Historical Thing Sites â€“ the Cradle of Democracy NORA pre-project
Haugland International Research and Development Centre October 2008
List of contents Part 1 Historical Thing Sites – The Cradle of Democracy, NORA Pre-project 2008 – Siri Ingvaldsen, HIFUS Part 2 Historic Assembly Sites, preliminary project – Marita S. Solvik, Stiftinga Jensbua Historical Thing Sites in the Nordic Area – Marita S. Solvik, Stiftinga Jensbua Part 3 Summary of discussions and feedbacks from the Thing Sites seminar in Gulen, Norway, June 2008 – Ivar Petter Grøtte, Vestlandsforsking Attachments Historical Thing Sites, NORA project, Network Contact Persons The Thing Sites conference in Gulen in June – Invitation and Programme The Thing Sites conference - List of Participants Letter of Intent Historical Thing Sites, NORA project, Contact Persons Tourism – Stiftinga Jensbua
Picture on the front page: Brattahlid, Greenland (photo from ppt by Edda Lyberth
Historical Thing Sites â€“ The Cradle of Democracy NORA Pre-project 2008 The medieval parliamentary assembly sites, the Thing Sites, could be regarded as the cradle of democracy in Europe. They were the first attempts to share power, to establish legislative and executive procedures in society and to adopt civil rights for the individual. The sites represent values such as freedom of speech and democracy. In some respects these values are under pressure in todayâ€™s world. It is therefore important to connect the history of the Thing Sites to conflict resolution issues today, and to pass on the values of the sites as the cradle of democracy. The Thing Sites of Northern Europe will to some extent face similar challenges, for instance in the conservation and administration of the sites, and in documenting and imparting knowledge about the history. There is a need for information, and presentations will have to be made available for many target groups: schools, tourists and an open and receptive audience in general. In this pre-project the main focus areas have been sustainable management of the Thing Sites, connected to tourism, documentation and interpretation. The sites have common challenges in preserving and managing the sites, and there is a need to explore the potentiality of tourism. Tourists increasingly ask for thematic trips and for cultural events at historical sites. Well educated people, who travel a lot, contribute to a more extensive demand for destinations combining travel experiences and learning.
The Millennium Site of Sogn og Fjordane, Gulating in Gulen
Conclusions The pre-project has strengthened contact between the countries in the North Atlantic region. A network of representatives of the Thing Sites is established. A Letter of Intent, formalizing the Thing Sites network, is signed by representatives of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the Orkneys, Isle of Man, Scotland Highland and Norway. A network of contact person within tourism business is established. This has already led to more visits at the Thing Sites, and cooperation will continue marketing the sites together. The pre-project has clarified that there is interest for cooperation among representatives of the Thing Sites in the North Atlantic region. Two main areas of future cooperation have been identified: management and tourism. These should go into a common major project, with strategies developed in close contact with the partners. Further cooperation should be built on input from the Thing Sites representatives, collected by HIFUS and Stiftinga Jensbua, and conclusions from the work seminar in Gulen in June, minuted by Vestlandsforsking. A main project could be initiated by appointing Vestlandsforsking to write the application for an EU project. One of the partners must take responsibility for leading the process.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland (photo from ppt by Sigurdur K. Oddson)
Aims of the pre-project The main aim: to find out what could be the foundation of a network between the historical Thing Sites in Northern Europe, in order to: develop common travel experiences connected to the Thing Sites market the Thing Sites together to spread knowledge and interest, and to expand the number of visits to each site and to their surroundings develop a network to exchange experiences and to foster cooperation renew and strengthen the historical ties between the Thing Sites Furthermore: To find out who could be the partners of a main project To identify objectives and common initiatives To identify relevant EU programmes
Tinganes in the Faroe Islands (photo from ppt by Barbara Crawford).
Organization The work has been organized in investigations, the collection of information, meetings, seminars and sightseeing. Haugland International Research and Development Centre (HIFUS) has led the project, and has been responsible for progress, reports and for making proposals for a main project. Each of the
partners has contributed with work through collecting information locally, formulating ideas, attending meetings and participating in seminars. A project committee has been established consisting of: Sigurdur K. Oddson, General Manager at Thingvellir National Park Ingigerd a Trødni, Kunnigarstovan Tórshavn, representative of the Faroe Islands Anne Karin Misje, Project Manager Gulatinget Marita S. Solvik, Manager Stiftinga Jensbua Trond Ueland, Co-ordinator International Affairs Sogn og Fjordane County and representative of NORA Magne Bjergene, General Manager HIFUS Siri Ingvaldsen, HIFUS, Project Manager NORA Project Magne Bjergene has been on sick leave since July 2008, and Arild Bergstrøm has stepped in as his deputy. Siri Ingvaldsen has been appointed as Project Manager in 25% position from January 1st to the end of June. The committee has had three telephone meetings: April 23rd, June 10th and October 29th.
Partners Initial partners planning the pre-project were Gulatinget Thing Site, Stiftinga Jensbua (a collaboration for the protection of cultural heritage and tourism) and HIFUS in Norway and Thingvellir in Iceland. Representatives of Tynwald in Isle of Man, Dingwall in Scotland Highland, and the Thing Sites in Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland and the Orkneys were invited to take part in the preproject. They all responded positively.
Tynwald Hill, Isle of Man (photo from ppt by Andrew Foxon) 6
Results Through the pre-project we wanted to find out what sort of initiatives we could cooperate on. Initially the following potential projects were discussed: To impart knowledge about the Thing Sites in travel-business Common marketing of the Thing Sites as the cradle of democracy To develop history trips to the Thing Sites around the North Sea The exchange of experience among the Thing Sites through a common network The pre-project examined what could be the foundation of a pilot project, aiming to extend the knowledge about the Thing Sites and the number of visits to the sites and their surroundings, and furthermore to renew and strengthen the historical ties between the Thing Sites. In the reportâ€™s part 2 challenges and relevant strategies on how to develop tourism connected to the Thing Sites are listed and commented on. Part 3 gives an overview of ideas of cooperation from a broad perspective, including initiatives on tourism, documentation and presentation, pedagogical challenges, interpretation, management, use of ICT and research on the Thing Sites. The concrete results of the pre-project can be summarized in the following points: a) A network of representatives of Thing Sites is established (list attached). The representatives have contributed to discussions and the proposals made. Input from emails and telephone discussions has been collected by the project manager, but most important: the representatives met at the Thing Sites conference in Gulen in June, and the presentations and discussions at the conference constituted a sketch of what could be the content of a main project. A list of contact persons within tourism business has been produced by Stiftinga Jensbua (attached). These are resource persons who will be connected to the marketing of Thing Sites in their country. The process of finding partners in order to produce tourist packages has started, and will be finalized by the tourist offices representing the sites. The packages will be developed on the qualities of the individual Thing Site and also aim to market and sell packages combining trips to more Thing Sites in the North Atlantic region.
Dingwall in Scotland (photo from ppt by Barbara Crawford) b) A Thing Sites conference was held in Gulen, June 23rd – 24th, gathering representatives from the Thing Sites in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the Orkneys, Scotland Highland, Isle of Man and Norway. Also present were representatives of Gulen Municipality, Sogn og Fjordane County and the tourism business in Norway. The conference focused on common challenges for the Thing Sites related to tourism, but also on cultural issues, administration, documentation and on imparting knowledge of the Thing Sites. One important discussion item was how more Thing Sites could achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status. See attached programme and list of participants. The Norwegian Minister of Government Administration and Reform and Nordic Cooperation Heidi Grande Røys opened the conference. Iceland’s Minister of Justice, Bjørn Bjarnason, also chairman of the Icelandic UNESCO Committee and chairman of the Thingvellir board, went through the process of establishing Thingvellir as a World Heritage Site. Sigurdur K. Oddson, General Manager at Thingvellir and Einar A.E. Sæmundsen, Interpretive Officer at Thingvellir, told about the site management, services to schools and tourism at Thingvellir. Trond Taugbøl from the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway informed about Norwegian and international initiatives related to UNESCO.
Trude Brosvik, Mayor of Gulen Municipality, Heidi Grande RĂ¸ys, The Norwegian Minister of Government Administration and Reform and Nordic Cooperation and Nils R. Sandal, Mayor of Sogn og Fjordane County (photo Anne-Karin Misje) John Hull, associate Director at New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, gave a speech about the challenges mass tourism represents for vulnerable historic places like the Thing Sites. Building up a sustainable tourism should be an important part of a Thing Sites cooperation. Barbara Crawford, historian, drew up the historical ties between the Thing Sites. This is the history we build on when renewing the connection between the sites and producing information for tourists and pedagogical material.
Sightseeing at the Gulating Millennium Site, left to right: Julie Gibson, the Orkneys, Trude Brosvik, mayor of Gulen Municipality and Andrew Foxon, Isle of Man (photo Ingigerd a TrĂ¸dni)
Left to right: Ingigerd a Trødni, the Faroe Islands, and Sandra and David MacDonald from Scotland, Dingwall (photo Ingigerd a Trødni)
Arne Sandnes from Norway and Edda Lyberth from Greenland (photo Ingigerd a Trødni) All representatives from the Thing Sites gave a presentation of their sites. Altogether these formed a valuable overview of the history and today’s situation. Ppts from the conference can be found at the Gulen Municipality’s web page, at “Skjema og dokument” in the left menu: http://hafs.ws.no/index.asp?meny=gulen&v=kommunar&h=gulen.asp?page=forsi den
A letter of intent was signed by the representatives, declaring the intention of cooperation and the need for an annual conference on these issues. The next conference will be in Iceland in 2009. Attached: Letter of Intent.
Signing Letter of Intent. Left to right: Julie Gibson, the Orkneys, Ingigerd a Trødni, the Faroe Islands, Andrew Foxon, Isle of Man, Nils R. Sandal, Mayor Sogn og Fjordane County, Trude Brosvik, Mayor Gulen Municipality, Bjørn Bjarnason, Minister of Justice, Iceland, Edda Lyberth, Greenland and David MacDonald, Scotland Highland (photo Anne-Karin Misje) Day two of the conference was a work seminar led by Vestlandsforsking Research Institute, investigating the interest for cooperation and identifying common challenges and issues that could fit into a future project. An important task was defining what EU programme could be relevant. Vestlandsforsking had produced a preparatory paper, which was sent to the participants in advance. Vestlandsforsking identified the two EU programmes most relevant in our case: Interreg IVB Northern Periphery and IVC, concluding that IVC would be preferable. Further work on an application for a main project will follow these recommendations. Vestlandsforsking’s report is included in the report, part 3. c) Report on expectations, challenges and relevant strategies connected to tourism The Thing Sites are utterly diverse, and challenges are in many ways different. Thingvellir is the only Thing Site with a visitor centre and a well developed programme for information to tourists and schools. The Gulating Site is built up
as a park with a stone monument and a stage, and the site is in the process of developing services to tourists and pedagogical material for schools. Efforts are being made to raise money for a visitor centre. Tynwald Hill is part of Manx National Heritage, and has a living tradition of ceremonies connected to the parliamentary system at Isle of Man. Dingwall in Scotland has a stone monument where the Thing Site was located, in the middle of the city and with parking places surrounding the site. In the Faroe Islands the main Thing Site was at Tinganes in Torshavn, where government buildings are situated today. There were also Thing Sites on the Northern and Southern islands. In the Orkneys there are archeological traces of two Thing Sites, Tingwall and Dingieshowe, on East and West Mainland. These are preserved by governmental management and part of the regionâ€™s cultural interpretation. Shetland had one regional Thing Site and several local ones. In Greenland the archeologists have found traces of what could have been a Thing Site at Qassiarsuk or Brattahlid. The saga literature and archeological finds of turf houses give reason to believe that this has been a Thing Site. In all the countries place names indicate where the Thing Sites were located in previous times. Even though they are so different, the Thing Sites still have some concerns and challenges in common. The representatives stress the importance of building up sustainable tourism connected to the sites, based on the democratic heritage and the historical ties. Concepts and standards for interpretation and infrastructure must be developed locally, but all sites could gain from exchanging experiences in an international network. Furthermore the representatives would like to see a common brand for the Thing Sites. This would strengthen the status and help marketing the sites. A main project will will raise knowledge and awareness about the Thing Sites, and hopefully increase the number of visits to the sites and their adjacent regions. Stiftinga Jensbua gives an overview of these issues in part 2 of the report.
Tingwall in the Orkneys (photo from ppt by Julie Gibson).
d) Draft of a main project Vestlandsforsking has identified these key common elements for future collaboration between the Thing Sites: 1. Academic research at the sites and on their common origin 2. Interregional and local branding to further develop both the common story and the local stories based on interpretation methods 3. Rise of knowledge and awareness on the uniqueness of the sites both at local level for the citizen in general and specifically for the tourism market 4. Make interpretation methods more available to support local and regional content development and branding 5. Improve site management, including strategies for local sustainable development to meet potential threats from mass tourism 6. Exploit ICT for supporting branding, profiling and knowledge dissemination enabled by interactive web sites and multimedia platforms for visitor centres. In part 3 of the report Vestlandsforsking Research Institute presents conclusions from the discussions and recommendations on how to move on from the preproject. e) Funding of application for a main project Part of the pre-project has been applying for additional funding, and more financial support is achieved. There is enough money available to complete an application for a main project. Vestlandsforsking has extensive experience in EU programmes, and would be able to write the application. One of the partners must be in charge of leading the process. Attached: Accounts of the pre-project.
24.10.08 Siri Ingvaldsen Project Manager
Stiftinga Jensbua Historic Assembly Sites â€“ preliminary project Proposed tourism measures as part of a main project: The product: The basic premise is that the Historic Assembly Sites represent exciting and important historic places with authentic stories to tell. The Assembly Sites are exciting enough in themselves, but linking them together to illustrate the interaction between the Nordic countries and their shared history in relation to the assemblies also raises the profile of each individual Assembly Site and the Historic Assembly Sites collectively as a subject. Opportunities existing on the market: Increased demand for activities closely associated with the assembly sites and fact-based and themed travel. Better educated and more widely travelled tourists mean an increased demand for destinations where there is a link between experiences and learning. DFDS Seaways and Smyril Line operate routes between the Nordic countries, and Smyril Line now has a Viking cruise in its portfolio. This opens the way for possible collaboration on new products based on the same concept. In addition, there are direct air connections between some of the countries. Challenges: 1.
Awareness and knowledge of the Historic Assembly Sites
Local commitment and pride with regard to the Historic Assembly Sites as an important feature of cultural heritage and local identity.
Local infrastructure centred around each individual Historic Assembly Site: Information, communication concepts, opening times, reception facilities for visitors: parking, signposting, sanitary facilities, visitor centres, etc.
Activities offered in connection with the Historic Assembly Sites: other attractions, activities, overnight accommodation, catering, transport, etc.
Sales, product packaging and booking.
Overall goals (example): We intend to raise the status and awareness of the Historic Assemblies, collectively and individually, and to utilise the exchange of experiences, joint marketing and product packaging to increase visitor numbers and to improve value-creation locally and regionally around the Historic Assembly Sites. Strategies: 1. Improving knowledge of the Historic Assembly Sites by means of joint marketing and information initiatives, and also reducing barriers to purchases. 2. Increasing knowledge and pride amongst the local, regional and national populations by improving awareness of common connections and by sharing information and experiences between the Historic Assembly Sites. 3. Part-funding the development of local products by means of a common main project for the Historic Assembly Sites. 4. Developing a concept for tourism communications for each Historic Assembly Site. Learning from anyone who has already made considerable progress in this area (e.g. Thingvellir). 5. Identifying relevant local / regional collaboration partners who could possibly be used for future activity packages. 6. Working with relevant carriers and tour operators to develop and package historically themed tours in connection with the Historic Assembly Sites. Actions: Strategy 1: Improving knowledge of the Historic Assembly Sites by means of joint marketing and information initiatives, and also reducing barriers to purchases. 1. A common website for the Historic Assembly Sites, with links to the individual Assembly Sites' own websites and relevant sites for travel information and booking opportunities 2. A common logo or symbol that can be used to illustrate an historical connection. 3. A common information brochure containing a brief presentation of each Assembly Site and the historical links between them. 4. An international exchange of press tours and viewing tours for tour operators and carriers. 5. Using regional and national travel companies to market activities in connection with all of the Historic Assembly Sites. Measures aimed at both consumers and industrial participants.
Actions: Strategy 2: Increasing knowledge and pride amongst the local, regional and national populations by improving awareness of common connections and by sharing information and experiences between the Historic Assembly Sites. 1.
Using websites to raise awareness of a shared history and identity.
Planning and marketing events at all the various Assembly Sites. Participation by the individual Assembly Sites at each other's events (practical exchange).
Developing historical literature and a communication concept for use with various target groups: school groups, tourists, etc.
Local events and international events that activate and involve the local population.
Actions: Strategies 3 -4: Part-funding the development of local products by means of a joint main project for the Historic Assembly Sites. Developing a communication concept. 1. Analysing the status of each individual Assembly Site with regard to local infrastructure, reception facilities for visitors, opening times for each season, local information initiatives and communication concept. 2.
Surveying national / local resources for individual initiatives, selffinancing and international joint financing bodies.
Exchanging experiences between the various participants, benefiting from the knowledge and skills of those who have made the most progress in this area.
Actions: Strategy 5: Identifying relevant local / regional collaboration partners who could possibly be used for future activity packages. 1. The travel companies together with the Assembly Sites contact local / regional participants that are interested in offering activities and services in connection with future product packages. 2.
The travel companies with connections to the individual Assembly Sites describe and quality assure content and information in connection with local / regional collaboration partners.
Actions: Strategy 6: Working with relevant carriers and tour operators to develop and package historically themed tours in connection with the Historic Assembly Sites. 1.
2. 3. 4.
Developing a common product manual containing detailed information about the various Historical Assembly Sites and local activities, services, transport facilities, etc. Identifying and establishing contact with relevant collaboration partners in the field of transport and with tour operators. Sales visits to selected tour operators / carriers. If appropriate, attending workshops for tour operators.
Historical Thing Sites in the Nordic Area Status as destinations - October 2008 The Gulating, Norway Gulatinget is one of the oldest representative assemblies in Scandinavia. Norway’s very first body of laws, Gulatingslova, was laid down at Gulatinget. Gulatinget is the Millenium Site of Sogn og Fjordane County. The millennium park at Gulatinget is a beautiful park and cultural area, established as a modern Thing Site. It containes monumental sculptures by the artist Bård Breivik. The park is open to the public, and is used by groups and individuals for different cultural events. The last two years there have been daily guided tours for visitors in the summer season, and by request the rest of the year. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Network for exchanging experiences and systems for interpretation. Common brand as a mean to increase the knowledge and status for the historical Thing Sites. Cooperation to develope tours between the historical Thing Sites. Cruise, roundtrips with car and bus. Development of local infrastructure, based on The Gulating’s own unique history, also seen together with the other historical Thing Sites special stories. Establishing an informationcenter at the historical Gulating. Common marketing; common websites, sales, logo and brand.
Thingvellir, Iceland Thingvellir is a well established historical destination, with a daily focus on development of the product. Thingvellir is part of the UNESCOs heritage list. Thingvellir is a national park and a part of The Golden Circle, the most popular roundtrip at Iceland. App. 500.000 visitors each year. The visitors comes with bus, car, or as a part of a biking- or hikingtour. Activities: Sale of fishingcards in the waters. Guided walks. Archeology projects with children. Visitor center with a multimediashow. 18
Development projects: Interactive learning GPS-spotting of historical sights. Landsbanken is sponsing one of the learning programs. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Interpretation based on solid research at each historical Thing Site. The common history for the historical Thing Sites must be the fundament for a common brand, and furthermore must each Thing Site special history be the basis for the local interpretation and visitor concept. Each Thing Site must market the other Thing Sites in the network through local marketing products, such as websites, multimediashows, distribution of brochures etc..
Thorshavn, FĂŚrĂ¸yane The modern Lagting is located at the same place as the historical Thing Site. There are no visual remains of the old Thing Site. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites A brand for the historical Thing Site. Increase the status of the historical Thing Site within the local government. A common network between the historical Thing Sites will increase the status and awareness of the historical Thing Site. Common marketing of also other common history and culture in the nordic area.
Brattahlid, GrĂ¸nland Population in Gardar is app. 30 persons. Offers guided tours, but have not done anything more with the product. At the Thing Site at Brattahlid, there were app. 3000 visitors in 2007. Most visitors come by boat. The aim is to develope a stronger brand, and increase the numbers of visitors. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Being a part of a network. Exchanging knowledge. Infrastructure. Challenges regarding the cruise ships; the big ships have to many tourists, this makes it difficult to handle the visits sustainable. The small cruise ships are less interested in paying for guided tours etc..
Dingwall, Scotland Most visitors comes because of the archeology at Highlands & Islands. Orknøyane, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stennes, Maes Howe. These places have been the main focus for the marketing. Visitors often return to see what’s new. It’s important to focus on academic research, and also sustainable tourism. Action and events is good PR. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Market for the Highland Council the possiblities in the historical Thing Sites as interesting destinations (increased attention and status) Development of a Viking Trail / Nordic Trail Network for exchanging experiences and cooperation Development of common standards for interpretation. Establish an information- and learning center at Dingwall. Education of the guests. Increased brand value. Focus on democracy as an imoportant value. Strong brand possibilities for extended seasons and new types of guest, not so focused on the weather. Develope each Thing Site regarding to their strengths and unique history.
The Orkneys Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Wish to focus on fewer tourists that spends more time and money, and also to spread the tourism all over the Orkneys. Management of sites, exchanging experiences.
Tynwald Hill, Isle of Man 8000 inhabitants. Balladoole, Manx, House of Manannan. Expectations / interest in a common program to develop tourism between the historical Thing Sites Focus on the connection between the different historical Thing Sites Significance research, conservation Site management Sustainable tourism Interpretation
Common interests: Sustainable tourism. Heritage tourism and interpretation. Development of cooperation based on common history and the nordic democracy. 20
Development of concept and standards for interpretation and local infrastructure. Common brand ďƒ strengthen status and knowledge. Network for exchanging best practises. 24.10.08 Stiftinga Jensbua
Vestlandsforsking Research Institute Summary of discussions and feedbacks from the Thing Site seminar in Gulen, Norway June 2008 1. Background and needs The Thing Sites represents values such as freedom, self-government and law and order. These are the true foundation pillars of constitutional government, but these values are under pressure today. Gulatinget is one of the oldest representative assemblies in Scandinavia. From as early as the 10th century, free farmers would assembly at Gulatinget so solve disputes and adopt laws in direct negotiations with the King. Norwegians have â€?exportedâ€? their tradition and form of government to other countries bordering the North Sea since Midel Ages. Several European countries and Russia had similar institutions during this area. The Alltinget assembly on Iceland, was also established following the pattern of the Gulating assembly. The Allting Assembly in Iceland today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Thing Sites had already communicated a common need to exhibit and communicate a joint history of representative assemblies around the North Sea. And they had also express an interesting in building networks with the other assembly sites, in order to explore more in depth this heritage and to exchange information with other countries. The seminar in Gulen, Norway in June 2008 focused on further developing these initial ideas on interregional collaboration and the possibility for developing a joint EU project. 2. Key input on needs and development activities from each Thing Site The meeting was organised with short presentations from each Thing Site and follow up discussions of the key inputs. Brattalid, Greenland - Cruise tourism is a big issue. The big cruisers are too many and are a threath to the local environment and the local heritage. The small cruisers are more adapted to the region and the heritage, but give too little money.. - Need for developing a network between the Thing Sites to better understand and develop strategies to handle these dilemmas - Need to develop more knowledge on the Thing Sites history
Would be useful to link the knowledge to school programmes to provide rise local awareness
Orkney Islands - Need to spread tourist more in space and time. Today too much in short period and at limited space. - Need to further develop and rise the profile of the Orkney Island. - The concept “interpretation” is an interesting approach to make the local and regional history better adapted to the needs of tourism and to prepare a better profile for the Orkney Island - Also need for research on the actual historical sites Torhavn, Faroe Islands - Need for more profiling and awareness rising, also for the local population - Important to develop collaboration with other partner in the area to provide a more integrated product and better marketing and profiling Thingwall Hill, Isle of Man - Need more knowledge and information on what Thingwall Hill is - A better collaboration between the Thing sites and the regions can better define the context of what we are working on, and support the important local development activities. There are lot of commonalities and lessons to be learned. - Also a need for exchange of knowledge to improving sites management, care and conservation - The interpretation methodology is a good approach to further define and develop the story and the branding Gulatinget, Gulen, Norway - Need to develop sustainable tourism based on the Thing Site, including key elements like market analysis, branding, developing market strategies - A clear need for developing local and regional partnerships supporting the idea of Thing Site as part of the tourism approach - Develop the concept of a web based Thing Sites Museum - Mobilize, inform and educate the locals about the Thing Site story Thingvellir, Iceland - Generally a great need for more knowledge - Exchange of knowledge on organisational structure, local and national - Developing knowledge to improve the defining the shared origin and the common story - Important to build on and focus on the development of democracy - Operationalise interpretation by ICT– multi-media services at visitor centres and internet - Link the branding to the concept “quality tourism” to attract the “right” tourists
Dingwall, Highlans and Islands - Rise the profile of the site and convince the region to market the site (not only the city of Inverness) - Research to support the link to other Thing sites - Develop and promote a “Nordic trail” enhancing tourism between the sites - Needs to make the methodology for interpretation more “standardised” and applicable - Plan and establish visitor centres - Site management 3. Key common elements for future collaboration between the sites The feedbacks from the Thing Site can be aggregated into the following key topics for a future collaboration: 1. Academic research at the sites and on their common origin 2. Interregional and local branding to further develop both the common story and the local stories based on interpretation methods 3. Rise of knowledge and awareness on the uniqueness of the sites both at local level for the citizen in general and specifically for the tourism market 4. Make interpretation methods more available to support local and regional content development and branding 5. Improve site management, including strategies for local sustainable development to meet potential threats from mass tourism 6. Exploit ICT for supporting branding, profiling and knowledge dissemination enabled by interactive web sites and multimedia platforms for visitor centers 4. Potential EU programme The meeting also included a short presentation of potential EU funding programs: - Culture programme - Interreg IV B Northern Periphery programme - Interreg IV C programme (all EU) The aggregated topics from paragraph 3 above indicate that the EU Culture programme is not relevant. The Thing Sites represented are more interested in site management, business and tourism development based on common cultural heritage. The Interreg programmes are then a more relevant for future inter regional projects. Both Interreg IV C and Interreg IV B Northern Periphery are relevant. The IV C programme is covering all EU member states + Norway. This would also make it possible to include an Irish partner (West and North). And the programme also has a better funding rate; 75 % for EU member states and 50% for Norway. It is unclear if Iceland and Faroe Islands are eligible partners. This has to be checked by each region.
The Northern Periphery programme is also covering Iceland and Faroe Islands, but not Ireland. The funding is lower; probably 50 % for EU member states and only 30% for Norway. Isle of Man is not eligible for any program. For each alternative the inclusion of regions with is formally not included has to done via the other regions. Then the level of funding is important to be able to realise a project including all the interested regions. This has to checked in detail. 5. Example of structure and activities for an EU project To show a possible structure of an EU project collaboration an Interreg IV C project approach can be shown. The instrument Network seems relevant to the needs and ambitions described by the Thing Sites. Networks aims to support better collaboration between regions with emphasis on exchange, discussion and further improvement of best practises from the regions involved. In addition profiling and dissemination are key elements.
The table above from the Interreg IV C programme manual shows examples of activities and expected results of a network project. The Programme manual also gives examples of possible projects under the theme “Cultural heritage and landscape” -
Exchange of experience and knowledge, transfer and further development of policies dedicated to: protecting and enhancing cultural heritage and landscapes supporting risk management in the field of cultural heritage and cultural landscapes (both rural and urban contexts) supporting the development of tourism with a particular focus on integrating sustainability aspects promoting cultural assets as potential for the economic development of the regions
EU Interreg projects are organised by “Components”. Each component represents one key activity. For the Interreg IV C Network projects there are 3 mandatory components and these links quite nicely into most of the activities
described above. (The proposed academic research can not be funded by Interreg). Possible structure and activities: Comp1 -
Management and coordination
Management of project at inter regional level Management of project at local level Liaison with the Programme Secretariat Reporting both administrative and financial
Comp2 Communication and dissemination -
Establish web sites at international and local level to promote the Thing Site network Develop promotional material based on common branding Develop a series of seminars and conferences to promote the Thing Sites and develop awareness both for a local and international audience
Exchange of experiences and analysis of good practices
Component 3 includes the key activities and will be based on series of international and local workshops and seminar held in each of the involved region. The topics for each seminar and for preparatory and follow-up activities can be the following: - Interregional and local branding - Develop knowledge and awareness for the tourism market - Interpretation methods for local and regional content development and branding - Site management and strategies for local sustainable development - ICT applications and services for the Internet and for visitor centres These proposed activities would indicate 5 international thematic meetings; one every 6 months in a 3 year project + a first meeting dedicated to kick-off and detailed planning. 6. Interreg IV C calls The first call for INTERREG IVC applications closed on 15 January 2008. A total of 41 projects were approved at the Monitoring Committee meeting in mid September 2008. The second INTERREG IVC call for proposals will be launched on 27 October 2008 with the deadline for submitting new applications 30 January 2009. IPG, oct2008. 26
Published on May 1, 2011
The medieval parliamentary assembly sites, the Thing Sites, could be regarded as the cradle of democracy in Europe. They were the first atte...