New Project on Cross-Border Cultural and Creative Tourism (CROCUS)

Rural and remote areas are rich in cultural heritage, but many also suffer from resilience related socio-economic problems such as an ageing population, out-migration, and low incomes. Cultural and creative tourism (CCT) could help address these problems by creating more resilient communities and sustainable jobs and investment.

CROCUS project (2024-2027) generates new knowledge about CCT business models; creates cross-border living labs; develops macro-regional and cross-border policy scenarios; and syntheses knowledge to create tools and resources to develop sustainable, resilient, and inclusive CCT in the future. The project includes four EU macro-regions (Baltic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian, Alpine, and Danube).

The consortium brings together leading scholars and practitioners that have extensive experience with cross-border tourism development projects, stakeholder engagement, and policy analysis. It will be the first systematic study of different types of cross-border CCT cooperation in European rural and remote areas. The impact of CROCUS will be to increase sustainable and inclusive CCT and cross-border cooperation in rural and remote areas across Europe, thus unleashing the potential of cultural heritage as a driver of sustainable innovation and resilience building.

The project is coordinated by Aalborg University (Denmark). In addition to the University of Oulu, it involves seven other European universities. This project is funded by the EU’s HORIZON Europe Programme (Research and innovation on cultural heritage and CCIs), and it is supported by the Frontiers of Resilience (FRONT) Programme of the University of Oulu, in collaboration with the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Programme.

More information: Professor Jarkko Saarinen (

Last updated: 8.8.2023