The Study Visits in Seville, Medina Azahara and Cordoba

Last November 10th and 11th, the Andalusian Council of Chambers of Commerce hosted in Seville and Cordova the representatives of the tourism sector from Portugal, Sicily, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Andalusia in the Study Visit framed in the Umayyad project.

The main objective of the meeting was the good practices exchange in the field of cultural tourism among the relevant entrepreneurs and policy makers in the tourist and cultural sector of the participating countries of the project. These ones will act as ambassadors for their territories and thereafter will share the acquired knowledge with other representative members of the Local Support Group, already created in each country to reach public-private partnerships and to design cultural tourist itineraries, based on the legacy of the Umayyad dynasty.

Also this activity, organized by the Andalusian Council of Chambers of Commerce, aimed to involve the different stakeholders from the tourism sector in the management, promotion and dissemination of cultural tourism and to transfer best practices in order to create cultural tourism routes.

Last November the 10th, the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce of Seville hosted the first activities, consisting of a series of presentations and round tables on the project. The program of this Conference was opened with a welcome speech of the President of the Council Andalusian Chambers of Commerce, Antonio Ponce, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Seville, Francisco Herrero, who acted as host of the meeting. Finally, the general Secretary of Culture of the Regional Ministry of Culture of Andalusia, Eduardo Tamarit, gave a welcome speech about the major axes of the cultural policy that are carried out in Andalusia at the present time.

Afterwards, the entrepreneurs participated in a Study Visit where they had the opportunity to exchange best practices in the cultural tourism sector during the panel discussion. Also, political and institutional stakeholders took part in the panel of experts and talked about the key issues for cultural tourism development and existing public support programs. Then took place the conference Cultural tourism as an opportunity of business and sustainable development in the territories in charge of tourist companies’ expert, Domènec Biosca. This talk gave way to the participation of expert representatives of the seven countries in two round tables. In the first, entrepreneurs in the tourism sector presented examples of good practices in this sector in each of the countries. On this occasion, the turn corresponded to the institutional representatives in cultural tourism in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan.

During the second day, participants visited the archaeological site of Madinat al-Zahra as an example of enhancement of heritage and the Umayyad Mosque of Cordoba, and thus following the path of the Umayyads in Andalusia.

The expected outcome of the project is to create a joint tourist itineraries in the various member countries which are integrated into a transnational route for tourism in order to realize the Umayyad rich heritage of the countries involved, under a common tourism brand in the Mediterranean. The Umayyad project is co-financed from the ENPI CBC Med program.

More than 80 entrepreneurs and stakeholders from tourism sector in seven Mediterranean countries participated in the Study Visit, which took place in Seville, Madinat al-Zahra and Cordova last November 10th and 11th.

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