Atlantic Culture & Tourism Group

The Atlantic Arc Commission working groups are set up on the basis of challenges and opportunities related to specific features of the Atlantic area, hence the importance of issues such as fisheries, transport or renewable marine energies.

Futhermore, “ad hoc” working groups may be set up to respond to the Atlantic Regions’ desire to examine specific hot topics and take part in debates on EU policy guidelines.

The Atlantic Arc Commission working groups have two main tasks:

Firstly, to foster cooperation, exchanges of experiences and good practices between Regions in strategic policy areas for the development of the Atlantic Arc.

Secondly, these technical working groups also help to voice the interests of the Atlantic Regions before the EU institutions and establishing them as a source of proposals when preparing and implementing the different European programmes.

The Atlantic Tourism and Culture working group was created in 2012 under the initiative of Cantabria. It has been chaired by Asturias since March 2015. The aim of this working group is to foster cooperation between the Atlantic Regions in this key sector. The Atlantic Regions share a common heritage and culture which are characteristic to the Atlantic Ocean. Compared to other maritime areas, the Atlantic area offers a high quality tourism, well preserved cultural heritage, nature, protected coasts, gastronomy and medium-sized cities.

The European strategy for Blue Growth, the Atlantic Maritime Strategy, and the Strategy on maritime and coastal tourism set out the orientations destined to foster growth, employment and sustainable development along the Atlantic area. It is within this framework that the Regions of the Atlantic Arc Commission aim to undertake concrete actions and measures in this key economic sector, which was identified as a sector with a high potential for development in the Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area adopted by the European Commission on 13 May 2013.


Action 1: Enhance the visibility of the Atlantic Arc as a high quality tourism destination in Europe.

Action 2: Reaffirm the tourism and cultural two-fold dimension of the Atlantic destination.

Action 3: Strengthen cooperation between the towns, the Regions, as well as the private actors that are active across the entire Atlantic seaboard.

Action 4: Develop specific common projects through the discussion platform that this working group will constitute.

  • Knowledge Exchange: pooling the various policies regarding tourism and culture that are being developped in each of the participating Regions, as well as the initiatives of the European Commission and the rest of the European institutions
  • Analysing the viability of undertaking joint promotion actions
  • Analysing the viability of creating an Atlantic Tourism Brand
  • Studying the opportunity to promote the transnational candidacy of the Atlantic Diet as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Strengthening and positioning Atlantic gastronomy as organic gastronomy
  • Strengthening nautical tourism and cruise tourism
  • Boosting cultural tourism
  • Contributing to the creation of a network of centres of maritime excellence in the Atlantic
  • Supporting companies to develop new products linked to the Atlantic Ocean

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