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Long term impacts of Ecoc in the Istrian region

Photo by Peter Litavsky


Cultural impact

Social impact

Economic impact

● The increase in the region’s cultural quality and international profile will bring more awareness, interest and acknowledgement throughout Europe, along with new audiences, as well as a high number of new, international cooperative projects for the cultural sector.

●  Participation, bottom-up initiatives and independent cultural activity will become more frequent and will foster a change in the governance of culture towards a less control-oriented attitude.

●  Contemporary, progressive artistic achievements will give the region a place at the table of modern European cities/conurbations.

● Systematic and coordinated cultural cooperation among the municipalities and the institutions will lead to a shared Istrian cultural identity as one cultural space.

● The pioneering role of arts and culture opening environmental debates will lead to resilience and green attitude within the cultural sector.


● People becoming more proactive, participative and enthusiastic about shaping their cultural environment creates new and vital communities playing a key role in reaching well-being and joy.

● Well designed high quality projects and participatory events will assist people to recognise the region’s multiculturalism and shared cultural heritage as an important value and future potential. This will lead to a higher level of acceptance, solidarity and tolerance.

● A more enlightened approach to our environment and natural heritage will help to recreate a liveable urban, maritime and rural setting for people.

● The pioneering role of arts and culture opening environmental debates will lead to shared awareness and activism among citizens in fighting the climate crisis.

    The continuous debate about current European topics, as well as the participation in international networks will lead to a stronger understanding of Europe as a community of shared values increasing mobility.

●  A more creative ecosystem will stimulate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, helping to invigorate the economy.

●  A region with a high quality creative industry is an attractive place to live and work, open to investors in commerce and industry.

●  An exciting, high quality cultural offer will attract new audiences, visitors and tourists from Slovenia, the cross-border region and Europe generating economic growth.





ECoCs and Return on Investments:

  • Different scales, different circumstances, yet and old average quote simplified and derived through the extensive report of Palmer is estimated  1:7. Click here.
  • Other research shows more or less similar: – EUR 8 return for every euro invested – Click here.
  • Some “business”-feel like – “it is worth doing ” – 10 years after – Click here.


• 1 215 696 adult citizens from Bulgaria have visited at least one event of Plovdiv2019 programme.
• A visitor spends an average of BGN 175 during his stay in the city.
• The amount of revenues from visitors from Bulgaria for cultural events in the last two years are[Admin4]  about BGN 400 million (excluding transport and tickets)
• The increase of foreign tourists is 27% (according to National Statistical Institute data i.e. only for large accommodation), and nearly half of them are EU citizens.
• Overnight stays mark a sustainable growth of nearly 18%, and revenues from them increased by 9% and reached BGN 29 million (according to NSI data only for large accommodation).
• The registered enterprises in the ‘Culture, sports and entertainment’ sector in Plovdiv increased by 25% and the number of employees – by 16%.


• In 2019, 85% of the adult population of the country already knew that Plovdiv has been chosen as European Capital of Culture (for comparison, in 2017, 57% knew).
• The number of visitors from Bulgaria increased three times, especially for visiting a cultural event or a site (in comparison, they were 10.7% for 2015 and 38.6% for 2019)
• In 2019, the share of Plovdiv residents who identify themselves as European citizens increased to 43.3%. In 2017, this share was 10% less.
• Direct partnerships with creative organizations and artists from Europe, with which Plovdiv 2019 worked on the fulfillment of the European dimension criteria of the programmе in 2019, were over 130.
• The events with international participation have quadrupled compared to 2017. In 2019, they were 80.


• 1 215 696 adult citizens from Bulgaria (22% of the country’s population) and 32% of the region’s residents visited at least one event from the Plovdiv 2019 programme.
• The growth of visitors from the country is sustainable – from 28% in 2017 to 39% in 2019 (i.e. 2 million and 200 thousand adult citizens)
• Plovdiv residents who frequently visit cultural events are also growing, starting from 28% in 2017 to 40% in 2018 and reaching 44% in 2019. 60% of them visited an ECOC event.
• The most visited events were concerts, music events, and festivals, followed by theatrical events, exhibitions, events in Kapana Creative District.
• Nearly 2000 out of 3,632 interviewed visitors of a cultural event expressed strong satisfaction with the content.