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Plaza del Obradoiro [Archivo Turgalicia]

The Way to Santiago has been declared the first European Cultural Itinerary by the European Council in 1987, and Worldwide Heritage Site by Unesco in 1993; Later on, in 2004 it has been rewarded with the prize Prince of Asturias to the concord, what makes it a reference in Europe.
The Way to Santiago is also a historical itinerary involving Europe which is extended throughout the continent and bringing all these routes together when approaching Compostela. The European regions represented in this project are a clear example of how the Way to Santiago is a pilgrimage route which works as a link between Europe’s nations and people, especially among those which form the Atlantic area.
The general aim of Ultreia project is promoting cultural and religious sustainable tourism related to the maritime and inland routes towards Compostela by means of two essential cores: the development of tourist Agendas 21 and the creation of a network of Atlantic Regions which develops tourist products on a common Atlantic cultural context related to the maritime and inland pilgrimages towards Compostela. Sustainable tourism is expected to develop by means of the citizens’ participation of the countries implied as well as with social, tourist, economic agents and with the respective local authorities in a way in which the detailed needs of each area are covered. This objective is expected to be reached by means of the implementation of local tourist Agendas 21 and by creating a transnational working network related to the pilgrimage routes which encourages the tourist development of the areas which these routes go through, as a way of local development. In order to reach this objective in all the countries implied in the project, the development of a series of transnational common products. This way, the synergy among the members for the joint tourist promotion is taken.
Through the common tourist appreciation and promotion it is expected to create the best conditions for the strengthening of the regional economy, the creation of employment, the encouragement of endogenous potential and competitiveness factors in the transnational context which welcomes the ULTREIA project, and at the same time the cultural and tourist resources and their specific identity are preserved and valued. From this point of view, the process of elaboration of Agenda 21 in the countries implied in the project will be the link among the members, both from an institutional and a social point of view, since it is a transnational forum of reflexion and of reaching strategic agreements towards sustainable tourism in the Atlantic area, and related to the Road to Santiago. This process involves encouraging dialogue from a political, technical and local point of view and the creation of specific ways of cooperation.
These steps are supported by the growth of the territorial critical mass and the generation of synergies by means of the transnational cooperation focused on a sustainable management of the tourist resources in a common Atlantic cultural backdrop.
The project answers to the need of helping the necessary diversification of the economy by taking advantage of the cultural resources to ofter a fine tourist product. From this point of view, it is expected to encourage a higher outside vision of the area implied, to create synergies to appeal to visitors, to create infrastructures which appreciate the heritage, to provide with new tourist products and, definitely, to become the area a good competitive base for tourism companies.
The creation of a transnational network, cultural Atlantic backdrop where the members can exchange experiences, open new and common business opportunities and interact with other companies, is an activity which provides the project with an important level of innovation, not only with regard to the use of the NTIC but also as a new experience of creation and common management of infrastructures and ways of transnational management, which will be useful to join efforts in those regions involved in the project.

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