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2006-05-19 - Valletta / The Hague
EUROPE NEEDS TO STRIKE THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AND HERITAGE CONSERVATION
EuropaNostra
www.europanostra.org



Valletta / The Hague, 19 May 2006: At its Annual Congress in Malta, Europa
Nostra - the pan-European federation for cultural heritage which brings
together over 200 heritage NGOs - today adopted the Malta Declaration
advocating the right balance between economic development, sustainable
tourism and heritage conservation, which includes the prevention of
undesirable overdevelopment and related damage to the cultural heritage
through careful planning.

Cultural tourism can bring much needed funds to Europes historic sites
and countryside. But the knock-on effects of cultural tourism can also
adversely affect the life of local communities, explained HRH the Prince
Consort of Denmark, President of Europa Nostra, in his opening speech at
the Forum Cultural Tourism: Its Encouragement and Control. Europe
needs to encourage cultural tourism in a balanced and sustainable way as a
means of investing in and regenerating cultural heritage areas and
experiencing the places and activities that authentically represent the
cultural heritage, character and history of an area, whilst ensuring the
widest appreciation of Europe's cultural heritage, he concluded.

The Cultural Tourism Forum - which brought together more than 200 delegates
from twenty-six European countries - was the highlight of this years
Annual Congress of Europa Nostra, organised in close cooperation with Din
lArt elwa (The National Trust of Malta), the key heritage NGOs in
Malta, and with the support of the European Commission. Speakers at the
Forum included Maltas Minister for Culture and Tourism, Dr Francis Zammit
Dimech, as well as representatives from the European Institute for Cultural
Routes (Luxembourg), Heritage Malta, Tourism Concern (UK) and the
European Cultural Tourism Network, coordinated by the Wales Tourist Board.

The Malta Declaration calls upon EU Institutions, the Council of Europe,
Europes national and regional governments, tourism and heritage
organisations to apply the principles in Tourism Code of Ethics of the
World Tourism Organisation and the International Cultural Tourism
Charter of ICOMOS. While welcoming the recent documents of various EU
Institutions (the European Commission, European Parliament and the European
Economic and Social Committee) which have focused on the need for
sustainable tourism development, the Malta Declaration recommends that the
principles embodied in the two above-mentioned documents which underscore
Europa Nostras commitment and approach to cultural tourism, be fully
incorporated into future EU policy.

Europa Nostra recognises that cultural tourism is one of the key drivers of
European economic growth and development. Moreover, it is one of the key
means of cultural exchange between European citizens and one of the most
valuable instruments of inter-cultural dialogue. Europa Nostra therefore
pledges to encourage the principles of sustainable cultural tourism, while
at the same time urging the introduction of necessary controls to protect
individual cultural heritage sites. Through its Malta Declaration, Europa
Nostra makes a series of specific recommendations, calling upon EU
Institutions, the Council of Europe, Europes national, regional and local
governments, and heritage organisations to:
- Champion sustainable growth in the cultural tourism market, while also
taking positive steps to prevent damage and degradation of the cultural
heritage by careful planning to maintain the volume of tourists to heritage
travel destination areas to within optimum sustainable limits;
- Safeguard the conservation of cultural heritage sites by anticipating
construction development pressures in travel destination areas and applying
techniques to prevent undesirable over-development and damage as a result
of the demands of cultural tourism;
- Promote the idea of a European Label for Sustainable Cultural Tourism,
within the framework of Europe as a global tourism destination, and on the
basis of the principles set out in the Malta Declaration.


The full text of the Declaration is available on;

http://www.europanostra.org/declaration_culturaltourism.htm


For more information:

Charlotte OConnor, Communications Officer, Europa Nostra
co@europanostra.org, +31 70 302 40 55
Mark Snethlage, Campaigns & Policy Officer, Europa Nostra
imo@europanostra.org, +31 70 302 40 51



Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Heritage, is the
representative platform of over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe.
It is the voice of this vast movement of European civil society active in
the field of heritage towards international bodies concerned, in particular
the European Union Institutions, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Europa
Nostra is dedicated to putting heritage and its benefits in the mainstream
of public consciousness and to making heritage a priority for public
policies both at European and national levels. Its specific objectives are
to promote, at a European level, high standards of quality in the fields of
heritage conservation, architecture, urban and rural planning and to
advocate a balanced and sustainable development of urban and rural, built
and natural environment. Europa Nostra supports national and international
campaigns for the preservation and rescue of Europes heritage at risk. It
encourages exemplary initiatives in favour of the conservation and
enhancement of cultural heritage by recognising outstanding heritage
achievements, in particular through the running of the European Union Prize
for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. In early 2006, Europa Nostra
was selected as the new Liaison Office for the co-ordination of the
"European Heritage Days", a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and
the European Union. Through its various activities, Europa Nostra seeks to
highlight the importance of cultural heritage as a building block of
European identity and as a contribution to the strengthening of the sense
of European citizenship.






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