TOURALIn the digital age, preserving and promoting cultural heritage has taken on new dimensions. The TOURAL project stands as a beacon in this endeavor, aiming to leverage technology and collaboration to safeguard and celebrate Europe’s rich cultural tapestry. As a proud partner of the TOURAL project, the Balkan Heritage Foundation is excited to be part of this groundbreaking initiative, and our involvement allows us to extend our reach and impact across the continent. From its ambitious goals to its diverse array of partners, TOURAL represents a concerted effort to preserve and promote Europe’s rich cultural heritage for present and future generations.

Project Goal – Empowering Sustainable Tourism:

One of the key aspects of the TOURAL project that resonates deeply with the Balkan Heritage Foundation is its focus on sustainable tourism. We recognize the vital role that tourism plays in both promoting cultural heritage and supporting local economies. By developing digital tools and platforms that enhance the visitor experience and encourage responsible tourism practices, TOURAL aims to create a more sustainable future for heritage sites across Europe. Through our involvement in the project, we are actively contributing to this important aspect of cultural heritage management.

Exploring Europe’s Diverse Heritage:

TOURAL’s geographical coverage spans the breadth of Europe, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the forests of Scandinavia, each area with its own unique heritage assets and challenges. By taking a pan-European approach, TOURAL ensures that its digital tools and resources are accessible and relevant to people across the continent. As a partner organization based in the Balkans, we bring a unique perspective and expertise to the project, highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Southeast Europe. From ancient archaeological sites to traditional crafts and folk traditions, the Balkans offer a wealth of cultural treasures waiting to be discovered. Through our contributions to TOURAL, we aim to showcase the diversity and richness of our region’s heritage to a global audience.


The strength of TOURAL lies in its collaborative approach, bringing together a consortium of 20 partners from across Europe. Leading academic institutions, cultural organizations, and technology companies are joining forces to contribute their expertise and resources to the project. Among the partners are renowned academic institutions, such as the Université d’Aix Marseille, which brings research excellence and academic rigor to the project, and local institutions and associations like Nesebar Municipality, Regione Abruzzo and the International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), which provide invaluable local insights into preserving and interpreting cultural heritage.


The ambitious scope of the TOURAL project would not be possible without substantial financial support. Funding for TOURAL is provided by the European Union through its Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. This substantial investment underscores the EU’s commitment to promoting cultural heritage as a cornerstone of European identity and cohesion. By allocating resources to projects like TOURAL, the EU aims to stimulate innovation, create new opportunities for cultural exchange, and foster sustainable tourism practices across the continent.

In summary, the TOURAL project represents a collaborative effort to harness technology and innovation to create local tourism models for developing sustainabable tourism in Europe’s rural regions, through the preservation and promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage. With its ambitious goals, diverse array of partners, substantial funding, and expansive geographical coverage, TOURAL is poised to make a significant impact in the field of cultural heritage conservation and interpretation. We are honored to be part of this project, which holds great promise for the preservation and promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage. Through our contributions to TOURAL, we are committed to empowering sustainable tourism, showcasing the diverse heritage of the Balkans and Europe, and ensuring that these treasures are protected and enjoyed by generations to come. As Europe continues to evolve in the digital age, projects like TOURAL serve as invaluable assets in safeguarding the treasures of the past for generations to come.

This work was conducted within the framework of the TOURAL project, which is funded by the Commission of the European Union (Grant Agreement No. 101132489). Study sponsors had no role in writing this article. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the authors’ employers, the TOURAL project, or the Commission of the European Union.