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Cultural Heritage: exploiting Opportunities for Rural Development (CHORD)
Start date: Mar 31, 2009, End date: Sep 29, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The final aim of CHORD is to develop and experiment a common strategy to implement innovative cultural services and promote initiatives that can increase the attractiveness and economic value of the cultural heritage of the MED area. Many inland Med areas have significant cultural heritage and resources that could be exploited for specific sectors of the tourism market, thereby benefiting their economic growth. In many cases, local communities are not aware of the economic potential of their cultural heritage and this has led to migratory phenomena and a loss in Mediterranean identity. This cultural heritage can be an extremely successful engine for growth and a balanced polycentric development if correctly harnessed and incorporated into a strategic system. The project will identify and develop innovative, solutions for balanced actions and marketing plans to promote sustainable creative and cultural enterprise hubs. A key output will be the joint development of an innovative transferable model for a cluster marketing strategy, providing cultural services and guaranteeing information and access. This requires a holistic view of development and management, addressing shortcomings and constraints and exploiting local heritage and local strengths. The mix of partners between territorial authorities and public bodies representing the business community is key to ensure capacity building and enable the implementation and eventual capitalisation of the project outputs. Achievements: State of the art of project implementation since the project startCHORD- Cultural Heritage: exploiting Opportunities for Rural Development- has created new cultural heritage poles and experimented new market opportunities for tourism to promote the unique qualities of rural Mediterranean tangible and intangible cultural heritage and identity. The project has fostered rural economic and cultural valorization, promoting innovative cultural poles based on the partners' cultural heritage and landscape values, which have been promoted in CHORD road shows in Munich, Vienna and Paris to press, tour operators and opinion-makers in key target markets and in a visit to Benevento Province. Peer-exchange and clustering cooperation through the project activities have also strengthened the decision-making, vision, governance and impact at local level. The project has been promoted in the 2010 Open Days in Brussels and actively participated in the EU political debate on the European Heritage Label and the potential of cultural heritage for economic development.Latest project activities and outputsNational Seminars have been held in Italy, Spain and Greece. The Cultural Heritage Poles Study has been updated with EU policy. An innovative capitalisation action was organised at Solopaca (Province of Benevento) from 9 -11 September on the occasion of the annual Grape and Wine Festival. Exhibition corners and tastings were set up for each partner inside the Museo enogastronomico in Solopaca (historic Wine and Food Museum) and international journalists/opinionmakers hosted to promote the project results. An experimental and innovative marketing strategy was developed for the partners. A high level Final Event was held in Brussels -Dynamization of the local economies through interregional cooperation in the Mediterranean area. Two case studies: CHORD & INNOVATEMED- on 15 September in the presence of representatives from the EU Commission. Joint service and cultural databases were created.
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