The organisation of a big event, according to literature, is a strategic choice for a destination since it allows the promotion of the territory fostering its relaunch, the increase of its attractiveness and the construction of a strong destination image. Among big events the election of the "European Capital of Culture" must be mentioned, since it represents a good marketing tool able to promote the selected city key factors, to activate important tourist flows and reposition the destination image. They are important processes also for the effects they have on the local community who hosts the event, and is involved in accelerated cultural exchanges in a context that often is being redefined. In particular, this paper presents the start of the empirical study on the case "Matera European Capital of Culture 2019": it focuses on the local people involvement and the value created by the big event on the perception and the culture of welcome.
Keywords: European Capital of Culture, legacy, cultural tourism, cultural product, destination management and marketing, community.