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BCHT: Bio-Cultural Heritage Tourism

30 January 2018 - 31 December 2021

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Michael Winter

CI/s in Exeter: Dr Ian Merrell Dr Timothy Wilkinson

Research partners: North Devon Biosphere Reserve, Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Reserve, Communauté d'Agglomération du Pays de Saint-Omer (CAPSO), Réserve de Biosphère du Marais Audomarois (RBMA), Réserve de Biosphère des îles et de la Mer d'Iroise (RBMI), Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique/ Park an Arvorig, Pas de Calais Tourisme

Funding awarded: £301492 (total funding of €4.3 million)

Sponsor(s): European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

About the research

BioCultural Heritage Tourism is a process of collaboration between inhabitants, businesses and environmental managers to create experimental activities that celebrate the connections between humans and nature distinctive to the local area and cultural heritage.

Four English and French UNESCO Biosphere Regions have come together, with substantial funding from the Interreg Channel region programme, to increase the economic value of tourism based on their natural and cultural resources, whilst reducing its environmental impact.

The main outputs of the project (2018-21) will be:

1) Conserving the natural sites by managing the tourism flow and improving the experience of visitors

2) Raising awareness and involvement in the programme with local businesses 

3) Creating a diversified visitor offer for bio-cultural tourism destinations

The project has a 3+ year timescale until December 2021 and will receive €4.3 million overall from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

Further information can be found on the project website: