Heritage and sustainable tourism: a pilot project between Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and France



In 2022, Sites & Cités remarquables de France was selected as part of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs ‘ “Turnkey” call for projects for a project built with international partners in Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

In the 4 countries , 14 local authorities are involved in this project, with the support of associated partners such as the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, Pro Colombia, and the Association of Mexican World Heritage Cities, as well as heritage and tourism professionals and experts in the four countries.

  • France (4): Bordeaux, Dinan, Draguignan, Elbeuf-sur-Seine.
  • Colombia (4): Cartagena, Leya, Paipa, Sogamoso
  • Ecuador (3): Cuenca, Loja, Quito.
  • Mexico (3): Campeche, Morelia, Puebla.

Over a three-year period – 2022-2023-2024 – this project has a triple objective of heritage knowledge, protection and enhancementThis cross-disciplinary project combines the tools of sustainable and inclusive tourism to raise awareness among local residents and decision-makers, and to enhance the value of the areas concerned.

Project highlights

3 major actions proposed to establish, in the 4 countries, a network of multidisciplinary players on the issues of heritage enhancement and sustainable tourism:

  • Time for online and on-site exchanges between local authorities in the 4 countries: webinars, training courses, study tours, workshops, seminars, digital forum…
  • Pilot projects: experimentation, in the communities involved, with initiatives to enhance old town centers and promote tourist destinations.
  • Enhancement and promotion of territories: traveling exhibition dedicated to discovering the heritage of the communities involved, dedicated website, promotion via social networks…

Project objectives

The challenges faced by French local authorities are similar to those faced by Colombian, Ecuadorian and Mexican communities: enhancing the value of heritage and territories, using heritage as a lever for tourism development and balancing flows, linking heritage preservation and urban planning, and raising heritage awareness among all stakeholders.
This project aims to encourage the sharing of experiences that will benefit all participating partners, with the following objectives:

  • Share experiences between Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and France on the development of sustainable tourism, based on the richness of heritage and old town centers.
  • Promoting heritage in all its richness and diversity
  • Promoting cities and regions involved in the project
  • Raising awareness among residents and visitors of the importance of heritage and the living environment
  • Create an international exchange network on the challenges of heritage enhancement and sustainable tourism development, highlighting pilot operations developed by local authorities.

Benefits for communities

The project will enable communities to :

  • Launch concrete actions, setting up operational tools that can serve as a basis for larger-scale projects;
  • Strengthen the skills of those involved in heritage enhancement and sustainable tourism;
  • Be part of a network of partners and experts in all four countries;
  • Strengthen the local population’ s understanding of heritage, and raise awareness among elected representatives and professionals of the importance of making heritage a central part of local development policies;
  • Facilitate the international mobility of project participants during the various exchange sessions;
  • Offer participants an outside perspective, enriching their respective practices;
  • Benefit from international visibility for the actions implemented.

Our partners