Reaching the potential of tourism through sustainable and creative solutions

Feb 9, 2022 | Adrion Short Stories

The influence of Cultural and Creative Industries


Have you ever wondered how many UNESCO cultural sites your country or region hosts? How many of them have you visited? Countries in the Adriatic and Ionian Region are rich and diverse in history and culture, thus there are numerous UNESCO cultural heritage sites to see. Italy (58) alone hosts more UNESCO sites than any other country in the world! Although tourism is one of its main sources of income, the potential of the region has not yet been reached. In particular, the ongoing exploitation of natural resources, implies to re-think the way we travel for leisure. De-seasoning may avoid the concentration and consequent harm to the cultural and natural heritage, but more creative solutions should take the lead. Embedding Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in tourism can play an important role for a wide range of target groups, including youth.


3 projects of the ADRION thematic sub-cluster on cultural and creative industries streamline sustainable tourism

During the last few decades, a number of European cities and towns have emerged as creative hubs and culture has been used as a vehicle for local growth and development. Beyond CCI’s direct contribution to GDP, they trigger spill-over in other sectors like tourism and fuel content for ICT. Thus they become an indispensable part of the urban and sub-urban economy, having a direct impact on the regeneration processes of the territories.

Three Interreg ADRION funded projects, CCI4TOURISM, CREATURES, EMOUNDERGROUNDS, that make up the Adrion Thematic Sub-Cluster On Cultural and Creative Industries have been looking at easing the connection between cultural industries and tourism by empowering the public and private actors through innovation-based initiatives. The Thematic Cluster involves 3 projects and 27 organizations with partners coming from Italy, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The TC is part of the ADRION Capitalisation strategy and aims at grouping projects to make them work together for joint solutions.


A creative hub as a place to seed new ideas

The project CCI4TOURISM is a collaboration of nine partner organizations from six countries working in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation and local development. CCI4TOURISM fosters the development of cultural and creative industries (CCI) to improve the tourism offers in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.

One of the direct impacts produced by the project is the set-up of a network of creative hubs for the valorization of cultural heritage and digital technologies, and for designing new business models in the tourism industry. Thanks to the project, the City Development Agency (CIDEA) from Banja Luka/Bosnia Herzegovina opened its first cultural point ”the Cultural and Creative Hub 78”. The hub is conceived as a creative and innovative center, a common workspace and a platform for knowledge sharing and networking, but also the office for a team of people who intend to start a startup company. The hub can be used by all beginners as well as entrepreneurs from the cultural and creative industry from the Banja Luka region.

The hub within this project aims to discover the new talents, but also to strengthen entrepreneurial skills and assimilation between cultural, creative and touristic industries in order to create and design new products. The organizers of the Banja Luka Hub 78

Moreover, the project has started to develop trainings for each of the nine local hubs established within the project. The programme of the training intends to support final beneficiaries in developing and designing their innovative offer. This is the case of the Croatian partner IRI Centar from Kaštela Novi, in charge of the new opening of the creative hub 3ANGLE HUB, which has started an Accelerator Program designed for providing the know-how to people from cultural and creative industries interested in working in the tourism sector. The training course consists of lectures on “Creative Writing” aimed at developing digital stories for tourists, and “Digital Business” to better develop business models and design user interfaces.

Training Session at TECNOPOLIS STP

Other project partners have also started their own training programme: TECNOPOLIS STP, the lead partner of the CCI4TOURISM, designed and organized a Creative Hub Training Programme dedicated to innovation in culture and tourism sector, use of design thinking approach for CCI development, and marketing techniques.





How to pool creativity, knowledge heritage, and innovation: Creatures knows how to do it

CREATURES run activities to preserve cultural heritage sites of the region, promoting sustainable and experiential tourism by exploiting Cultural&Creative Industries’(CCI) potential. Thanks to the project, the trend of exploring local communities as a way to promote sustainable tourism, found a practical spillover on the initiative taken by the Metropolitan City of Bologna, one of the project’s partners. 10 selected business projects operating in the mountain tourism will be supported in their improvement of skills and business development. The selected SMEs and startups (Enjoy Appennino, Vivi Appennino, Appennino Geopark, Appennino Slow, Foiatonda, Masala Viaggi, UIT Colli Bolognesi, Valsamoggia Bike, Appennino 4 Trek, Consorzio Corno alle Scale Quota 1945) will benefit from tailor made trainings aiming to help attract diversified targets of tourists and improve the type of offers and services.

Yet another initiative in the frame of the project, a digital map of the ancient city of Aquileia was developed. The Talking Map of Aquileia gives voice to the tangible and intangible cultural Heritage of the UNESCO site, by combining storytelling methodology, and participatory and innovative approaches. Various artists and testimonials contributed to the development of the map.

Click on the image to explore the Talking Map of Aquileia:

This initiative has been included in the electronic catalogue of the project, a comprehensive collection of 27 best practices inspired by the rich and diverse cultural (tangible and intangible) and natural heritage of the ADRION Region and classified according to the 5 senses (touch, smell, feel, hear, taste). The Catalogue has been produced by the Bosnian partner, the School of Economics and Business of Sarajevo and shows creative ideas for festival organisation, museum development, unique outdoor tours, use of technological innovation and business ideas creation.

Click on the righside image to browse the catalogue!




Historic buildings take another look: Virtual reality revamps the majesties of castles and fortresses

EMOUNDERGROUNDS is the acronym of “Emotional technologies for the cultural heritage valorisation within cross-border undergrounds” and its motto that is “Preserve, capitalize and innovate cultural and natural heritage” clearly puts the project focus into words. EMOUNDERGROUNDS involves fortresses, castles of the Adriatic-Ionian region with the purpose of reopening these sites by the integration of CCI. These sites will be revamped through the use of digital technologies, such as virtual reality rooms, smart mobile applications, holographic demos, interactive screens/projections. The 10 partner communities participating in the project are Bosnia Herzegovina (Trebinje), Italy (Nardo– Lead partner, Carpi), Greece (Andravida-Killini), Croatia (Rijeka and Šibenik), Slovenia (Koper, Ivančna Gorica), Montenegro (Bar) and Albania (Kukeš).

One event named “ADRI Showcase”, was organized by the project with the involvement of local artists in Nardò, an Italian historical center.

The event was an opportunity for artists to present their artworks with suggestive colored light projections on buildings, games and music. The event turned the historic city of Nardò into a magical place.

In addition, the project contributed to the revitalization of Carpi’s artistic treasures through virtual installations. The town is located in Italy and is distinguished by its great Renaissance square and beautiful town hall (formerly a castle) which are at the centre of this video storytelling initiative to promote the ancient splendour of the town. An information center and 3d paths are being created as part of the project particularly at the Torrione degli Spagnoli and Sala del Guerriero. These installations will be a bridge between the past and present of this amazing patrimony.



Read more about the Adrion Thematic Sub-Cluster On Cultural and Creative Industries
Read more about CCI4TOURISM
Read more about CREATURES