Culture as catalyst: New tourism trends to be explored in the EU-funded SmartCulTour Final Conference in Brussels

Stakeholders of the cultural tourism sector in Europe are invited to join the Final Conference of the EU-funded project SmartCulTour on 24 May in Brussels. The event will bring together international experts to explore emerging tourism trends and identify priorities to redefine cultural tourism for sustainable destinations.

The conference will tackle the importance of harnessing the power of culture and local values to redefine the visitor experience. The lineup of confirmed speakers will include UNESCO, European Commission (various DGs), MEPs István Ujhelyi and Marcos Ros, ICOMOS and leading EU and National cultural and tourism bodies as we debate the future of cultural tourism in Europe.

Since SmartCulTour started in January 2020, the project has supported the development of European regions by providing them with a set of strategies to engage with stakeholders and co-create sustainable cultural tourism experiences.

The project has been deployed through six living labs across Europe (Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain). The project’s tools and the different experiences of the SmartCulTour Living Labs with key target audiences will be shared during the closing conference of the project.

DATE: Wednesday 24 May 2023
TIME: 09:15 – 18:30 h
VENUE: Herman Teirlinckgebouw building (Havenlaan 88, 1000 – Brussels, Belgium)
REGISTRATION: Register on the SmartCulTour website to attend the event (smartcultour.eu)

Traces in Utsjoki: inspiring respectful visitor behaviour in nature areas – Utsjoki LL intervention

“Traces in Utsjoki” is a concept for managing and influencing Utsjoki visitors’ behavior and actions in nature and raising environmental and cultural awareness. The concept consists of three parts, which are the bingo game for tracking traces in nature, the photo gallery for collecting and combining photos of the traces in the public online-based photo gallery, and informative posters for guiding the tourists’ behavior in nature. The main purpose of the concept is to increase the awareness and respect of natural surroundings and demonstrate the problems of misbehavior in nature and littering to the visitors and locals in Utsjoki in a participatory and playful way.

Visitors and locals can spot different traces in nature that do not belong to the local ecosystem, but also traces that do belong to it and should be treated with respect. The bingo game aims to increase tourists’ awareness through the observation of nature in both good and bad conditions. The bingo paper-based game board can be picked up from the tourist info in Village house Giisá. Hikers and visitors can play the bingo, document their found traces by taking pictures, and then upload the pictures on the Traces in Utsjoki gallery, which could be published on Utsjoki municipality’s webpage.

The Traces in Utsjoki gallery is a browser-based real-time photo gallery of the pictures taken by people walking or hiking around Utsjoki’s nature. The idea of the gallery is that, when you find a trace in nature, either negative or positive, you take a picture with your mobile phone and upload it to the photo gallery accessible through the Utsjoki municipality’s website. It is also possible to mark the exact location where the trace was found when uploading the picture. This allows monitoring the areas that have the biggest littering problem or many piles of stones, for example. Every month the statistics of «Traces of the months» are visible on the webpage, as well as displayed on the tourism info screen, which could be placed in the Village House Giisá. The administration rights of the photo gallery would belong to the Municipality of Utsjoki.

Traces in Utsjoki posters are part of the concept aiming to draw the attention of hikers and visitors to traces that do not belong to nature. The posters show evocative images of, for example, litter or other waste in nature and can be displayed in places where littering problems occur the most (identified, for example, with the help of the Traces in Utsjoki gallery). Posters should be located in places where they do not cause visual harm to the scenery. A poster with pictures of human waste in nature can be placed, for example, on the wall of the inside door of a public toilet, where visitors can be kindly reminded that toilet paper should not be left in nature either. In the picture in the middle of the poster, on the one side, misbehavior could be depicted, while on the other side the ideal situation of how to deal with waste could be displayed. Using creativity and humor in posters helps send the message in positive ways.

The Municipality of Utsjoki and the residents benefit from this concept since it improves the general well-being of the local people and the attractiveness of the area. The gallery helps collect data related to behavior in nature, which can potentially be used for different purposes such as arranging bins in some specific spots or informing tourists. The game can also be an educational tool for children: indeed, spotting different animal tracks gives a positive and playful aspect to the exercise. Identifying different traces in nature, including animals’ ones, may help learn about the local nature and its diversity. The goal of the game is to reduce the environmentally negative traces and collect the most positive ones in the gallery while increasing tourists’ appreciation for nature. Collecting litter and reporting it with pictures can uplift tourists’ feeling that they have done something good for the local community during their travels. It supports the development of more sustainable and balanced tourism, where both local people and tourists can enjoy and preserve nature.

The gallery could serve other purposes as well, such as providing information about the local Sámi culture, which was one of the needs identified by the Utsjoki Living Lab in order to develop sustainable cultural tourism in the municipality. In Sámi cultures, nature and culture are intertwined, hence the gallery could be used for providing correct information on the Sámi culture as well and the nature relations, which may also help uphold locals’ ownership and cultural identity.

Exploring Scheldeland during international exchange visits

From 20 to 22 June, the Scheldeland Living Lab received representatives of the living labs of Huesca and Utsjoki as part of the SmartCulTour project. These exchange visits form part of the SmartCulTour goals of knowledge dissemination, cross-border collaboration and the sharing of best practices in sustainable cultural tourism development.

Together with local stakeholders of Scheldeland, Griet Geudens of Visit Flanders and Vanessa Ágata de Abreu Santos and Bart Neuts of KU Leuven welcomed the visitors and guided them around the three partner municipalities of Bornem, Puurs-Sint-Amands and Dendermonde, focusing on particular cultural heritage venues, key natural resources and slow transportation modes that serve as a connector of potential network nodes. The living lab managers and other delegates got to visit these sites and carried out brainstorming sessions to look at opportunities, potential and possible thresholds.

After a challenging arrival due to a security personnel strike at Brussels Airport and subsequent rerouting of flights, on Tuesday 21 June a full day was scheduled. After an introduction to the Scheldeland Living Lab and an ice breaker exercise between the participants, an electric bicycle tour took the visitors via multiple points of interest in Puurs-Sint-Amands and Bornem. Via the bicycle tour, the delegates were introduced to the extensive cycling node network in Flanders. First stop was the Fortress of Liezele, a fortification built in 1908 and now housing multiple recreational and tourist attractions in and around the fortress such as a B&B, an escape room, a museum, an ice skating pond (in winter), a barefeet walking path and various walking routes. Next, the group cycled to castle D’Ursel, built in 1761 and now serving primarily as an event location, and its castle park and further via the Scheldt dykes to the Notelaer, a beautiful pavilion in neoclassical style with a magnificent view on the river Scheldt and also originally belonging to the duke of D’Ursel. In summertime, temporary accommodation is offered at the pavilion in the form of five tree-hung tents.

From there, visitors made their way to the castle of Marnix de Sainte-Alegonde. While the location had been home to fortifications and castle-structures since the 10th to 11th century, the current castle is a romanticized rendition from the end of the 19th century. Closeby, the abbey of Bornem has been renovated and redeveloped to house a museum collection and offer both residential accommodation as event areas, with the immaculate library being a particular highlight of the tour.

After lunch, the group cycled to the village centre of Sint-Amands, on the Scheldt bank. Here they were introduced to the development plans of the village, and its central focus on both the tidal nature of the river and the artistic heritage of Sint-Amands, visible by both its link to historic writers and by some creative architecture in the village centre. From there, the bicycles were loaded onto a wagon of the steam train Puurs-Dendermonde and representatives got to ride on the renovated carriages and visit the steam locomotives and other carriages that are being restored and operated fully by volunteers. Participants were given an introduction to the organization and its working and participated in an exercise to map the sensory experiences of the trip.

On Wednesday 22 June, the representatives visited the city of Dendermonde where they received a guided tour and introduction to the legend of the horse of Bayard which is central to a procession being held every ten years, as well as some notable heritage sites such as the meat halls, the cloth halls (nowadays the city hall of Dendermonde), the justice palace and the beguinage, and the Dendermondse painting school. Afterwards Vanessa Ágata de Abreu Santos ran a workshop inviting the participants to conduct an emotions mapping exercise as part of a cultural mapping methodology.

Utjoski, Scheldeland and Huesca Living Labs share success stories of sustainable cultural tourism

On 24 and 25 May, Utjoski’s living lab hosted one of the six exchanges programmed between the LLs of the SmartCulTour project. On this occasion, the Huesca and Scheldeland living lab managers and main stakeholders visited Finland to learn the methodologies and see the interventions made by their Finnish counterparts first hand. This was a great opportunity to share unique experiences to enrich and improve the quality of tourist services in the project’s regions.

On the first day, one of the main stakeholders of the Utsjoki living lab gave their visitors a guided tour to see the cultural and tourist attractions of the area and learn more details, in particular about the Sami culture that the Utsjoki LL is focusing on in their analysis. In the afternoon, the group tested the Placemaking Method for the first time in the project. The method uses a working dynamics approach to favour connexion between tourists and their surroundings and enhance the services they demand and the experiences they enjoy at their tourist destinations.

The next day was devoted to a working session with some of the LL stakeholders, giving the Spanish and Belgian teams the chance to learn more about the work in Utsjoki and exchange opinions with the Finnish participants. They all took part in a working meeting focused on improving tourist proposals previously designed for the territory. They also examined the major results of the tourist survey to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Utsjoki as a sustainable cultural tourist destination.

Scheldeland will be hosting the next exchange in June later this month, followed by another exchange in Huesca in October 2022.

UNESCO kicks off capacity-building actions in the Split and Utsjoki Living Laboratories

As foreseen by its role as leader of WP6, UNESCO has kicked off capacity-building actions in two of the six SmartCulTour Living Labs (LLs): the Metropolitan city of Split and the Municipality of Utsjoki. The subject and programme of the actions were defined in close consultation with the LLs stakeholders, with a co-designing approach.

The Split Living Lab recognized living heritage as one of the resources for strengthening cultural tourism and active community participation. Accordingly, UNESCO and the University of Split (as the LL manager) organized a series of workshops aimed at building the capacities of local stakeholders in strengthening the ICH-tourism synergy, with special focus on “Community-based inventorying and awareness raising”, which were prepared and delivered by the UNESCO-trained facilitator Ms Tamara Nikolic Djeric.

The training programme was organised in a hybrid format and was divided into four parts. The first online theoretical workshop presented the Convention, its ethical principles and methods of participatory inventorying, seeking to answer the question on how to ethically identify and inventory local knowledge for the development of cultural tourism.

During the second in-presence workshop, the Split Living Lab continued the discussion on inventorying with a special focus on community participation. Based on the participants’ inventorying activities, two ICH elements (Sirnica-making and Opanci-making) and two communities (Solin and Sinj) were identified as pilot projects for the development of the awareness raising campaign as second part of the workshop.

The third online meeting offered participants the opportunity to work on messages that they would like to convey through different awareness raising campaigns. The concepts of pride, continuity and intergenerational relations were widely articulated.

On this basis, the pilot project members and Duje Kundić, a Split-based artist and video-maker, met for the fourth workshop. Prior to the field-work, a scenario was developed, and semi-structured interviews undertaken with community members during the first shooting. The connection between the young artist and more experienced members of the local communities were recognized as key to awareness raising. “Relying on the power of intergenerational transmission, we hope that the results of this awareness raising campaign will be evident in the next future”, said the participants.

In the Municipality of Utsjoki, which also features a strong living heritage component mostly linked to the local Sàmi community, Living Lab participants opted for a pilot capacity-building programme on UNESCO’s approach to sustainable cultural tourism destination management, with a focus on how to ensure that the tourism sector contributes to the sustainable safeguarding and promotion of ICH, thereby preventing over commercialization, misappropriation and decontextualization.

During the first online workshop, held on 26 April 2022, Mr Peter Debrine, former coordinator of the World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism programme, delivered two introductory sessions, focusing respectively on “Understanding Tourism at your Destination” and “Communicating with visitors and heritage interpretation”. The presentation focused on UNESCO’s approach to destination management as a way to secure benefits for communities, safeguard their living heritage and enhance its values. For this to be achieved, it is key to invest in storytelling, namely the idea of a destination and its community telling their own story.

The presentation was followed by a participated discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of Utsjoki as a cultural tourism destination. The Sàmi culture was identified as an attractor, even though the issues of misappropriation and misrepresentation were raised by several participants. What emerged from their voices is that the tourism offer is too often tailored on visitors’ expectations and demand, in a way that disregards the local communities’ will. This is the case, for instance, of husky rides and igloos, which are widely requested by visitors although not being part of the Sàmi culture. These frictions should be addressed through an active participation of the local community in policy discussions on how and what kind of tourism should be developed in the region.

Taking the moves from the results of the online workshop, a follow-up session with the Utsjoki Living Lab will be held on 25 May next, focusing on how to develop a strategy for progressive change and add value through products, experiences, and services, as well as on innovative ways to communicate with visitors, including through digital media, marketing and promotion tools.

Local community in Solin preparing the traditional Easter cake during field visit. Photo credit: Tamara Nikolic Deric
Local community member in Sinj demonstrating the production of ‘opanci’ shoes during field visit. Photo credit: Tamara Nikolic Deric
Split workshop on community-based inventorying in developing sustainable cultural tourism led by Tamara Nikolic Deric, facilitator for the implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Photo credit: Ante Mandic
1st online session of the capacity building workshop on sustainable cultural tourism destination management for the Utsjoki Living Lab. Photo credit: Costanza Fidelbo.

Capacity Building Workshop on Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destination Management for the Utsjoki Living Lab

If you are interested in learning how UNESCO works for sustainable cultural tourism destination management on a local level, now you have an excellent opportunity to join workshops online and on-site in Utsjoki as part of the SmartCulTour project!

As a partner in the H2020-funded project SmartCulTour, UNESCO is delivering a sustainable tourism capacity building and networking activity that brings together culture, heritage and tourism stakeholders from Utsjoki.

The two-part programme will include an online learning session introducing UNESCO’s approach to sustainable cultural tourism destination management, and a more practical workshop centred around the UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Toolkit, with a focus on “Communicating with visitors/interpretation” and “Digital media and marketing”. As a follow-up to the learning programme, an interactive virtual session will be organized, providing opportunities for further reflections and exchanges.

The programme:

  • An online learning session introducing UNESCO’s approach to sustainable cultural tourism destination management on 26.4. at 14-16 (Zoom link will be send later for those who are registered).
  • A more practical onsite workshop centred around the UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Toolkit, with a focus on “Communicating with visitors/interpretation” and “Digital media and marketing” on 12.5. at 9-16. This will be held in Holiday Village Valle (CANCELLED AND MOVED TO AUTUMN 2022 – DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED).
  • As a follow-up to the learning programme, an interactive virtual session will be organized, providing opportunities for further reflections and exchanges on 25.5. at 14-16. (Zoom link will be send later for those who are registered).

Register here: https://forms.gle/T4z2Rem59gHwHyeP6

We look forward to seeing you!

For further information you can contact: mira.alhonsuo@ulapland.fi

Loarre and CIHEAM Zaragoza host a European training event on how to promote sustainable cultural tourism

The training took place in Loarre’s Town Hall on 17 March with researchers and experts from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Representatives of different counties of Huesca took part in a parallel training session to test a tool designed to boost sustainable tourism in the province.

The SmartCulTour project, Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions, has organized an internal capacity-building event for representatives of the project’s six Living Labs to test creative tools to boost the tourist sector in each of the regions. The training was organized in two working sessions, one in the town of Loarre on 17 March and another on 18 March at CIHEAM Zaragoza. Participants came from Belgium, Finland, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Spain.

The aim of the first session was to provide the project’s partners with context about the tourist sector in Huesca. They worked on tools to favour engagement of stakeholders related to the tourist sector that would enable them to promote their area from a more emotional perspective, linking their past, present and future to their territory.

The second session was held at CIHEAM Zaragoza. Participants worked on methodologies to help territorial managers improve their decision-making by addressing initiatives that would cover the needs identified for development in European regions – including the province of Huesca – as sustainable cultural tourism destinations.

A parallel session was organized on 17 March for representatives of different counties, public entities, and businesses in the province of Huesca who did a pilot test of the SmartCulTour Game, one of the project outcomes expected to have the biggest territorial impact. The idea is to use the serious game approach to draw up policies and engage stakeholders, and at the same time learn about cultural tourism and potential interventions to make cultural tourism more sustainable for local communities, the environment and the business sector.

This training event lies within the activities of the SmartCulTour project, which aims to promote territorial development through sustainable cultural tourism. This model of tourism requires a redefinition of the classical cultural tourism, considering new demands derived from sustainability and the need for supply and demand metrics and impact assessment. The project intends to review theories and make an empirical validation of good practices in the natural surroundings and seek closer collaboration between the local stakeholders, facilitating the development of joint strategies and creating sustainable cultural tourism experiences.

Kulttuurimatkailun huippuinterventioita

Kulttuurimatkailun elinvoimaisuuteen vaikuttavat luonnollisesti monet tekijät alueella. Yritykset lisäävät kulttuurimatkailun tarjontaa sijoittaen resursseja, kuten aikaa, rahaa ja työvoimaa, tuotteidensa ja palveluidensa kehittämiseen, ja erilaisia kulttuurimatkailun aloitteita ja hankkeita rahoitetaan jatkuvasti niin kansallisella kuin kansainvälisellä tasolla. SmartCulTour-hankkeen tavoitteena on tukea kestävää kulttuurimatkailun kehittämistä Euroopan alueilla huomioiden alueiden aineettomat ja aineelliset vahvuudet. Tämän tavoitteen saavuttamiseksi Morettin (2021) laatima D3.1-raportti State of the art of cultural tourism interventions kokoaa yhteen kulttuurimatkailun interventioita ympäri Eurooppaa sekä kuvaa niiden nykytilaa.

Mitä sitten kulttuurimatkailun interventiolla tarkoitetaan? Kulttuurimatkailun interventioiksi lasketaan niin julkisten kuin yksityisten toimijoiden aikaansaamat eri tyyppiset kulttuurimatkailukohteeseen vaikuttavat aloitteet. Interventioita voivat olla muun muassa toimintaperiaatteet, strategiat, tapahtumat, yrittäjäideat, yhteistyöt ja kumppanuudet tai projektit ja hankkeet. Raportin tarkoituksena on tarjota oivalluksia huipputason aloitteista, joilla vaikutetaan kulttuurimatkakohteiden kestävään kehitykseen sekä turvataan samalla kulttuuriresurssien säilyminen tuleville sukupolville.

Lukemattomien toimijoiden ja mahdollisuuksien kirjon vuoksi jäsennelty luokittelu kulttuurimatkailun interventioista, niiden tavoitteista, vaikutuksista ja menestystekijöistä nähtiin tarpeellisena. Interventiota kerättiin yhteensä 107 ympäri Eurooppaa, ja interventiot jaoteltiin niiden tarkoitusperien mukaan viiteen osaan:

  • Suojeluun, ennallistamiseen, turvaamiseen ja edistämiseen
  • Kehittämiseen ja innovointiin
  • Tulkintaan, ymmärrykseen ja tiedon levittämiseen
  • Osallistamiseen ja yhdistämiseen
  • Hallintaan ja vaikuttamiseen

Jaottelun jälkeen yhteensä 18 hankkeen kannalta mielenkiintoisinta interventiota valikoitui tarkempaan tarkasteluun. Tapaustutkimuksilla selvitettiin interventioiden odotettuja, havaittuja ja mitattuja vaikutuksia, menestystekijöitä ja niiden vaikutusta kestävään kehitykseen. Kulttuurimatkailun interventioiden nykytilasta muodostettiin viitekehys, jolla esiteltiin niiden vaikutuksia ja menestysolosuhteita:

  • Suojelun, ennallistamisen, turvaamisen ja edistämisen interventiot painottuivat kohteen suojeltujen kulttuuriresurssien mahdollisuuksiin edistää alueen sosioekonomista elpymistä ja kehittää kulttuurimatkailua.
  • Kehittämisen ja innovoinnin interventiot pyrkivät ravistelemaan vallitsevaa nykytilannetta muutoksilla, jotka mahdollistavat kestävän kulttuurimatkailun edelleen kehittämisen uuden tiedon, taitojen, tuotteiden tai kokemusten kautta.
  • Tulkinnan, ymmärryksen ja tiedon levittämisen interventiot tarkastelevat kulttuurimatkailua edistämisvälineenä unohdetulle tai laiminlyödylle kulttuuriselle perimätiedolle.
  • Osallistamisen ja yhdistämisen interventioiden tarkoituksena oli luoda edellytyksiä merkityksellisille ja osallistaville yhteyksille kulttuurimatkailun sidosryhmien ja kulttuurimatkailun välillä.
  • Hallinnan ja vaikuttamisen interventiot pyrkivät ratkaisemaan hankalia kysymyksiä kulttuurimatkailun hallintaan sekä sidosryhmien päätöksentekoon liittyen. Yksi esimerkki hallinnan ja vaikuttamisen interventiosta on Sámi Duodji -tavaramerkki, joka kertoo käsityön ostajalle, että tuotteen on valmistanut saamelainen. Merkki suojelee saamelaista käsityöperinnettä sekä auttaa ostajaa erottamaan aidon käsityön kulttuuria imitoivista ja hyväksikäyttävistä tuotteista. Merkki lisää myös paikallisen kulttuurin ja perimätiedon näkyvyyttä ja säilyvyyttä.

Viitekehys toimii hyvänä lähtökohtana ottaa sidosryhmät mukaan keskusteluun ja päätöksentekoon kohteelle sopivista uusista interventioista ja kehittämiskohteista. Esimerkki-interventiot tuovat oivalluksia ja lisäarvoa kulttuurimatkailun ja kestävän kehittämisen pohdiskeluun.

Teksti on kirjoitettu D3.1-raportin State of the art of cultural tourism interventions pohjalta.

Sámi Duodji lapaset
Kuva: Mauri Lähteenmäki


Moretti, S. (2021). State of the art of cultural tourism interventions. Deliverable D3.1 of the Horizon 2020 project SmartCulTour (GA number 870708), julkaistu SmartCulTou-hankkeen nettisivuilla toukokuussa 2021: http://www.smartcultour.eu/deliverables/ 

The fifth hybrid workshop held in the Utsjoki Living Lab

The Utsjoki Living Lab held its 5th workshop with the local stakeholders from tourism and municipality in the beautiful and wintery Utsjoki area on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2021. The facilitators of the Living Lab workshops were from the University of Lapland.  

Based on the constructive knowledge from the previous meeting, it was time to focus on ideation and more creative thinking of the intervention videos. The themes of the videos, selected last workshop, were how to behave in nature, and how to represent modern and traditional Sami culture. While jumping into the ideation, it’s often difficult to be creative in the moment. Hence, an ‘art impulse evening event’ was organised a day before the actual workshop, on the 2nd of February. During the one-hour event, art videos were presented by using e.g. place-making method by professor Satu Miettinen.  

Participants experiencing the art impulses in art event (Pics: Mira Alhonsuo) 

The art impulses were first introduced to the four participants by the fire in the hut and right after the art experiments were shown and performed outside. The participants were freely invited to take part in and so few of them jumped into the experimentations. The dark evening made it possible to project the place-making videos on different surfaces, such as snow and the roof of the hut.

The official workshop started the next day. The participants, local stakeholders from the tourism and municipality, were invited by offering both onsite (6 participants) and online (2 participants) participation. After a short introduction and a quick replay of the art impulses shown the previous evening, the ideation exercises started. The participants were first asked to recall their art experiences: what art has impressed them and why? From these experiences, important features were selected, discussed, and mapped down. After that, the participants highlighted the most important features. These selected features were used by the groups to support the ideation, while developing the draft version of the two intervention videos. The video ideas were deepened to consider, among other things, where the video was filmed, what story it tells, and where the video could be presented to impress travellers with its storytelling or location.

Project staff and workshop facilitators Ella Björn (left picture) and Satu Miettinen and Mira Alhonsuo (right picture) starting the workshop next day (Pic: Mira Alhonsuo) 

In the last exercise, the groups visualized service journeys, where they used the persona development tool produced in an earlier workshop (April 2021). The groups either selected a single video or considered merging the two video drafts. Through the service journey, the idea was the video, its location and impact were concretized better.

Kulttuurimatkailun tulevaisuus kaupunki- ja alueellisissa kohteissa

Yksi SmartCulTour-hankkeen tuloksista on Calvi & Morettin (2020) laatima D2.2-raportti Future of cultural tourism for urban and regional destinations, joka tarkastelee kulttuurimatkailun tulevaisuudenkuvia. Kulttuurimatkailun suosio ennen COVID-19 pandemiaa oli niin suurta, että se aiheutti haittaa Barcelonan, Dubrovnikin ja Venetsian kaltaisissa kulttuurisuurkaupungeissa. Kulttuurimatkailun tulevaisuutta silmällä pitäen on tärkeää, että kulttuurimatkailua kehitetään tavalla, joka on kestävää paikalliselle yhteisölle edistäen samalla pitkän aikavälin kestävää kehitystä sekä suojellen kulttuuriperintöä. Tämän hetkinen pandemiatilanne tekee tulevaisuuden ennustamisesta entistä haastavampaa, ja matkailukohteilta odotetaan sopeutumista odottamattomiin tilanteisiin huomioiden samaan aikaan paikallisten tarpeet matkailun kehittämisessä.

Kulttuurilla tarkoitetaan perinteitä, arvoja ja uskomuksia, jotka ovat tärkeitä tekijöitä kulttuurimatkailun tulevaisuuden vaikutusten tarkastelussa. Kulttuurimatkailun tavoitteiden mittaamisessa on siis syytä siirtyä matkailijoiden määrän kasvun tavoittelun sijasta kestävämpiin tavoitteisiin, joita ovat kulttuurikokemusten laatu, elämänlaatu sekä kohteen elinkelpoisuus, joka huomioi niin matkailijat kuin paikalliset asukkaat. Globalisaatio, elämys- ja luova talous, digitaalisen teknologian kehitys sekä kestävän kehityksen suunnat ovat makro-trendejä, jotka ovat väistämättä vaikuttaneet kulttuurimatkailun kehitykseen. Kulttuurien välineellistynyt käyttö matkailupalveluissa on aiheuttanut vastareaktiona yhteisölähtöisten aitojen kulttuurikokemusten kysynnän kasvun, mikä on huomionarvoista Utsjoellakin.

Calvi & Moretti (2020) tarkastelevat kulttuurimatkailun mahdollisia tulevaisuuksia kulttuurimatkailun kysynnän kehityksen sekä kohteen hallinnollisen lähestymistavan kautta. Hitaan ja nopean matkailun kysynnän sekä yhteisölähtöisen ja markkinalähtöisen kulttuurimatkailun kehittämisen pohjalta on muodostettu neljä erilaista matkailun tilannetta kuvaavaa skenaariota: 1. yhteisölähtöinen hidas kulttuurimatkailu, 2. markkinalähtöinen hidas kulttuurimatkailu, 3. globaali kulttuurimatkailu ja 4. glocaali kulttuurimatkailu (glocalised cultural tourism).

Yhteisölähtöisen hitaan kulttuurimatkailun skenaariossa yhdistyvät hitaan kulttuurimatkailun kysyntä sekä hallinnollinen lähestymistapa, joka tukee paikallisten hyvinvointia ja kulttuurin elinvoimaisuuden säilyttämistä. Hitaalla matkailulla etsitään vastapainoa nopeaan elämäntahtiin ja nopeisiin liikkumisen muotoihin, sekä etsitään matkailuelämyksiä liittyen maisemaan, kulttuuriin ja vuorovaikutukseen muiden matkailijoiden ja isäntäväestön kanssa (Dickinson, Lumsdom & Robbins, 2011). Yhteisölähtöisen hitaan kulttuurimatkailun skenaario on yleensä nähty tehokkaana veturina kohti kestävää aluekehittämistä sekä yhteisön sietokyvyn lisäystä. Tässä skenaariossa riskinä kuitenkin on, että matkailu jää pienimuotoiseksi sekä marginaaliseksi toiminnaksi kohdealueella eikä vaikuta tarpeeksi kohteen kehitykseen sosiaalisesti eikä taloudellisesti.

Markkinalähtöisen hitaan kulttuurimatkailun skenaario yhdistää hitaan kulttuurimatkailun kysynnän hallintotapaan, joka keskittyy maksimoimaan matkailun taloudelliset hyödyt alueelle. Tässä ylhäältä-alaspäin toteuttavassa päätöksenteossa paikallisen yhteisön osallistavat lähestymistavat jäävät kuitenkin vähäiseksi. Paikalliset yrittäjät usein ovat innokkaita laajentamaan toimintaansa ja lisäämään asiakkaiden määrä, mutta heidän tulee samaan aikaan vastata hitaan kulttuurimatkailun kysyntään, johon liittyy mm. aitojen henkilökohtaisten kokemusten tarjoaminen matkailijoille. Tämän skenaarion riskinä on, että paikalliset näkevät matkailun kehittämisen yhteisön ulkopuolisena asiana, joka ei hyödytä kaikkia. Matkailun hyödyt voivat jakautua epätasaisesti eivätkä siten kulttuurimatkailun avulla edistä paikallista kulttuurista ylpeyttä, mikä osaltaan vaikuttaa myös matkailijoiden käsityksiin kohteen aitoudesta.

Globaalin kulttuurimatkailun skenaario yhdistää nopean kulttuurimatkailun kysynnän hallintotapaan, jonka tavoitteena on maksimoida matkailun taloudelliset hyödyt alueelle. Nopea kulttuurimatkailu voidaan yhdistää massaturismiin, jossa kysyntä keskittyy paikallisen kulttuurin ”kulutukseen”, jolloin matkailijat ovat enemmän hintatietoisia kuin etsivät aitoja kokemuksia. Näin ollen matkailijoiden tietämys kulttuurista voi jäädä melko pinnalliseksi. Matkailijat kuitenkin käyttävät kulttuuripalveluja matkansa aikana, mutta nämä ovat enemmänkin ’must-see’-tyyppisiä turistikohteita. Tämän seurauksena matkailualan yritykset saattavat käyttää paikallista kulttuuria välineellisesti houkutellakseen turisteja.

Glokaalilla kulttuurimatkailulla taas viitataan globaaleihin kansainvälisiin tuotteisiin tai palveluihin, jotka sopeutetaan paikalliseen kontekstiin. Tässä skenaariossa yhdistyvät nopea kulttuurimatkailun kysyntä ja hallintotapa, joka keskittyy paikallisyhteisön hyvinvoinnin maksimoimiseen. Hallintotapa sisältää innovatiivisia strategioita, jotka ottavat paikalliset mukaan päätöksentekoprosessiin hyödyntäen uusien teknologioiden tuomia mahdollisuuksia. Kulttuurimatkailua koskevia aloitteita johtavat pääasiassa pienet ja keskisuuret paikalliset yritykset edistäen samalla aitoa paikallista kulttuuria ja identiteettiä sekä yhteisölähtöistä hallintotapaa. Kulttuurimatkailun rooli tässä skenaariossa yhteisön kestävyyden edistämisessä on kuitenkin erittäin epävarma ja riippuu paljolti yhteisön kyvystä vaikuttaa hallintajärjestelmiin, joissa paikallinen kulttuuritarjonta on tasapainossa matkailijamäärän kanssa. Jos tätä tasapainoa ei löydy, matkailu jää joko liian pieneksi tai siirtyy enemmän kohti globaalia kulttuuritarjontaa, joka sisältää aiemmin mainitut riskit.

Kulttuurimatkailun tulevaisuuden tarkastelu edellyttää kuitenkin myös ymmärrystä siitä, miten menneisyys sekä viimeisimmät suuntaukset ja kehitys ovat vaikuttaneet matkailun kehittymiseen ammatillisena käytäntönä sekä sosioekonomisena ilmiönä. Matkailu liittyy vahvasti siihen, miten yhteiskunta kehittyy. Skenaariotyö ja jatkuva ylläpidettyjen toiminta- ja hallintomallien arvioiminen auttavat tulevaisuuden matkailuun varautumisessa, sekä pitämään mielessä, millaisessa yhteiskunnassa haluamme elää tulevaisuudessa.  
 Teksti on kirjoitettu D2.2-raportin Future of cultural tourism for urban and regional destinations pohjalta.
 Dickinson, J., Lumsdon, L. & Robbins, D. (2011). Slow travel: issues for tourism and climate change. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(3), 281-300.
 Matteucci, X. & Von Zumbusch, J. (2020). Theoretical framework for cultural tourism in urban and regional destinations. Deliverable D2.1 of the Horizon 2020 project SmartCulTour (GA number 870708), julkaistu SmartCulTou-hankkeen nettisivuilla lokakuussa 2020: http://www.smartcultour.eu/deliverables/