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HERIT-DATA: Innovative solutions to better manage tourism flows impact on cultural and natural heritage sites through technologies and big data

HERIT-DATA is an EU funded project implemented from 2018 to 2022. Its aim has been to reduce the impact of tourism activities on cultural heritage, by taking advantage of technology and data exploitation. The project focused especially on old towns and sites of particular archaeological and cultural interest, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. HERIT-DATA partners developed, tested and transfered a series of tools to collect, generate, integrate, analyse information and transform it into behaviour changes. The results contributed to improving decision-making processes run by public administration & tourism or heritage managing bodies.HERIT-DATA has defined a set of indicators to collect data about tourism flows and is developed an online platform to analyze this data. The platform will help policymakers, destination managers, cities and sites to anticipate and manage the tourism flows in a smarter way. An App will use this data and help visitors to better organize their visits. To facilitate the transfer of the knowledge acquired throughout the project, the Herit-Data partners, draft a Mass Tourism Management model for the Mediterranean cultural heritage, based on new technologies. It gathered all the developed definitions, experiences and methodologies towards the use of data and indicators, define a strategy towards the carrying capacity of destinations. The Herit-Data benchmarking study, managed by TURISME COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, analyses the management undertaken by diverse tourist destination, such as Amsterdam, Valencia or Florence, in relation to mass tourism, its planning and lines of action; especially when new technologies are used to manage the flows of tourists.