This document reflects only the author’s view and that the Programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
From February 2018 till January 2022 our Foundation is involved in the InterregMed program. Within it, we are involved in the Specific Objective 3.1 (3rd axis “natural and cultural resources”, theme 1 “sustainable tourism”), which aims to improve and develop a sustainable and responsible maritime and coastal tourism. The project we are partner of, is called Herit-Data: Sustainable Heritage Management towards Mass Tourism Impact thanks to a holistic use of Big and Open Data. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aiming at encouraging and stimulating cooperation and sharing of experiences in the Mediterranean area. Regarding our Foundation the funds are coming both from ERDF and the Ministry of Economics and Finance in Italy.
About the winning
The program is divided in modular calls and Heirt-Data partnership attended the second one with Tuscany Region as project leader. The call collected 147 proposals, 96 for single projects and 51 for integrated projects. After a long selection process, on January 2018 the partnership received the positive news to have been selected among the 5 winner of the 51 integrated projects presented, which means just the 10% of the total.
Even if tourism is an important engine for the economic growth, is also cause of the endanger of local heritage and the consequent efforts for its management and preservation. Herit-Data project has the goal to reduce the impact of the activity related to tourism, focusing on two main kind of destinations strongly hit by overflows of tourists: historical city centers and heritage, cultural and archaeological sites, as well the Unesco sites, which happens to be in such a large number in the Mediterranean area (MED).
Being this the context, the project aims to promote a sustainable management of the touristic flows, and at the same time promoting the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean regions, capitalizing technologies and innovations used for Smart Cities in other local and social policy instruments. Project partners will develop, test and transfer solutions (models, strategies, A.i. instruments, App, etc…) in line with the recent changes in the sector and that will help through a platform to collect data and resources and to analyse the impact of tourism on selected destinations. The result will be both an output of the analysis and an instrument to be used the ease the decision making process.
Project partners are made by public and private entities belonging to Italy, Spain, Croatia, France, Portugal, plus four Regions member of the IMC (InterMediterranean Commission): Tuscany, Valencia, Occitane, West Greece.
The 15th of May 2018 project activities were officially started with a kick-off in Florence, in Palazzo Strozzi-Sacrati, hosted by Tuscany Region. The meeting was just for the partners, plus we had the pleasure to have as guest the Project Officer. This was the 2nd Stakeholder project meeting, since the 1st one took place via skype in March 2018. Read the news here.
The 3rd Steering Meeting Group happened to be in Montpellier on 23rd November of the same year. Read the news related to the 3rd SG here. At that time Herit-Data was right in the middle of WP3 – studying development, which means project partners were studying and deepening mass tourism effects in Med areas and identifing new and/or already existing data and methods to homogeneously collect them. The WP3 started in March 2018 and ended in April 2019. The deliverables produced in this context were the following:
- A mass tourism study on 6 specific destinations, among which the Unesco area in Florence
- The definition of indicators connected to cultural heritage, that were defined by partner project according also to needs that each destination with a pilot project
In March 2019 the 4th Steering Group meeting took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, hosted by DURA partner. Due to the close border with Herzegovina Region, a study visit to the cities of Trebijn and Mostar was added to the meeting program. You can have more information on the 4th SGM here.
The results obtained in WP3 were preparatory for the following WP4 – testing, as its aim is to develop an ICT tool to use open data and transform them in new sources of information available for everyone, especially PAs and policy makers. These entities will be then supported by the tool for tourism management in the decision making process. Further on, the tool will be tested in 5 destination among those of the Herit-Data partnership, in order to adapt and transfer the tool in other Mediterranean destination once the project is over. At the moment partner are studying the development of one or more platform to be used according to project needs (can communicate internally and externally). WP4 started in May 2019 and will end in December 2020.
In October 2019 in Caparica, Portugal, the 5th Steering Group took place. The occasion was used to discuss about progresses made, on how to proceed on the platform development and to deepen communcation and platform themes throught the involvment of all the partners attending the meeting, but not only (a telco connection was available, too). Also, a team of journalists experts in video making joined the 5th SG meeting to shoot short videos of each partner to better advertise the work that each partner is doing in the project. The videos will be relised once a week, at the end of the present page there are the available links (or you can check Herit-Data offical Youtube channel).
2020 foresaw unexpected and unprecedent development, as Corona virus started spreading all over the world and affecting severly different economic sectors, among which tourism. Herit-Data project was affected as many other similar project with the same subject within the Interreg MED program. For example, two Steering Committee meetings to be held in person had to switch to online form, as no travelling was allowed. On the bright side, a new partner joined the project, DISIT Lab from Florence, which is an IT service and solution provider that set up the current Herit-Data platform thanks to the Snap4City solution they developed: such services allowed to build an umbrella project platform under which 6 platforms, one for each pilot, were and will be deployed. The pilot sites had to postpone their data collection activities, due as mentioned to the lack of tourism, and had to focus on the setting up of the dedicated environment on the platform, preparation of tools for real time data collection and also, since this activity was not possible, to switch temporarly the research subject on available historic data to start the collection process and the consequent data ingestion by the platform, with the aim to have interactive Dashboards. In the same year, a short but effective and entertaining presentation of Herit-Data was published, in the form of a two-minutes video: aims, goals, and development, all in a easy-to-understand language, here the link link.
2021 foresaw a recovery of project activities, and the 6 pilot projects continued implementing the measurements of the newly (or already existing) installed sensors. Such tools are able to collect useful data in terms of tourist management for PAs and Policy Makers. Moreover, Herit-Data website was renewed to guarantee a better user-experience.
About Florence pilot, a nudging experimentation (a behavioural science more and more used in the last years) was performed, in order to get suggestions and improvements on the informative approach towards toursits to be put in place by the Municipality of Florence, but also to smartly promote secondary attractions and measuring the results obtained. More information about nudging experimentation and the physical event that took place in Florence in July 2021, please read our news here.
To always be updated on Herit-Data progresses, please visit the official website (https://herit-data.interreg-med.eu/)
Here’s the list of the e-flashes that monthly tell more about project development and give an overview of tourism sphere. By clicking on the month the link will open on the correspondent e-flash. To subscribe, please use this link to go to mailchimp subscribing page.
Short videos were realized within the project purpose. Each partner had the chance to represent his/her entity by telling in few sentences his/her role in the project and the activities managed till now. Quick, clean messages to get to know the partners and to listen their point of view on how the project works. Each contribution, when put together with the other ones, becomes simply.. Herit-Data!
1st episode-> Alicia Gomis, from Turisme Comunitat Valenciana (Spain)
2nd episode -> Stjepan Cavar, from City of Dubrovnik Development Agency (Croatia)
3rd episode -> Rose-Aurore Leal, from AVITEM (France)
4th episode -> Davide Bruno and Luca Cipriani, from Regione Toscana (Italy)
5th episode -> Isidora Karan, from Centre for Spatial Reserach (Bosnia&Herzegovina)
6th episode -> Chiara Guiggiani, from our Foundation
7th episode -> Daniel Basulto, from Fundacion Sanata Maria la Real del Patrimonio Historico (Spain)
8th episode -> Magali Ferrand, from Region Occitanie (France)
9th episode -> Andreas Matthiopoulos, from Region of Western Greece (Greece)
10th episode -> Claudia Guzzon, from Conference of Pheriferal Maritime Regions (France)
11th episode -> Joan Meseguer LLopis, from Foundation Valencia Port (Spain)
12th episode -> Giulia David, from AVITEM (France)
13th episode -> Pedro Pereira, from Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)