The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu

The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu

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Delivery weight: 250 g

Edited By Greg Richards and Ilie Rotariu
Arnhem, ATLAS, 84 pp
February 2010
ISBN 978-973-739-954-0

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Main Description

Background to the study

This study of the impact of the European Cultural Capital in Sibiu in 2007 is part of an ongoing programme of research initiated by the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) in 1999. This programme of research aims to examine the implementation and effects of this increasingly popular event throughout Europe. To date, ATLAS members have been involved in assessments of the impacts of the ECOCs held in Helsinki (2000), Rotterdam (2001), Porto (2001) and Salamanca (2002).

This study of the ECOC in Sibiu is the first such study to have been completed in an Eastern European country, and therefore provides an interesting contrast to the previous research. This study also benefits from the long association of the Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu with the ATLAS network. The university has been collecting data on cultural consumption in the city for number years as part of the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project. This will eventually enable us to monitor longer terms in cultural consumption in Sibiu and therefore to provide a longitudinal assessment of the event.


The European Capital of Culture staged in Sibiu during 2007 was a unique event. It was the first European Capital of Culture (ECOC) to be staged in one of the post-2004 EU accession countries, and it represented a major challenge in being staged just as Romania was joining the EU.

The main aims of the event were

  • Raising the international profile of Sibi
  • Long term cultural development
  • Attracting international visitors
  • Enhancing feelings of pride and self-confidence
  • Growing and expanding the local audience for culture
  • Improving social cohesion and creating an economic downstream
  • Improving cultural and non cultural infrastructure
  • Developing relationships with other European cities/regions and promoting European cultural cooperation
  • Promoting creativity and innovation

In addition there were a number of specific aims in the area of communications and promotion:

  • Raising the international profile of the city
  • Changing the image of the city
  • Increasing foreign and domestic tourism
  • Broadening audiences for culture
  • Improving the availability and dissemination of information about the programme is a major task, now under the process of construction.

The original evaluation report published in 2007 by ATLAS (Richards and Rotariu, 2007), indicated that the event programme had successfully met many of the short-term aims, attracting large numbers of visitors, increasing cultural participation and improving the image of the city in Romania and abroad. Measuring the other, often less tangible impacts of the event requires a longer-term monitoring strategy. ATLAS has therefore undertaken a continuous monitoring programme for the City of Sibiu over the past three years. This research includes a number of different elements:

  • Regular surveys of residents and visitors
  • Analysis of tourism flows and other statistics
  • Interviews with stakeholders in the city
  • Data from the regular surveys carried out by ATLAS in other parts of Europe.

This report provides a summary of some of the major findings of the research to date, mainly based on the resident and visitor surveys.

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