Memorandum of Understanding

A memorandum of understanding provides a model to be signed by all HERIT DATA partners and other Med and UE entities (local and regional tourism or environmental/conservation public authorities, DMOs, heritage site managing entities, research or higher education institutions, NGOs, tech companies, and private sector) to adopt HERIT-DATA tools and methods to decrease the impact of mass tourism on cultural and natural heritage sites.

More than 30 entities have already committed by signing th MoU and are already working towards a more sustainable management of heritage sites, by taking advantage of ICT tools and data exploitation.


Click here to upload the French version.

Click here to upload the English version.


Mainstreaming is one of the most important result of the project.
It aims to inspire other destinations or sites that are undergoing similar challenges in the matter of high flows, or destinations/sites that want to anticipate to those challenges, to embark in the measuring HERIT DATA did to also take action and how we intends to do so: By highlighting experiences from HD but also success stories from other projects/initiatives (desk research) answering the following questions:
       what was the problem?
       how was the decision-making process?
       what was the methodology implemented?
       what actions have been taken as a result?

It is a mean to disseminate its successful results and to encourage their transferability to other organisations or stakeholders working in sustainable tourism, and to influence and improve current policies and practices.
In the Mainstreaming Model of Herit Data, 6 pairs will be delivered. 




Within Herit Data, we conducted a survey to better understand the current situation when it comes to tourism data.
It would also help us define what would be the most interesting features for our common online platform.

Our survey involved around a hundred people working at different levels of the tourism sector.
It included questions about how the data on the platform would be used, and what kind of information should be monitored in the tourism sector.
Other questions adresses the topic of access to data, asking which tourism-related data was restricted, for internal use, or publicly available.

We looked at different indicators, such as the income of inhabitants, the satisfaction with public services, tourist data, data related to rental & selling/buying of housing, and many more.
We found out that 30% of the information is publicly available, while 65% is retricted and 5% is partially available.

When we look at the different countries, we see that the rate of publicly available data is different.
This survey also allowed to point out some issues related to tourism-related information. For example :
-    Lack of tourism-related data
-    Too much web-based information for tourists, which can often become misleading
-    Lack of tools and resources, such as the lack of enough sensors to measure tourism impact

Thanks to the feedback received through the survey, we were able to improve some features of our online platform, developed by our partners DISIT Lab.
This will help to better manage tourism sites and to avoid negative impacts on our stunning heritage.

To learn more about the survey results, download it!

Spanish version of the video here.

English version of the video here.

> benchmark

•    What is overtourism exactly ?
•    How do you define “tourist flows” and “tourist crowds” ?
•    What exactly is the impact of overtourism on cultural and natural heritage so far ?
•    Managing tourism flows : who tried it and which great results have been obtained ?
•    What is the role of technology in the analysis and management of overcrowded tourist cities ?

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.

Download the summary of the benchmarking study and discover the recommended actions!

For more information, contact us

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> Indicators Systems

HERIT-DATA is about using data to generate knowledge in order to prevent the negative effects of mass tourism on heritage sites. But how does this happen in practice? The first step is to know which data we want to collect.

On this purpose, our partners Turisme Comunitat Valenciana  and  Fundación Santa María la Real have developed a list of indicators to evaluate the evolution and impact of mass tourism in heritage sites (such as historic old towns, archaeological sites, or other areas with a cultural, historic or natural value).

The development of the indicators system has followed two main steps:

1.       The partners divided the indicators system into five areas of study: 1) Building / Site carrying capacity, 2) Flows of tourists in the city, 3) Perception of overcrowding by people, 4) Quality of the access to services, and 5) Quality of life of the residents.
2.       For each area, simple indicators were defined, such as the flow or number of visitors passing through a given place in a given period of time. Each indicator has a weight and importance within the area, which is also composed of other variables collected from statistical sources, surveys, monitored or historical data.

These indicators will be used to collect data on the six HERIT-DATA pilot sites in Florence, Valencia, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Pont du Gard and Western Greece. Each of these sites has its own characteristics: that’s why it will be possible to adapt the indicators to each context.

The indicators system, based on big data and open source, will allow to provide DMOs and Tourism Boards with a quick and precise knowledge about visitors’ behaviour and how the flow of tourists affects the state of conservation of a specific site.

Click here to know the indicators and click here to discover the sets of threshold values


> herit-data platform

The DISIT (Distributed Systems and Internet Technologies) Lab of the University of Florence has joined the project consortium to support the development of the HERIT-DATA platform by using an existing one they have developed: Snap4City.

The DISIT Lab will provide the Snap4City platform and technical support in order to collect the data from the six pilot sites in Florence, Pont du Gard, Mostar, Dubrovnik, Valencia and Ancient Olympia.

Tools for data analytics will also be provided, including predictions, social media data collection and sentiment analysis to support the study of the key indicators concerning tourism management.

Snap4City is a 100 % open source platform that provides a flexible solution to quickly setup a large range of smart city applications exploiting heterogeneous data and enabling services for stakeholders through IOT/IOE (internet of things/internet of everything), data analytics and big data technologies.

Snap4City is currently used by city officers, developers, companies and researchers, but also directly by citizens, in several cities, such as Firenze, Helsinki, Antwerp, Santiago de Compostela, Cagliari, etc.

The platform is used to improve city services, security and safety, but also to monitor a large number of indicators in real time.



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 will gather all the developed definitions, experiences and methodologies towards the use of data and indicators, define a strategy towards the carrying capacity of destinations.

Once the mainstream model developed, it will be completed by a range of success stories, to showcase, transfer and mainstream the results of the Herit-Data project in other regional, national or supra-regional strategies, plans and policies..

•    Which parameters are affecting the impact of mass tourism and visitor behavior ?

•    What are the Best Practices on strategies to increase positive impact and avoidance or reducing the negative effects of tourism with the use of innovative technologies ?

•    Mass tourism management via new technologies ! What exactly does that mean and what do we need to integrate in our strategies ?

•    Which learnings help us to capitalize on Herit-Data experimentation ?

[Work still in progress]


> How can behavioural science contribute to face overtourism and better manage tourism flows ?

In this article by AVITEM, you will get an overview of the potential application of Nudging & behavioural insights on the tourism sector, which is now more than ever at a crossroads.

The HERIT-DATA partners from Florence and AVITEM just kicked off a unique experimentation : developing and testing solutions that use behavioural insights to address tourism flows-related challenges in Florence. This experimentation is accompanied by behavioural science experts from The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and two designers. Stay tuned to learn more !

To read the english version, click here

To read the french version, click here