“Certo” is a project submitted to the European Union’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme.
The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme supports innovation activities, facilitates better access to financing and provides business support services in regions. It also promotes better assimilation and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and helps to develop the information society.
Cross-border cooperation projects regarding European Cultural Itineraries 23/G/ENT/CIP/11/B/N02S008.
“Cultural European Routes: Tools for a coordinated communication & marketing strategy” (Acronym: CERTO)
16 months (04/2012 to 08/2013)
1. Via Francigena, from Great Britain to Italy
2. Route of St. Olav, in Scandinavia
3. Way of St. James
Routes of Europe GEIE (Project leader)
Santiago City Council
EICR – European Institute of Cultural Itineraries
AEVF – European Association of the Via Francigena
NCP – National Pilgrim Centre for the St. Olav Route
This call for proposals is aimed at supplementing the different initiatives undertaken by the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Europe. Its general objective is therefore helping to solve one of the most important problems and weaknesses: the lack of common and coordinated European communication and a marketing strategy for cultural tourism initiatives, i.e. the lack of a genuine European “cultural tourism” product.
The project has the objective of promoting and boosting the visibility of three European Pilgrimage Routes: The Way of St. James, the Via Francigena and the Route of St. Olav, by creating an integrated range of products from the selected cultural itineraries, developing sustainable products in the associated territories and a marketing strategy for quality cultural tourism initiatives.
The main objectives are:
A- Developing innovative marketing: The idea is to present and test an innovative tool, Tour Boxes, which will be used as a co-marketing instrument to link the three routes together. They will include the participation of other partners, such as tour operators, travel agencies and any entity interested in the project. The project will be limited to creating a design for the Tour Boxes and an accompanying brochure; marketing will be introduced outside the project. A catalogue will likewise be prepared with each route’s “star” products, including craftwork and gastronomy products with guarantee of origin. This catalogue will be presented at tourist fairs and distributed by the partners. The possibility of adding one of these products as a small detail within the Tour Box is being considered.
B- Ensuring quality and promoting the participation of businesses. The project will centre on ensuring the quality and availability of the three route’s products in specific sections of the itineraries, with the aim of improving the ECR (European Consumer Response) system. The adoption of a common quality brand encompassing the three routes will be decisive in this regard. This will involve increasing the number of businesses in addition to those already associated in Italy and Spain under the brand of the leader, “Routes of Europe.” The project will therefore include businesses from other countries, especially in the north of Europe, and will add new categories, such as travel agencies and tour operators, which were not contemplated in the original brand certification system.
C- Greater visibility. The idea is to increase cooperation synergies with the media and advertise the three routes’ integrated initiatives as a joint network, with the following objectives:
1. Improving the partners’ web portals, translating them into more languages.
2. Using innovative communication tools for the media.
3. Publishing a special issue of the “Fancigena Ways” magazine and a video documenting the three routes.
4. Promoting educational initiatives centred on cultural associations and schools, so that they can become acquainted with and use the three routes’ educational products.
Summer 2011: Santiago City Council signs on to present its candidacy for the Certo Project.
April 2012: First meeting in Parma after the project is approved.
October 2012: Second meeting in Trondheim.
January 2013: Presentation of project at Fitur.
February 2013: Presentation at BIT Milan.
March 2013: Presentation of tour boxes at ITB Berlin.
April 2013: Educational trip to Santiago de Compostela from Italy and Norway.
July 2013: Final event in Trondheim.