European Stories

From September 2019 to February 2022, the international project European Stories ("Истории от Европа") with the support of the Erasmus + program encouraged the development of new cultural routes in the field of tourism.

Two of the partnering cities involved in this project were European Capitals of Culture in 2019 which was important in the context of this project - Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria.

Project Results:

International trainings in the project:

October 2021, in Matera, Italy

Training hosted by the Italian partner Materahub in the period October 10 - 14.

The training provided partners and participants with insights into the secrets of the city and how residents and diverse organizations work to preserve its cultural heritage and community. The key is creating spaces for community experiences and considering tourists as "temporary residents", a notion that was not always fully transparent to the locals or the visitors during the European Capital of Culture title in 2019.

Various business models were also tested during the training. The team of Intercultura Consult participated with an example from Bulgaria for the development of alternative cultural tourism in Chelopech. You can read more about the offer here.

June 2021, online

Training led by the Irish and Romanian partners in the period June 21 - 23. The participants learned about various tools for creating and presenting stories in a digital environment, including AR and VR tools. Find some of them here.

March 2021, online

Training led by the Bulgarian partners in the period March 23 - 25.

Participants discovered different methods for extracting stories from the local context and for their application in the development of tourist proposals - live and in a digital environment.

Intercultura Consult, represented by Dr. Ruth Cherrington, Dr. Petya Koleva and Milena Berbenkova, introduced the participants to methods and techniques of transferring stories in a digital environment. Dr. Ruth Cherrington demonstrated place-cast stories about specific places in the form of a podcast or a vlog. Participants were offered the opportunity to create their own stories in this format. Dr. Petya Koleva and Milena Berbenkova shared news on trends regarding the interests of the public towards cultural content accessible online from the survey and research analysis conducted within ICC’s project „Reconnect“.

Public presentation of the project in Bulgaria:

Intercultura Consult organised a public event on September 29, 2021 in Sofia in order to share results from the project and stimulate local exchange. Representatives of the cultural and tourism sector were introduced to good practices in the field of cultural tourism from different regions of Europe, studied within the project. The participants also shared experiences and initiatives in the sector in Bulgaria and benefited from networking opportunities.

Mapping of good practices from Bulgaria

The Bulgarian partners held experimental sessions - meetings with organizations and actors in the sector in Sofia (led by Intercultura Consult) and in Plovdiv (led by the Department of Ethnology at the University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski"). These discussions and findings became part of the input for a training course for mediators and instructors for tourism activities. Intercultura Consult collected information from representatives of organizations and creators who use storytelling in their activities. (PDF)

Transnational meetings

After the first transnational meeting in Bordeaux, France, due to the pandemic with COVID-19 partners had to conduct all other meetings online.

In an online meeting on June 30, 2020 the Bulgarian partners presented two organizations from Bulgaria, that work with alternative approaches in the presentation of a location, and stimulate the linguistic and cultural diversity of the place:
1. Meeting Points Foundation from Sofia, which conducts the Food and Spice Tour;
2. 2. Association for Culture, Ethnology and Anthropology "Mediator", which conducts sensory walks in Plovdiv.

The partners met in Bordeaux, France on 13-14 January 2020. Find out more about the meeting from Petya Koleva's article here.

European Stories (2019-1-FR01-KA204-063140) partners:
● France: Le LABA, Les Balades Alternatives;
● Bulgaria: Intercultura Consult, University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski";
● Italy: Materahub;
● Ireland: Momentum Marketing Services Ltd, Roscommon Leader Partnership;
● Romania: The National University of Theatre and Film "I.L.Caragiale".

The project was directed towards the conception of urban walks and experiences that:
- offer an alternative perspective on a given space (city, neighbourhood, district, etc.);
- share stories of places and local communities;
- stimulate the linguistic and cultural diversity of the place;
- strive to create opportunities for sustainable development of the tourism sector.

The partners developed a training module and tested models for the creation of a city tour based on local stories. Intercultura Consult worked with the University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski" to develop a methodology and test the model, as well as to create a program to train representatives from different organizations or people from the local community who wish to develop their own tour related to their own people, history or city. Intercultura Consult's goals were both training and exploring the business models of inclusive tourism organizations to promote sustainable tourism and local development.

Contact our team.