The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is primarily an information platform for industrial heritage tourism in Europe, and also functions as a brand for industrial cultural tourism. ERIH strengthens awareness of the common European heritage of industrialisation and its legacy, and establishes regions, sites, and objects as excursion and travel destinations. The ERIH network was launched in 2004, based on the regional scenic Route of Industrial Heritage (Route der Industriekultur), which was launched in 1999 as one of the outcomes of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Emscher Park. Both systems feature a variety of route options, selectable, for example, by diverse themes (“theme routes”) or by "anchor points" that represent the most attractive and historically significant sites. In addition, since 2009, both routes are presented at the Zollverein anchor point in an exhibition, titled “Portal of Industrial Heritage” (Portal der Industriekultur). ERIH includes more than 1,600 sites with more than 100 anchor points that include almost all European countries (47 of 51). The ERIH website has developed rapidly, with an average of more than 3,500 visits per day in 2017.
Long-term perspective: The general structure of ERIH enables a variety of synergies, allowing members to strengthen their sites through ‘cross-marketing’ within the network, and to intensify exchange, learn from good practice, and establish partnerships between sites.