU BASED OFFICE
NECSTouR having a Brussels Based office can support the partnership with:
- Liaising easily with the EU institutions to advocate and lobby
- Hosting and facilitating all types of meetings, working groups needed for the purpose of the study
- Participating to Brussels based meetings with relevant stakeholders of the interest of the study