Capital cities are Capital: Identity Based Tourism and Cultural diversity within the EU

Events / 29.4.11

Toruism and identity_flyer_en

In the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy and new competences on tourism attributed to the Treaty of Lisbon that allows for the creation of a a new legal basis entirely devoted to tourism, which should reinforce the EU as the foremost tourist destination of the world.

The Centre Maurits Coppieters and The Josep Irla Foundation organize a conference on the role of capital cities as an attracting tourism pole and strategies for a more competitive tourism industry based on culture and identity.

Marien André, Lecturer of Applied Economics (University of Barcelona) presented her report on Tourism Strategies for European Capitals for Fundació Josep Irla and the Centre Maurits Coppieters. she concludes that:

1 – Tourism is a growing industry
2 – More attractive cities base their appeal on culture (in a broad sense – identity, gastronomy, lifestyle, monuments, museums) because tourist pursue unique experiences, therefore a unique identity facilitates city branding.
3 – Analyzed cities are making an active effort to project themselves (their uniqueness) and this effort in promoting tourism has to be correctly planned to avoid risk of overcrowding, saturation, and even a loss of identity (when cities become theme parks).

The PAPER can be found HERE

The conference developed as follows:

10:00 Accreditation.

10:15 Welcome words.

Günther Dauwen
Secretary of the Centre Maurits Coppieters

Isabel Nonell

Vicepresident of the Centre Maurits Coppieters

10:30 Opening address. Cultural tourism: A driving force for economic development.

Josep Huguet
President of the Fundació Josep Irla

Chair: Josep Vall
Director of the Fundació Josep Irla

11:00 Presentation of the Report on Tourism Strategies for European Capitals.

Marien André
Lecturer of Applied Economics, University of Barcelona. Author of the report.

Chair: Miguel Martinez Tomey
Board member of the Centre Maurits Coppieters

12:00 Coffee break.

12:15 Round Table. The Role of Capitals in Nation Branding.

Felipe Urkudi,
Aralar candidate for the 2011 local elections in Bilbao

Jordi Portabella,
Esquerra (ERC) candidate for the 2011 local elections in Barcelona

Moderator: Enric Rimbau. Journalist

Rubén Cela (BNG) candidate for the 2011 local elections in Santiago de Compostela and Josu Ruiz (EA) candidate for the 2011 local elections in Donostia had to be excused.

13:30 Closing address

Oriol Junqueras
Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/European Free Alliance Group

Chairs: Xabier Macias
President of the Centre Maurits Coppieters

You can download the full program in english HERE | in Catalan HERE


Places are limited.
If you want to attend please send an email to before 27th April 2011 at 20:00.

Press and Media please contact


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This Conference is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference nor the opinions of the speakers.