The International National Trusts Organisation is delighted to be partnering once again with the American Express Foundation as the presenting sponsor of our biennial conference in Antwerp, Belgium in April 2021.
Through a two-year grant, American Express is supporting research into the ways in which owners and stewards of National Trust properties around the world can ensure that tourism at their sites is conducted in a way that is environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable. The research will serve as the foundation for an in-depth series of sessions at INTO Antwerp 2021 about what National Trusts around the world can do to support and expand sustainable tourism initiatives.
“Ensuring the preservation and sustainability of culturally significant sites in communities around the world has long been a major focus for American Express,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “Over the years, we have backed projects at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Easter Island, the historic district in Mexico City, and at museums and cultural sites along Route 66 in the western United States. We look forward to helping preservation stakeholders identify innovative ways to drive sustainability through INTO’s important research.”
INTO Antwerp 2021 will be co-hosted by Herita, an organisation that combines work for open monuments, a heritage sector network and site management/visitor engagement responsibilities. Focusing on partnerships, visitor experiences and networks, INTO and Herita will use the conference to discuss and highlight the importance of sustainable heritage tourism.
Tourism is an important economic activity for all the member organisations of INTO. With the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and the economy, stakeholders have an opportunity to reconnect communities with their heritage and put local networks at the heart of the recovery.
At INTO Antwerp 2021, participants will share examples and best practices for community engagement, including what local networks of volunteers, neighbours, entrepreneurs and local government can achieve, as well as strategies and solutions as communities recover following the pandemic.
INTO has also had a long interest in the environmental impacts on cultural resources. The organisation relies on contributions from members, individuals and partner organisations to help us achieve our mission to promote the conservation of natural and cultural heritage across the world, and this continued support from American Express is a valued part of our family of supporters.