Mapping territorial assets: behind the scenes of the CROSSDEV project
The goal of the CROSSDEV project is to increase tourism competitiveness and attractiveness of less known destinations and rural areas in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Italy, improving skills and knowledge, contributing to build a better tourism to benefit socio-economic development and the protection of the environment and cultural heritage. Over the last months, Italian partner CoopCulture played a crucial role to achieve this goal mapping all activities, possibilities and assets of each territory involved in the project.
Through one-to-one meetings with each partner, the project managed to gather both the locals’ point of view – from people who live and know the territory – and the experts’ one, complete with strategies, policies, and innovative tourism ideas adapted to each area. Matching local experience and wise expertise was the occasion to find the right way to build exceptional and unique tourist products able to attract sustainable tourists and to enhance business opportunities for the locals.
Promoting dialogue between locals and the others – experts or people not directly involved and hence able to find new and unusual perspectives – is one of CROSSDEV’s major strengths.
The mapping work will continue in the next months, a slow and thorough work of knowledge and discover, a kind of auto analysis in which everyone realises something about themselves and their territory.
Thanks to this delicate and important task we are learning that the project’s implementation areas have a lot in common and also many differences that make each destination unique.
In this laborious work of evaluation, we found more than 300 assets to analyse. Services, activities, experiences, cities in the areas, handicraft specialities, cultural points of interest, accommodation solutions, events, ways to connect with local communities…
Meanwhile, our mission is highlighting the common identity that gathers all our areas together and make sure the message reaches the new tourist, the one that, after the pandemic crisis, has new expectations and goals, a tourist looking for an authentic experience allowing them to smell, taste and feel, after years of online-only life.
Following UNESCO’s lead, intangible cultural heritage will be the heart of all itineraries and experiences of the CROSSDEV project.
Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.