TOURiBOOST project

TOURiBOOST launches a comprehensive framework to communicate heritage significance of stakeholders to unlock cultural values and inspire tourism and cultural entrepreneurship.

To fully realize this vision TOURiBOOST strictly follows the COE/UNESCO/ICOMOS/UNEP/IUCN international treaties/conventions; the 2015 Paris Declaration on EU 28 on education; the European Heritage Year 2018 and the 2014 Declaration on a NEW NARRATIVE FOR EUROPE; the EUMS (HU/NL/IT/GR)NSFR and Partnership Agreements for the Development Framework 2014-2020 and the Tourism Strategy for Turkey 2023.

Herakles Sarcophagus (Konya Archeology Museum) As one of the most beautiful Roman sarcophagi found in Anatolia, the work was unearthed in 1958 in an excavation at  Yunuslar Village on the Konya-Beyşehir highway.
The PC (NEU) guides trainees to understand heritage significance and introduces them into the intangible experience as a novel tourism product and a strategic vision for heritage tourism. Trainees focus on shortcomings that currently impede the design of quality experiences. They study success examples, using a jointly developed methodology to signify tourism attractions and learn to plan for outstanding experiences.


  • Heritage tourism is a knowledge based activities and local heritage is valued, only if it possesses a widely recognized identity. Cultural heritage encompasses everything from prehistory to modern times with tangible, intangible and natural cultural heritage attractions.
  • Tourism, and heritage tourism in particular is the business of attracting and servicing the needs and visitor expectations. Anyone who is traveling away from home, even if only for day, is considered a tourist or visitor. People travel for many reasons, the most popular of which are for a vacation, business, or to visit family and friends.
  • Natural and cultural heritage sites, including scenic landscapes and revitalized historic towns, are now major components of the world’s tourism assets, representing a large and increasing source of business for the tourism sector. Furthermore, many of the most outstanding sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Research has shown that interest in the environment, culture and heritage is a primary motivation for a large number of travelers, and is consistently growing as a market sector.
  • Heritage Communication adds value by building the understanding and emotional attachment that enhances any tourism experience. It will assist in capturing the imagination of the visitor, sparking what may become a life-long social, emotional or intellectual connection.

Rolf Jensen published a book called ‘The dream society’. The most important means of production in the future will be narratives, myths, legends, - that is the dream component. There is a story for every product already, and that story determines to a large extent the image and thus the value of the product. So, eventually, even the product will become of secondary importance. People throughout their existence have been looking for food shelter, stories and legends. The demand for a story is an integral part of what it means to be human. That is expressed in what we wear, what we want to look like, the kind of homes we live in what we eat and the kind of holiday we take. These are all components of the story that we want to tell about ourselves, of the story that we live.

On the other hand, the rise of the creative class is a fact nowadays. In Europe, the percentage of the labor force employed in the creative fields has risen spectacularly during the Exit century. Today it is estimated that around 30% of the labour force is concentrated in science, technology, engineering, info-tech, bio-tech, arts, music, culture, design, architecture, the knowledge based professions: law, health, care, and finance. Those are people that add innovation to the rest of the industries.

Sille Hagia Elenia (Michael) Church   The structure known as the Hagios Mikhael or the Great Church is located on the edge of an old small stream in Sille.


The concept of heritage has expanded beyond famous monuments, major museums and spectacular landscapes into every aspect of daily life and community memory. Heritage places presented to tourists now include archaeological sites, historical and continuing religious centers, former industrial works and defensive complexes, railway and water transportation corridors, historic battlefields and places of confinement and punishment, abandoned or neglected historic urban quarters are revived and enlivened with new uses, memorials and monuments multiply and historic exploits are re-enacted. Natural heritage places are increasingly being opened for general visitation by parks authorities. Twentieth century buildings and urban ensembles are as popular as classical or medieval sites. Physical heritage is complemented by all forms of traditional and popular culture, including language and literature, music and dance, rituals and festivals, cuisine and the culinary arts, oral traditions and popular sports, customs.

To facilitate this consumption, access by tourists and visitors to natural and cultural heritage sites needs to be facilitated through the development of tourism products such as transportation, travel providers and interpretation programmers.

Heritage places with the potential to facilitate the development of tourism products share a number of common features:

  • They are interesting and/or unique and can tell a story.
  • They are known beyond the local heritage community.
  • They lend themselves to being promoted and presented.
  • They have an established or potential reputation as “must see” in the tourism sphere.
  • They are accessible and can be managed to absorb visitation without adverse impact.

Tourists can readily explore the places and engage with it at a personal level. They provide

an enticing tourism experience quality and authenticity. The Cultural Heritage Environment comprises after all past traces of human existence. It includes evidence for past environments, archaeological sites, historic buildings and the historic aspects of the wider landscape. These assets are unique and, once damaged or destroyed, cannot recover or be re-created. They are valuable for their own sake, as repositories of evidence for human activity over millennia; for their contribution to landscape character, sense of place and community identity; and as an economic asset which underpins leisure and tourism.

European history is a gradual accumulation of movement and arrivals, new stories attaching themselves to the old ones. Urban, rural and coastal landscapes reflect the layering of experience and develop their own distinctive features. Its protection has to be balanced against the demands of a modern society where changes become ever more rapid.

Heritage Assets

Cultural heritage sites and places represent a huge and varied collection of human creation across the entire globe and the entire span of human history. With the enormous growth of knowledge, increasing mobility and the increased accessibility of travel there is widespread curiosity about other places and a huge demand to visit and personally experience other societies. As a result the vast majority of cities, towns, villages and settled landscapes experience some form of tourism activity. Cultural heritage sites and places include: tangible, spiritual heritage.

Heritage Attractions

Cultural heritage attractions constitute the main visitation and use motive. But attractions cannot speak for themselves; they need a holistic planning and management approach to provide for an overall access on a visitor experience basis. Although of utmost importance protection and conservation measures do not make world treasures fully accessible to visitors. To attract significant visitor flows to heritage settings, TOURIBOOST will have to provide for a holistic access:

  • Supply-Demand Convergence
  • Global Distribution Systems
  • Supply Modes
  • Sense of Place
  • Tourism & Heritage Tourism
  • Visitor Perceptions
  • Familiarity
  • Travel Motive
  • Accessibility

Archaeological Heritage, Historical Centers, Museums and Collections, Places of worship, Pilgrimage Places, Traditional Settlements, Industrial Heritage, Battlefields, Modern Buildings, Traditional Craftsmanship, Culinary Heritage, Performing Arts, Festivals and Events are the other types of it

Digital Cultural Heritage

The process of globalization, while presenting serious threats of uniformisation on intangible cultural heritage, may facilitate its dissemination, mainly through new information and communication technologies, thereby creating a digital heritage. The digital revolution and knowledge have a strong appearance, for better or for worse they are terms that today live in pairs and knowing is today the frontier that cognitive sciences face with surprising results. Their results must be compared with the intuitions and the rationale of philosophers and artists who have been working on knowledge for thousands of years.

Knowledge is always a traumatic process, thaumazein, the existential upheaval of which Aristotle spoke, means discovering that what you think you know is not. It means generating an imbalance and moving from a consequent imbalance to a new, more advanced and solid balance, reconfiguring the old information with the new in a new scheme.

The digital publishing market is particularly based on multi image production and has a computer graphic-base. It was born many years ago in the service of corporate communication. At that time large works, very expensive, very effective in communication appeared thanks to “syncretic” mode of representation. They have been used only in big conventions industry, where marketing budgets of consumer products made it possible, and audience emotion, motivation and experience was part of the return on investment.

With the birth of the electronics, the multiimage disappears. It reappears in a completely digital format and offers its language to culture, museums, public shows, tourism attractions, i/eBooks,

and composite AV productions with very varied possibilities and qualities. Its ability to synthesize, integrated interpretation of composite images, brings one of the hidden features not used by any other means of communication in the digital age: the ability to manipulate an image, the ability to write a picture story from a “white page”, as would a painter, a chance to see animated even all that the origin was still, motionless, frozen in a single image, makes multi image one of the most interesting new products for the cultural and touristic market.

A documentary presents the facts by demonstrating letters, newspapers, pictures, reports and so on, in support of the thesis itself. This is a typical structure of a lesson. But over the document analysis, story it is a set of relationships between documents, which are the bridges between one event and another, between a letter and an article, argumentative connections between the elements of the story. These reports, they become, in the audiovisual language, transitions between shots, the very dynamics of the passage of time audiovisual. Then comes a new possibility of visual expression that exploits the possibilities of digital systems not only to be produced but designed manufactured and distributed.

Gevale Castle Located about 9 km. west of Konya, Gevale Castle is at the top of Takkeli Mountain, which has a height of 1710 m. It is claimed that the first construction of the castle dates back to the Hittite period.


State of art of Konya

The city of Konya, the Mevlana Museum where Mevlana’s Shrine is located has turned this part of the city into a centre of attraction for cultural tourism. In addition to the Mevlana Museum, the district also boasts ‘the historical Sultan Selim Mosque’ and ‘the Manuscript Library’.

In addition to the historical places of interest above, not being far from each other, there are numerous tourist attractions withhigh historical and cultural value like ‘the Shrine of Şems-iTebrizi, Alaeddin Mosque, the Ruins of Alaeddin Keykubat Kiosk, Karatay Madrasah, Slender Minaret Madrasah, Sahip Ata Mosque and Madrasah, Koyunoglu Ethnography Museum, theArchelogical Museum, Sırçalı Madrasah.’ The above-mentioned attractions located in downtown Konya have crucial importance both for the development of the city and cultural tourism.

Konya City Administration puts great efforts into attracting more tourists to the city by advertising the cultural aspects located mostly in the centre. As a result of these efforts, both the city and the residents have obtained certain benefits.

These benefits are:

  • The city benefits more from revenue coming from tourism thanks to its touristic attractions.
  • The people will benefit more from the tourism revenues of the city.
  • The related areas of the city, especially the Mevlana Museum and its surroundings, will be put through urban transformation and renewal.
  • New recreational areas will be established around the city both for the residents and the tourists.

As a result of the Konya City Administration’s efforts; the historical sites located around the Mevlana Museum will be more attractive. Besides, the modernization, renewal or building of pedestrian roads in some districts in the area will be realized. As a result of the Konya City Administration’s efforts, this particular area of the city will appreciably reflect the characteristics of an Anatolian Seljuk City.

Due to that rapid growth of tourism developments in Konya, besides problems like environmental degradation due to rapid and unplanned tourism development, insufficient infrastructural base, negative image of Turkey abroad and lack of marketing skills of the stakeholders, the most important problem appeared to be the continued supply and retention of a well-educated, well-trained, skilled, enthusiastic and committed work-force for the tourism industry.

In fact, the importance of a well-educated, well-trained, skilled, enthusiastic and committed work-force cannot be underestimated for the service industries in general, and the tourism industry and "rms in particular. Many services are produced and consumed simultaneously in a face-to-face exchange (service encounters) situation and employees and customers are physically and psychologically close enough to in#uence each other. These characteristics of services and service delivery process make employee attitudes, performance and behaviour a key determinant of service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. In other words, achieving service quality and excellence, making satisfied and loyal customers depends, to a large extent, on attitudes, performance and behaviour of employees particularly in the front line.

In order to choose the 5 tourism assets we held a stakeholer workshop in Konya twice on the 7th of December and on the 7th of June.

Some of the ideas extracted from the workshop:

  • Participant A: There are currently 6-7 cultural values from Konya as being principal and temporary in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage, even these values are sufficient to make the city of Konya a brand provided that ensuring recognition. Sea, sand, sun tourism was very popular before the 2000s. However, after the 2000s, alternative tourism types have begun to develop. The most importantof these is cultural tourism.Mevlana Museum is emerging by itself. However, the city of Konya has many cultural values in becoming a brandcity in the area of cultural heritage.I think that these should be evaluatedbybringing them together. For example, Çatalhoyuk is a great value, but it is not mentioned so much. People coming to Konya, in general, are going to Mevlana.This is also a cultural heritage value that we have.I think this should be included in such studies.
  • Participant B: It can be provided some awareness campaigns for local people, who do not have enough knowledge and desire in the field of cultural heritage tourism so that they can play more active role in the branches of tourism and gain income from tourism. Thus, the unwillingness, unconsciousness and negative viewpoints of local people can be changed. The entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a new start ups or businesses related to cultural heritage tourism could be encouraged with government assistance offered by local adminisrations.
  • Participant C: Aya Eleni Church in Sille belongs to the early Christian period, which is one of the pilgrimage centers for Christians. Archeology Museum is also another important tourism asset in the territory because it is a museum where artifacts from Çatalhöyük, which is the oldest settlement of earth, and other important works are exhibited. In the context of the project, it is important to make more effective promotion of these cultural centers in the region. To have a better tourism experience for stakeholders in the region we need to follow a participatory approach offers 3 main advantages.

  1. It gives planner a better understanding of local values, knowledge and experience.
  2. It wins the local community backing for project objectives and communities help in local implementation.
  3. It can resolve conflicts that arises when large infrastructure investments are made.
  4. Tourism is an economic activity so it becomes necessary to spread its benefits to the community. When we plan we must think for the community. The environment is an integral part of the development, in their improvised state; the community depends on environment for their livelihood and substance. Communities have to meet their urgent short-term needs by preying upon natural resources available in their surrounding.

  • Participant D: Unfortunately, CULTURAL HERİTAGE tourism without effective management of related stakeholders, will be unsuccessful and of little consequence in the absence of adequate institutional arrangements and administrative commitments. The development of positive relationship between people, resources and tourism is very unlikely to occur without implementation of effective policies, management strategies, and involvement of a wide range of organizations, including NGO’s and other development agencies.

To achieve success in CULTURAL HERİTAGE tourismwe should follow a process. The various steps of this process are:

  1. Impact assessment.
  2. To plan for tourism development on the basis of sustainability.
  3. Involvement of the local community.
  4. To assist and encourage the participation of the NGO’s.
  5. To facilitate the functioning of the tourism development.
  6. Examining the developmental process.

Finally we can conclude that CULTURAL HERITAGE tourism is neither a simple concept to define nor a straightforward phenomenon to implement and evaluate. CULTURAL HERITAGE tourism should be regarded as being more than tourism to the natural areas and should be viewed as a means of combining the goals of resource conservation and local development through tourism in a synergistic fashion. This means that care should be taken to ensure that the goals of tourism development do not interfere with the goals of protecting natural areas and biodiversity. All the stakeholders in tourism development should safeguard the natural environment with a view to achieving sound, continuous and sustainable economic growth geared to satisfying equitably the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. Based on these discussions and suggestions we chose the five tourism assets in Konya.

Catalhuyuk  Located near the modern city of Konya in south central Turkey, it was inhabited 9000 years ago by up to 8000 people who lived together in a large town.


  1. The grave of a girl from the Neolotic Period (Konya Archeology Museum)
  2. Herakles Sarcophagus (Konya Archeology Museum)
  3. St. Chariton (Ak) Monastery (Sille)
  4. Gevale Castle (Selçuklu)
  5. Sille Hagia Elenia (Michael) Church

1. The grave of a girl from the Neolotic Period

Çatalhöyük, accepted as the world's first known city, is located in Çumra district of Konya. It is one of the most important settlements of the Neolithic period. The Höyük is dated to 8000 BC and consists of two parts as east and west. It is estimated that approximately 8,000 to 10,000 inhabitants were lived in this settlement which consists of spaces built adjoined to each other and mostly have two-room spaces. The entrance of these places is located in the ceiling and there is a cooker and sitting platforms inside. The presence of goddess figurines and intensely wall decorations in some places suggest that these spaces are used in temple function.

Archaeological excavations have been carried out since 1961 in this settlement which have murall paintings made of black colors with red ocher on the walls such as hunting scenes, warriors, the explosion of Hasan Mountain, and different geometric motifs. A large number of portable works have been uncovered in these excavations. Today, beside a large part of these works are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Konya Archeology Museum has also a very important finding. A 1-year-old baby was buried in the form of a hoker (a fetus in the womb) in this grave. Although the baby died at a very young age, her parents gifted beaded bracelets on both her arms. Besides being one of the important findings of Çatalhöyük, It is also valuable in terms of creating the identity of an individual belonging to the Neolithic period.

2. Herakles Sarcophagus (Konya Archeology Museum)

One of the most beautiful Roman sarcophagi found in Anatolia, the work was unearthed in 1958 in an excavation at the Yunuslar Village on the Konya-Beyşehir highway. Herakles' twelve tasks have been engraved on the sarcophagus, which is understood to have been made for a very important person with both material quality and craftsmanship. In the scenes built on an arched architectural background sitting on fluted pillars, Herakles 'Nemea Lion, Lerne Hydra, Erymanthos wild boar, Keryneia Deer, Stymphalos Lake Birds, King Augeias Stables, Creta, Queen Hippolyte's Arch, Geryoneus' Flour Cattle, Diomedes 's Mares, Dog Kerberos and Hesperis' Golden Apples duties are engraved in high relief. The village, where the sarcophagus is found, was known as Pappa Tiberiopolis. The sarcophagus was one of the most important monuments discovered in the ancient settlement where some architectural stone works and inscriptions were found and it is dated to the first half of the 3rd century. An important Roman palace was unearthed by the excavation of the Konya Archaeological Museum in the region in 2016. In the ground of this palace which consists of a large hall with apses and many spaces, was discovered a mosaic ornament showing a lion hunt.

3. St. Chariton (Ak) Monastery

The monastery, also known as Hagios Chariton or Deyr-i Eflatun (Eflatun Monastery) is located at the foot of the Takkeli Mountain which is in the 4 km west of Konya. The monastery consists of two churches carved into the rocks, holy spring, monk cells, various places and a podium.

The monastery, which was thought to have been founded by Saint Chariton in the 4th century, was repaired in 1067 and 1289, as understood from the two inscriptions. It is said that in the monastery, which was examined by IV Kyrillos, WM Ramsay, G. Bell, FW Hasluck and S. Eyice in 19th - 20th centuries, there are a large church dedicated to the Cave of Mary, six or seven chapels, monk cells and a holy well discovered miraculously under the level of the soil.

It is known that the monastery, which was in ruins at the beginning of the 20th century, is visited by Orthodox people every year on September 28 at the feast of Saint Chariton. The monastery is also important for the Muslim people. According to a story, the son of Hz. Mevlana fell from the cliff on the hill where the monastery was found and was rescued by a person believed he was St. Chariton. This caused to build a masjid in rectangular plan in the monastery and to be visited it by Çelebi Efendi who is the leader of Mevlevi dervishes.

The main church of the monastery has a cross in square plan with four supports. The church, which was entered with a door on the southern facade, has three apses with a semi-circular plan. The church, which has a barrel vault cover, is illuminated by two windows on the southern facade. A rough stone workship was seen in the church. The wall paintings of the church have not survived.

The other church in the Ak Monastery was built with a single nave scheme. The ornaments made of red ocher can be seen on the walls of the church. From the traces on the ground, it can be thought that this place could be a grave church.

In monastery, there are rectangular places which have niches with oyster motifs on the walls, the healing springs (ayazma) made of rubble stone, and a monk cell. Today, there are some pieces with inscription which belong to the monastery; two of them are in the monastery and two as grave stone are in Konya Archeology Museum. The gravestones belonging to individuals from the Komnenos family show that the monastery was a place where the graves of important Christians were in the Seljuk period.

4. Gevale Castle

Located about 9 km. west of Konya, Gevale Castle is at the top of Takkeli Mountain, which has a height of 1710 m. It is claimed that the first construction of the castle dates back to the Hittite period. Beside this, the traces of the Classical, Ancient, Byzantine and Seljuk periods can be selected in the castle. The castle, which also contains graves and places carved out of rock in its foothills, has taken on important tasks in the defense of Konya. It is understood that the hill which was also known as St. Philip Hill in the Byzantine period has a religious importance and connects to Sille with a historic road having the ruins of the various monasteries.

During the Seljuk period, the castle, which had a palace Sultans go to hunt and fun, was used by the Seljuk Sultans in Crusader and Byzantine invasions. The castle which became an important target in the Ottoman struggle with Karamanoğulları during the period of Fatih was destroyed by Gedik Ahmet Pasha. Today, cisterns and various places can be seen in the castle where the fortification walls and towers resisted the devastating effects of time,

In the excavations conducted under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ahmet ÇAYCI with the cooperation of Necmettin Erbakan University, Art History Department, Seljuk Municipality and Konya Museum, important architectural works and many small finds belonging to Byzantine, Seljuk, Karamanogulları and Ottoman periods were uncovered.

5. Sille Hagia Elenia (Michael) Church

The structure known as the Hagios Mikhael or the Great Church is located on the edge of an old small stream in Sille. Is is said that according to the inscription on the entrance door of the monument, dated to the Byzantine period, was built in 327 by Emperor Constantine's mother Helene during his journey to Jerusalem and was repaired in the periods of Second Mahmut and Abdülmecit.

In the west side of the church which was built in a cross in square, there is a narthex and stairs leading to the galleries. There is a magnificent iconostasis built by wooden masters brought from Istanbul in front of the apse in the interior of the building. The icons put here were taken to Greece, lost and moved to the Konya Museum.

In the center of the building, there is a dome on a high drum supported with four pillars. Gilded stucco ornaments in baroque style and frescoes made in 1880 can be seen on the interior of the church. In the frescoes; St. Georgios rides a white horse and St. Minas at the two sides of entrance, in the dome Christ as pantokrator, in the drum of the dome two saints with Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena, in the pendentives four gospel writers, on the north, south and east arches angels with the twelve apostles, on the west arch Marry, the baptism of Jesus, the angel, eating of forbidden apple by Eve, and expelling of Adam and Eve from paradise were presented. On the eastern cross arm; on the ceiling God, at the bottom of the semi-dome Holy Spirit, at the beginning of vault four gospels writers and at the inner surface of southeastern pillar Michael were presented.

Another decoration used in the structure is the brick ornaments on the outer face of the dome drum. In the three-brick strip in the drum made of cut stones there are zig zag, herringbone and sun motifs. The drum decorated with slim blind arches placed between each window. The church which has a Turkish inscription on the entrance door written with the Greek letters (Karamanlica) was used as military depots and for treatment of the wounded soldiers in the First World War The restoration of the church, which was in ruins until recently, was carried out by the Seljuk Municipality. Today, the church serves as a Museum.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein