SmartCulTour

Resident Support for Tourism Development: Application of a Simplified Resident Empowerment through Tourism Scale on Developing Destinations in Flanders

Bart Neuts (KU Leuven), Senne Kimps (Visit Flanders) and Jan van der Borg (University Ca’Foscari of Venice) have authored an interesting article that focuses on the relatively underdeveloped Scheldeland region in Flanders (Belgium), where a strategic goal is to leverage cultural and natural heritage to boost development.

Via a resident questionnaire based on a simplified version of the Resident Empowerment through Tourism Scale (RETS), the authors have identified support for tourism development and deconstructed the drivers of this support. The objective was to empirically validate the research instrument and underlying theory in a situation of relative ‘undertourism’ and prospective future growth. The questionnaire collected 2058 responses, and the partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) results indicated that support for tourism, which was generally high across the seven municipalities, was mainly affected by social, psychological, and political empowerment, with personal economic benefits not playing a significant role. These results show that social exchange theory (SET) as a theoretical basis for potential tourism support has limited validity in currently underdeveloped destinations. Secondly, comparatively speaking, the municipalities with the lowest tourism development were least supportive of tourism growth, with an increase in tourism intensity seemingly leading to increasing support due to a higher awareness of accrued benefits through tourism

You can read the full paper here: Resident Support for Tourism Development

Deliverable 3.1 – State of the art of cultural tourism interventions

SmartCulTour Work Package 3 intends to first provide more clarity and in-depth knowledge on the state of art of ‘cultural tourism interventions’. Cultural tourism interventions are interpreted as a variety of initiatives, of different nature, potentially impacting on cultural tourism destinations and initiated by a wide variety of stakeholders (public, private, mixed). The fragmented range of possibilities and the diverse spectrum of involved actors stress the urgency to gather and frame structured insights on what are the typologies of cultural tourism interventions, what are their objectives, impacts and success conditions.

The collection and analysis of data concerning 107 cultural tourism interventions implemented all over Europe allowed to propose a taxonomy based on 5 ‘essential purposes’, therefore distinguishing between interventions:

  • To protect, restore, safeguard and promote;
  • To develop and innovate;
  • To interpret, understand and disseminate;
  • To involve and connect;
  • To manage and influence.

Through an expert’s evaluation process and using the proposed taxonomy as a frame, 18 interventions were selected and further analysed through case studies. This selection also fulfils the SmartCulTour’s aim to identify good practices that seem especially innovative and significant for the project goals. Therefore, they can also be of particular interest for the SmartCulTour Living Labs. The case studies reported insights gathered through desk research and semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders, focusing especially on expected, perceived and/or measured impacts of the interventions, success conditions and their contribution to sustainable development.

A combination of insights from the case studies and data regarding the database of 107 interventions allowed to describe the ‘state of the art of cultural tourism interventions’ and outline a framework that shows the different types of cultural tourism interventions, their impacts and success conditions. The framework is more than just a summary. It is a starting point for engaging stakeholders in conversations or decision-making processes concerning cultural tourism interventions. Therefore, it might also be a valuable tool in the context of the SmartCulTour Living Labs, to stimulate and inspire reflections on cultural tourism and sustainable development.

You can read the full report here: Deliverable 3.1

‘VEĆI INOVACIJSKI POTENCIJAL U RAZVOJU PAMETNOG TURIZMA IMAJU DESTINACIJE POPUT OVIH GRADOVA‘

Tehnologija predstavlja podlogu koja je nužna za razvoj pametnog turizma. Ali, ona sama po sebi nije dovoljna. Da bi se destinacija mogla okarakterizirati kao „pametna“ inovacije trebaju odražavati sinergiju različitih dionika, ističe dr. Ante Mandić s Ekonomskog fakulteta u Splitu

Prošlog tjedna Europski parlament zatražio je da nacionalni planovi oporavka budu u potpunosti usklađeni s potrebama i ciljevima pravednog i zelenog rasta te digitalne transformacije. Zastupnici su istaknuli kako je Mehanizam oporavka i otpornosti (RRF) povijesni EU instrument koji ne samo da mora ublažiti negativne posljedice pandemije COVID-19, nego također imati trajni učinak na opću dobrobit te pomoći pravednoj raspodjeli gospodarskog rasta.

Hrvatska je 15. svibnja Komisiji dostavila službeni plan oporavka i otpornosti u kojem traži gotovo 6,4 milijarde eura bespovratnih sredstava za zeleno i digitalno gospodarstvo, javnu upravu i pravosuđe, obrazovanje, znanost i istraživanje, tržište rada i socijalnu zaštitu te zdravstvo. Plan uključuje i inicijativu za obnovu zgrada, a Vlada očekuje da će ulaganjima i projektima u idućih pet godina uspjeti gospodarstvo učiniti otpornijim na buduće krize.

S obzirom na značaj turizma u Hrvatskoj zanimalo nas je kako se u tom sektoru ostvaruje digitalna transformacija, koliko su kod nas dosad zaživjele inovacije u turizmu i što još možemo očekivati kad je riječ o pametnom turizmu. Naš sugovornik doc.dr.sc. Ante Mandić s Katedre za turizam i gospodarstvo Ekonomskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Splitu reći će kako je u Nacionalnom planu oporavka i otpornosti, razvoj održivog, inovativnog i otpornog turizma jedna od šest ključnih komponenti u sklopu prioriteta Gospodarstvo. Na Gospodarstvo je alocirano 54 posto predviđenih ulaganja, a za razvoj turizma 8,6 posto ukupno predviđenih sredstava za Gospodarstvo.

– Ne ulazeći u diskusiju o iznosima alociranih sredstava, Nacionalni plan se fokusira na povećanje otpornosti i održivosti turističkog sektora upravo putem zelene i digitalne transformacije, te ubrzavanja oporavka turizma, povećanja dodane vrijednosti i neizravnih učinaka turističke potrošnje uspostavom učinkovitog okvira za upravljanja razvoja održivog turizma, što u suštini podrazumijeva reformu sustava upravljanja – navodi dr. Mandić.

Što znači digitalna transformacija u turizmu? U pojašnjenju tog koncepta dr. Ante Mandić, koji inače studentima predaje o održivom turizmu, prvo skreće pažnju na novu industrijsku politiku EU-a.

– U ožujku 2020.godine, Europska komisija je predstavila Novu industrijsku strategiju sa tri ključna prioriteta, uključujući zadržavanje globalne konkurentnosti europske industrije, klimatsku neutralnost Europe do 2050., te oblikovanje europske digitalne budućnosti. Ostvarenje tih prioriteta trebale su zagarantirati specifične aktivnosti, među ostalim i snažna potpora održivim i pametnim industrijama, inovacijama te razvoju socijalnog kapitala. Digitalna tranzicija Europe, zacrtana je kroz Strategiju o izgradnji digitalne budućnosti Europe – pomalo utopijski i isključivo afirmativan dokument, koji naglasak stavlja na ulogu tehnologija u promicanju i ostvarenju interesa građana, pravednosti i poticanju tržišnog natjecanja, te njegovanju načela otvorenosti, demokracije i održivosti društva – navodi.

Razvoj ‘pametnog turizma’

Podsjeća nadalje kako se značajniji interes EU-a za digitalizacijom u kontekstu turizma javlja 2015.godine, uspostavom Digitalne turističke mreže (eng. Digital tourism network) – neformalnog foruma EU turističke industrije za diskusiju o ključnim izazovima i prilikama koje digitalna transformacija donosi ovom sektoru. Rezultati istraživanja, koje je Europska komisija provela 2016. i 2018. godine, potvrdili su da se tehnološki razvoj odražava na transformaciju tradicionalnih uloga „proizvođača i kupaca“ u turizmu, te pojavu novih poslovnih modela (npr. ekonomija dijeljenja), ali i potrebnu za novim kompetencijama zaposlenih u sektoru i izvan njega.

Dodaje kako je pojava primjerice digitalnih platformi povećala volumen i raznolikost turističkih proizvoda, usluga i doživljaja, te istovremeno ubrzala ekonomske transakcije, povećala tržišnu dostupnost te količinu i vidljivost povratnih informacija klijenata (primjerice online recenzije posjetitelja).

– Ove promjene na tradicionalnom turističkom tržištu nisu se dogodile «preko noći», već su rezultat kontinuiranog razvoja, u kojemu je posebno evidentno da se razdoblje od inovacije do implementacija znatno skraćuje. Tako je primjerice tradicionalni turizam ušao prvo u fazu «E-poslovanja” koju karakterizira adaptacija tehnologije u segment marketinga i prodaje (unaprjeđenje internih procesa). Nakon toga dolazi faza «E-trgovine» u kojoj tehnologija doprinosi jačanju povezanosti, suradnje i komunikacija između različitih dionika u destinaciji koja rezultira inovacijama duž cijelog lanca opskrbe (destinacija se naziva ekosustav – mreža dionika koji su međusobno povezani i između kojih se formiraju različiti odnosi) – kazuje dr. Mandić.

Eru «Pametnog turizma» koja je potom uslijedila, pojašnjava nadalje, karakterizira svojevrsna evolucija u pristupu korištenja tehnologija u turizmu, prije svega u kontekstu upravljanja turističkim destinacijama, te razvoju nove razine inteligencije unutar destinacijskog sustava (odluke su rezultat strukturiranih procesa i donose se temeljem velike količine podataka i informacija).

– Pametni turizam obuhvaća tri temeljne komponente u kojima je tehnologija (digitalizacija) katalizator inovacija, uključujući pametne destinacije (fokus na upravljanje destinacijom), pametne doživljaje (fokus na unaprjeđenje, personalizaciju doživljaja), te pametni poslovni ekosustav (fokus na jačanje konkurentnosti i unaprjeđenje efikasnosti dionika u segmentu turističke ponude) – kaže naš sugovornik.

Reći će i kako je jedan od temeljnih zaključaka istraživanja koje je Komisija naručila 2018. godine taj da digitalizacija pruža alate i okvir za kreiranje dodane vrijednosti turističkim proizvodima i doživljajima, ali njen uspjeh uvelike ovisi o kapacitetu turističkog «sektora» da uči i surađuje. Do sličnih zaključaka, ističe, dolaze autori jednog od utjecajnijih znanstvenih radova u području pametnog turizma (Smart tourism destinations: ecosystems for tourism destination competitiveness), navodeći kako je uz tehnološku razvijenost, nužan preduvjet razvoja pametnih destinacija inovativnost, razvijen socijalni i ljudski kapital, te vodstvo, budući da isključivo njihova sinergija može dovesti do željenog napretka.

– Pojednostavljeno, tehnologija predstavlja podlogu koja je nužna za razvoj pametnog turizma. Međutim, ona sama po sebi nije dovoljna. Da bi se destinacija mogla okarakterizirati kao „pametna“ inovacije koje se u njoj odvijaju trebaju odražavati sinergiju različitih dionika. Nadalje razvoj ljudskog (znanje, vještine, kompetencije koje podupiru unaprjeđenje osobnog blagostanja) i socijalnog kapitala (mreže povezanih dionika čija se suradnja zasniva na zajedničkim normama i vrijednostima) mora dostignuti određenu razinu. U konačnici treba postojati vodstvo koje će usmjeravati na ostvarenje zacrtanih ciljeva kao što su jačanje održivosti, otpornosti, konkurentnosti, kapaciteta dionika u destinaciji, razvoj određenih posebnih oblika turizam ili inovativnih turističkih doživljaja – naglašava dr. Ante Mandić.

Kazuje i kako se pametnom turizmu i pametnim destinacijama, kao i samoj digitalizaciji, pristupa dominantno afirmativno, što znatno ograničava objektivnost sagledavanja načina na koji bi adaptacija određenih načela pametnog turizma mogla utjecati na pojedini sustav upravljanja razvojem turizma.

-Tako se primjerice često zanemaruje da razvoj koncepata koji uključuju radikalne inovacije, poput pametnih destinacija, za određene dionike podrazumijeva unaprjeđenje konkurentnosti dok za ostale može značiti ugrozu egzistencije. Prisjetimo se samo reakcija na dolazak UBER-a na hrvatsko tržište ili zabrinutosti koju je izazvala snažna ekspanzija platformi za kratkotrajni najam smještaja poput AiRBnB-a i Booking.com-a na tradicionalnom tržištu smještajnih kapaciteta u Zapadnoj Europi i SAD-u. Nadalje, proces unaprjeđenja kolektivnog kapaciteta za apsorpciju i analizu informacija i znanja, što je presudno za razvoj inovacija na destinacijskoj razini, je izrazito kompleksan, zahtjeva puno vremena te sustavan pristup, odnosno nacionalno opredjeljenje među ostalim i kroz obrazovne programe – kazuje.

Također ističe kako u razvoju pametnog turizma ključnu ulogu imaju poduzetnici, pri čemu vrlo često isključivo velike firme imaju resurse (primjerice financije) koji su im potrebni za razvoj ili adaptaciju inovacija. S druge strane, turizam kao djelatnost karakterizira izrazito velik broj malih firmi, što najbolje vidimo u nacionalnoj strukturi djelatnosti.

– U konačnici, često je velika razlika između mikro destinacija s obzirom na njihov inovacijski potencijal, čak i ukoliko destinacije promatramo kao regije, primjerice Istra, Srednja Dalmacija, Kontinentalna RH. Implementacija jedne ili nekoliko značajnijih promjena neće automatski učiniti destinaciju pametnom (što je u RH česta zabluda, primjerice nakon uvođenja e-Parkinga sustava), budući da se radi o dugotrajnom i kompleksnom procesu u kojemu vjerojatno neće uspjeti sve regije, primarno zbog različitosti u njihovom inovacijskom kapacitetu. Na tom tragu mogli bismo zaključiti da veći inovacijski potencijal pa i bolju startnu poziciju u razvoju pametnog turizma imaju destinacije koje imaju razrađenu strategiju pametnog razvoja ili pametnih gradova, poput Zagreba, Rijeke ili Dubrovnika – ističe dr. Mandić.

Hrvatska kao pametna destinacija

Njegovo je mišljenje kako je razvoj pametnog turizma na krilima digitalizacije prihvatljivije promatrati kao paradigmatsku nadgradnju aktualnog modela održivog masovnog turizma, nego kao još jedan posebni oblik turizma poput primjerice eko-turizma, kulturnog turizma ili nautičkog turizma.

– Osnova ovakvog promišljanja ogleda se u činjenici da pametni turizma kreira novi pristup ne samo oblikovanju i distribuciji turističke ponude, već unaprjeđenju sustava upravljanja razvojem turizma na destinacijskog razini. Pozadina unaprjeđenja sustava upravljanja ogleda se prije svega u dostupnosti velike količine podataka, koji znatno doprinose smanjenju neizvjesnosti u odlučivanju te čine izvrsnu nadgradnju tradicionalnim sustavima monitoringa, kao i u razvoju i implementaciji konkretnih tehnoloških rješenja kako bi se odgovorilo na različite izazove u destinaciji – obrazlaže.

Stoga ne začuđuje, dodaje, da posljednjih nekoliko godina ulazimo u fazu intenzivnijeg razvoja sustava za podršku odlučivanju na destinacijskoj razini.

-Primjerice, naš tim sa Ekonomskog fakulteta u Splitu je sudjelovao u izradi dva takva sustava, jedan općeg karaktera koji pokriva Mediteransku regiju (https://www.blutoursystem.eu/) i jedan fokusiran na razvoj kulturnog turizma koji pokriva 6 EU zemalja (http://www.smartcultour.eu/). U oba slučaja je cilj razvoja sustava bio isti, a to je pretvaranje velike količinu podataka i informacija u znanje, odnosno pomoći destinacijama da donose brže i kvalitetnije odluke. Prije nekoliko dana je primjerice Google predstavio Travel Insights with Google platformu, koja besplatno donosi ključne informacije dionicima iz turističkog sektora vezano za potražnju prema Hrvatskoj – kaže dr. Ante Mandić.

Turizam se, pa tako i u Hrvatskoj, suočava s raznim izazovima. Što u takvim uvjetima donosi digitalna transformacija?

– Moglo bi se reći da se turizam u RH treba suočiti sa nekoliko bitnih internih izazova, uključujući dobro strukturiran međutim još uvijek nedovoljno efikasan sustav organizacije razvoja turizma; visoku razinu ovisnosti gospodarstva o razvoju turizma; visoku stopu sezonalnosti i priobalnu orijentiranost razvoja turizma; izrazito nisku razinu domaćeg turizma; visok (rastući) udio „privatnog“ smještaja u ukupnoj strukturi smještajnih kapaciteta; izražene pokazatelje povezane sa prekomjernim turizmom u određenim mikro destinacijama. Ovim internim izazovima bismo svakako trebali pridružiti i određene globalne trendove poput klimatskih promjena, socio-demografskih promjena, sve kompleksnijih geo-političkih uvjeta, niz promjena u kontekstu turističke potražnje, te u konačnici i samu digitalizaciju. Neki od ovih izazova su posljedica i/ili dodatno potaknuti „globalnom“ digitalizacijom, dok se istovremeno digitalna transformacija sve češće nameće i kao rješenje – smatra dr. Mandić.

Dodaje kako se u turizmu digitalizacija promatra kao prilika za jačanje inovativnosti, dostupnosti i održivosti turističke destinacije, sa pozitivnim posljedicama za kupca i ponuditelja. Međutim, da bi se ova prilika iskoristila nužno je, ističe, kreirati uvjete, što je ujedno i najteže.

– Uz razvoj tehnoloških pretpostavki, to prije svega podrazumijeva pronalaženje načina kako jačati inovacijski potencijal, pokrenuti razvoj socijalnog i ljudskog kapitala te uspostavu adekvatnog vodstva. Iz ove perspektive prijedlog Nacionalnog plana oporavka i otpornosti je dobar početak, u onoj mjeri u kojoj kreira osnovu za svojevrsnu transformaciju i unaprjeđenje sustava upravljanja razvojem turizma u RH. U opisu reforme možemo vidjeti naznake svojevrsnih procesnih inovacija u nacionalnom sustavu upravljanja koje se ogledaju u uspostavi okvira za praćenje razvoja turizma, sustava za prikupljanje podataka te izrade znanstvenih podloga kao osnove za upravljanje javnim politikama. Međutim, kada dođemo do konkretnih investicija kojima se operacionalizira reforma, najsnažniji doprinos razvoju pametnog turizma ogleda se u razvoju ljudskog kapitala, kroz investiciju usmjerenu na jačanje kapaciteta sustava, te poticanje proizvodnih i procesnih inovacija kroz investiciju usmjerenu na turističku infrastrukturu privatnog sektora – kaže dr.Mandić.

Zaključuje kako u suštini reforma daje doprinos digitalnoj transformaciji, a indirektno i razvoju pametnog turizma u RH, međutim ne može se govoriti o sustavnom ili planskom pristupu.

– Ono što još zasigurno izostaje je jasno opredjeljenje za rješavanje spomenutih, konkretnih izazova s kojima se hrvatski turizam susreće. To dodatno apostrofira značaj i očekivanja od sljedeće strategije razvoja turizma u RH, koja bi trebala zacrtati putanju transformacije cjelokupnog hrvatskog turizma prema održivijoj, otpornijoj i odgovornijoj budućnosti. Pitanje je hoće li se ovo uistinu i dogoditi – kaže dr. Ante Mandić s Ekonomskog fakulteta u Splitu.

Originalan tekst ovog intervjua je objavljen u posebnoj rubrici Jutarnjeg lista, novac.hr

A new materialist governance paradigm for tourism destinations

A new paper has just been published on the Journal of Sustainable Tourism authored by Xavier Matteucci, Jeroen Nawijn and Jennifer von Zumbusch: “A new materialist governance paradigm for tourism destinations”

Until the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of tourism had confronted many destinations with policy decisions that had impacted regional ecosystems and the quality of life of their resident population. To counter the threats driven by dominant tourism growth models, a number of tourism scholars have called for revisiting the philosophical foundation upon which tourism activities are developed.

Informed by debates in philosophy and the wider social sciences, including tourism scholarship, this conceptual paper, therefore, suggests an alternative governance paradigm for tourism destinations, which is articulated in four propositions that reflect a new materialist perspective. These propositions are a monist post-anthropocentric ontology, a participatory epistemology, resilient forms of tourism and participation as methodologies, and social eudaimonia as societal value. The core argument presented in the paper is that the Anthropocene requires tourism destinations to espouse alternative governance approaches drawing from ideas emerging from new materialist scholarship.

You can read the full article here.

Second working meeting of the Huesca Living Lab

The second working meeting of the Huesca Living Lab was held on 13 May 2021. The main objective of the session was for participants to contextualize the tourist sector in Huesca and set the scene for the development of a common work strategy to strengthen the sector in the province. A total number of 17 members of the Living Lab participated in the session representing, among others, public administration and territorial management, the agriculture and food sector and the environment.

The participatory methodology was followed, using online tools to facilitate the implementation of different dynamics. The session’s original agenda was:

  • 10:00   Introduction – Aims and methodology of the meeting
  • 10:05   Rapid guide on Miro
  • 10:15   Round of introductions
  • 10:35   Dynamic 1: SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). 30 minutes
  • 11:05   Dynamic 2: Identification of priorities and needs for the LL. 30 minutes
  • 11:35   BREAK
  • 11:45   Dynamic 3: Sharing good practices. 30 minutes
  • 12:15   Dynamic 4: Identifying opportunities. 30 minutes
  • 12:50   End of session – Conclusions and next steps.

The session had a dynamic pace and active participation from start to finish. The concepts of sustainability, tools, learning and co-creation emerged as key words in relation to the expectations of the Living Lab.

Al final de la sesión se marcó la ruta a seguir y contenidos de las siguientes sesiones de trabajo a lo largo de 2021, donde se identificarán iniciativas de éxito, bien del propio territorio o bien de otros países, con el objetivo de que sirvan como referencia para impulsar el sector en Huesca.

The following dynamics enabled debates and discussions highlighting the importance of creating networking and cooperation spaces such as those generated in the project. Participants expressed particular interest in working with the other Living Labs of the project to learn about and share the concerns and methodologies in the tourist sector.  Huesca  Living Lab is characterized by having a rich diversity of resources and tourist attractions but also faces significant challenges such as rural depopulation, climate change and the new social paradigm caused by the current health crisis.

At the end of the session, the itinerary was marked out for the continuation of activities as well as the contents for the following working sessions to be held throughout 2021, where succussful initiatives will be identified either from the home territory or other countries, which serve as a point of reference from which to boost the sector in Huesca.

Segunda reunión de trabajo del Living Lab de Huesca

El día 13 de mayo de 2021, tuvo lugar la segunda reunión de trabajo del Living Lab de Huesca. El objetivo principal de la sesión fue contextualizar el sector del turismo en Huesca por parte de los y las participantes del Living Lab y sentar las bases para el desarrollo de una estrategia de trabajo común para el fortalecimiento del sector en la provincia. La sesión contó con la participación de un total de 17 personas pertenecientes al  Living Lab y representando tanto a la administración pública como a la gestión territorial, el sector agroalimentario y el medioambiente, entre otros.

La metodología empleada fue de carácter participativo, haciendo uso de herramientas en línea que facilitaron la implementación de las diferentes dinámicas. De esta manera la agenda inicial que se planteó para la sesión fue:

  • 10.00: Introducción- Objetivos reunión y metodología
  • 10.05: Guía rápida para usar Miro
  • 10.15: Ronda de presentaciones
  • 10.35: Dinámica 1: Análisis DAFO (Debilidades, Amenazas, Fortalezas y Oportunidades) 30 minutos
  • 11.05: Dinámica 2: Identificación de necesidades y prioridades del LL. 30 minutos
  • 11.35: DESCANSO
  • 11.45: Dinámica 3: Compartiendo buenas prácticas.30 minutos
  • 12.15: Dinámica 4: Identificando oportunidades.30 minutos
  • 12.50: Cierre de la sesión – Conclusiones y siguientes pasos.

La sesión se caracterizó de principio a fin por una alta participación donde los conceptos de sostenibilidad, herramientas, aprendizaje, co-creacion surgieron como palabras clave con respecto a  las expectativas del Living Lab.

A lo largo de las siguientes dinámicas, se generaron debates y discusiones que pusieron en relieve la importancia de la creación de espacios de trabajo en red y cooperación como el que se está creando en el contexto del proyecto. Asímismo, quedó patente el gran interés en trabajar de forma conjunta con el resto de los Living Labs del proyecto para conocer e intercambiar inquietudes y metodologías en el sector del turismo.  El Living Lab de Huesca se caracteriza por una rica diversidad de recursos y atractivos turísticos a la par que se enfrenta a grandes retos como la despoblación rural, el cambio climático o el nuevo paradigma social originado por la actual crisis sanitaria.

Al final de la sesión se marcó la ruta a seguir y contenidos de las siguientes sesiones de trabajo a lo largo de 2021, donde se identificarán iniciativas de éxito, bien del propio territorio o bien de otros países, con el objetivo de que sirvan como referencia para impulsar el sector en Huesca.

The Role of UNESCO Cultural Heritage and Cultural Sector in Tourism Development: The Case of EU Countries

For over seventy decades, tourism and culture have been amongst the biggest growing phenomena worldwide. Tourism is considered a significant economic sector, relevant for inclusive economic growth, both globally and locally, and culture is recognized as a powerful driver of global sustainable development, with community-wide social, economic and environmental impacts. Thus, tourism and culture present significant driving forces of economic growth and sustainable development in many destinations, with shared values and adjacent ties between tourism and culture stakeholders.

Blanka Škrabic Peric, Blanka Šimundic, Vinko Muštra (University of Split, Croatia) and Marijana Vugdelija (International Medical Corps, Split, Croatia) have published the article “The Role of UNESCO Cultural Heritage and Cultural Sector in Tourism Development: The Case of EU Countries» in Sustainability, as part of the Special Issue “A European Perspective on Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Sustainable Development and Regional Resilience”. The paper estimates the impact of different cultural indicators on tourism development in 27 EU member states for the period 2008–2018, by using dynamic panel data. The results indicate that the number of UNESCO Heritage Sites do not have a significant influence on the number of tourism overnights, whereas there are significant positive effects on international tourism receipts and tourism employment. Moreover, the additional cultural sector specifics considered in the analysis; government expenditure on culture and employment in culture, showed to have a significant positive influence on all three tourism indicators used in the research. In addition, the research results indicate that the real GDP per capita and the level of human capital are significant drivers of tourism development.

This article is based on research conducted in the context of the SmartCulTour project that has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 870708.

Uncovering the ‘state-of-the-art’ of cultural tourism interventions implemented in European cities and regions

By pursuing different interests and objectives, cultural tourism stakeholders determine a wide range of impacts on tourism destinations and their communities. For instance, private businesses are constantly investing resources (time, money, expertise, skills, etc.) to innovate the cultural tourism offer, determining multiple socio-economic impacts. Destinations can embrace a variety of governance settings and influence the decisions of public or private actors. Moreover, local and national governments, the European Union and other international organisations often grant financial resources for a wide range of programs and projects, aiming at uncovering, designing and implementing more sustainable forms of cultural tourism. Such a complex range of activities and the diverse spectrum of actors involved, stress the urgency to gather and frame more structured insights on what the impacts and success conditions of these initiatives and approaches are. Within SmartCulTour, the objective of Work Package 3 is to provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ of cultural tourism interventions implemented in European cities and regions, thereby identifying good practices and their impacts and success conditions. We are pursuing this objective via a multiple-steps approach:

  • The contribution of SmartCulTour partners allowed to collect preliminary insights concerning the context, actors, objectives and impacts of more than 100 interventions all over Europe. This revealed information about interventions initiated by different stakeholders, ranging from national and local governments to private businesses or NGOs. The variety of cultural tourism interventions that have been considered includes the introduction of new cultural products, marketing and communication activities, heritage interpretation, capacity building, visitor management plans and regulations, just to mention some examples. The gathered data also revealed preliminary insights on the impacts of the interventions in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability of the destinations and the resilience of their communities. Focusing on the essential purpose of the interventions, the analysis of the collected data allowed to propose the following innovative taxonomy of cultural tourism interventions:
  • Starting form the proposed taxonomy and supported by a process of expert’s evaluations, we selected 18 interventions (out of the initial 108), to be further investigated via in-depth case studies. Aiming at interviewing at least 3 relevant stakeholders, each case study allowed to enrich the available data, especially concerning the economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of the interventions, revealing additional insights in terms of success conditions and “lesson learnt” from these interventions.
  • SmartCulTour Deliverable D3.2, available here, contains a ‘portfolio’ with the 18 selected interventions, reporting essential information about the context, the initiators, the required resources, the impacts, success conditions and lesson learnt through the interventions. This selection of cases reflects the variety of interventions analysed, ranging from the development of entrepreneurial ideas to initiatives focused on interpreting the heritage of minorities or capacity building projects and initiatives that provided a common space, where the tourism and culture industries could meet, discuss and work with each other.
  • By the end of May 2021, also the SmartCulTour deliverable D3.1 will be available here, providing a comprehensive state-of-the-art of cultural tourism interventions implemented in European cities and regions, with an overview and additional insights on good practices, impacts and success conditions of cultural tourism interventions.

The outcomes of this process will be useful as a reference about the state-of-art of cultural tourism interventions in Europe and can be used to initiate and structure discussions concerning cultural tourism and sustainable development in a variety of urban and regional settings.

Culture: A year into Covid-19

At the outset of the pandemic, UNESCO took decisive steps to combat the impact on the culture sector through strengthening global policy dialogue and promoting the continued access to culture. In April last year, when UNESCO convened 130 ministers of culture in an online meeting to discuss the pandemic’s impact on the sector, it activated and laid down the foundations for an ongoing global policy dialogue with its Member States to carry forward consolidated action in ensuring the sector is supported in crisis response strategies.

Monitoring the impact of the pandemic has been essential to gauge the needs and gaps, and help Member States in shaping appropriate policies. This is also why UNESCO mobilized a broad network of actors within the scope of its work in culture to better understand the situation in order to develop adequate responses. UNESCO launched a wide range of monitoring tools to guide policymakers and practitioners in the various dimensions of cultural policies.

This month special issue of the UNESCO Culture & Public Policy Tracker titled «Culture: A year into Covid-19» was initially published last April as a weekly global policy monitor and later consolidated into a monthly format beginning in September 2020. The past year has seen each of UNESCO’s Culture Conventions and programmes develop unique monitoring mechanisms to track the impact of the pandemic, ranging from monitoring World Heritage site closures, to carrying out surveys amongst Member States, site managers, living heritage bearers, and local authorities, among others.

The monthly Tracker is produced by UNESCO to monitor culture in public policy with regards to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. It highlights developments within national and regional contexts, as well as emerging debates on culture’s contribution to sustainable development. Drawing on a variety of sources, it provides a broad overview of cultural policy trends worldwide at the national, regional and international level and looks at ways in which countries integrate culture into other policy areas.

You can read the details and download the special issue here: https://en.unesco.org/news/tracker-culture-public-policy-special-issue

Deliverable 4.2 – Report outlining the SRT framework

The team of experts from the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism (FEBT), University of Split, Croatia, have recently delivered a report striving to fulfil the SmartCulTour project objective of ‘establishing an improved indicator framework for cultural tourism impacts on a destination’s sustainability and resilience and linking them to an improved Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) model’. 

The Report D4.2 contains four sections, including the Introduction; the Empirical Analysis section – outlining the data collection process, methods, analysis and main conclusions following each part of the analysis; the TALC modelling section delivering a theoretical foundation for the TALC modelling together with its empirical verification; Conclusion and Reference sections. At the end of the Report, an Annex contains tables and figures to describe the attained results.

The obtained research results shed light on the relationship between cultural tourism development and destinations’ sustainability and resilience, taking into consideration destinations’ position in the TALC. The foundation of the analysis are frameworks of indicators related to cultural tourism development, sustainability and resilience of cultural tourism destinations corroborated in Report D 4.1. The empirical analysis was performed based on data collected for six case studies, i.e. six Living Labs involving thirty-five micro destinations, i.e. LAUs. Within this analysis, special focus was put on culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable tourism development and aiming to assess cultural tourism development impacts on a local scale, among others, by inaugurating indicators reflecting visitor and resident attitudes.

To analyse cultural tourism development influence on cultural tourism destinations’ sustainability both dynamic panel data and regression analysis were employed. The analysis in the resilience model was performed using only dynamic panel data methodology.

The results revealed that the cultural resources index (CulRes_INDEX) is without a doubt the most important in affecting both, sustainability and resilience of destinations under analysis, thus addressing the fundamental relevance of cultural resources from the cultural tourism policy standpoint. Considering that other indices such as those referring to cultural enterprises (CulEnt_INDEX), cultural governance and policy (CulGovPol_INDEX) and cultural tourism governance (CulGovTour_INDEX) are shown statistically significant with positive effects on regional resilience, and with diverging impacts on sustainability, elaboration of the obtained results requires an understanding of the broader regional development framework.

Given the requirement to associate the results of the analyses with the Living Labs life cycle stage (TALC), their movement along the life cycle curve has been modelled. The model indicated all LLs being in the stage of demand dependence, tending to reach the saturation stage unless restructuring policies and new products such as cultural tourism introduced.