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eTourism and Online Communication Management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: new trends and research perspectives

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The seminar took place at the United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV) in Guimaraes, Portugal.

The seminar presents an overview of the eTourism domain – the application of digital technologies to the tourism industry; outline emerging trends in this domain, such as real time services, recommended systems, SOLOMO (Social Local Mobile), augmented reality and gamification; and focus on online communication strategies for managing UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS), aimed to widen online access to WHS, enrich experience of the travelers visiting the sites, increase local ownership of the sites, and upgrade knowledge and skills of the WHS employees and locals. The seminar will include examples of online communication practices applied in WHS globally and discuss research possibilities.

Learn more from our research: www.unescochair.usi.ch and www.elearning4tourism.com

Published in: Travel
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eTourism and Online Communication Management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: new trends and research perspectives

  1. 1. Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska Università della Svizzera italiana Lugano, Switzerland nadzeya.kalbaska@usi.ch eTourism and Online Communication Management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: new trends and research perspectives June 11, 2015 United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV) Guimaraes, Portugal
  2. 2.  Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer USI – Universita’ della Svizzera italiana UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites - Lugano, Switzerlad  General secretary IFITT – International Federation for IT and Travel and Tourism
  3. 3. Agenda eTourism domain ¦ Trends ¦ UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) and ICT ¦ Research perspectives
  4. 4. Tourism industry
  5. 5. WTTC, 2015
  6. 6. Tourism industry Tourism accounts for important part of national GDPs and employment globally >> In Portugal in 2013: - direct contribution to GDP was EUR9.5bn (5.8% of total GDP) in 2014 Forecast: 6.3% of total GDP in 2024 - tourism directly supported 322,000 jobs (7.2% of total employment) In 2014 1.1. billion travellers moved across borders for touristic reasons >> 8 million international tourists visited Portugal in 2013 Sources: WTO, Euromonitor, World Bank
  7. 7. eTourism
  8. 8. ICTs Travel and Tourism industry eTourism
  9. 9. 9 Some facts Tourism is number 1 in eCommerce 94% french, 91% german and 95% british are now using the web in ONE of the steps of the tourism related shopping process European travelers visit on average 22 sites before deciding on their trip 71% of travel searches on YouTube are for specific tourism destinations Sources: WTO, Euromonitor, European e-commerce association
  10. 10. ICT in Tourism - Facilitate visitors to access tourism products and info anytime from anywhere - Give the chance to tourism enterprises to reach targeted customers across the globe - Reduce time & costs - Change the way we run business and have individual travel experience
  11. 11. Management • Global Distribution /Property Management Systems - occupancy rates, prices Sales • eCommerce - online travel agencies Communication and Marketing • Communication and marketing - websites by tourism players, mobile apps, review sites ICT and Tourism industry
  12. 12. Pre Getting there and during Post ICT and individual experience
  13. 13. • Image, expectation- formation • Planning • Decision-making • Transaction Pre Search Engines Online travel review sites Online Travel Agencies or intermediaries (Expedia or Booking) Social media, photo sharing sites, blogs Specific websites for: transportation (Rayanair), hotels (Hotel Fundador), destinations / attraction (VisitPortugal), culture (UNESCO), weather forecast
  14. 14. • Short-term decision making • Sharing • On-site transaction Getting there and during  Smartphones apps  Mobile guides and Audioguides (podcasts) Location based services: e.g. navigation systems, Google maps, Foursquare Payments: Credit Cards Youtube (attractions) Taking pictures/videos Stay in contact and be social: email, skype, photo sharing WI-FI
  15. 15. • Sharing • Documentation • Re-experiencing • Narratiion Post  Sharing of experiences on social media Writing reviews for hotels, restaurants and attractions Gather more information about the visited destination Stay in contact with new friends/ colleagues (e-mail, mobile, Skype, social networks,…) Stay in contact with the destination (social networks)
  16. 16. Trends
  17. 17. 18 eTourism trends (i) Social Local Mobile Real time services
  18. 18. 19 Multiple screen Sharing economy eTourism trends (ii)
  19. 19. 20 Augmented reality Gamification Augmented reality Berlin eTourism trends (iii)
  20. 20. UNESCO WHS
  21. 21. UNESCO WHS A World Heritage Site is a place (such as a building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, or mountain) that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as being of special cultural or physical significance 1007 sites are listed 779 cultural, 197 natural, 31 mixed properties 161 states parties
  22. 22. Cultural Alto Douro Wine Region (2001) Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (1983) Convent of Christ in Tomar (1983) Cultural Landscape of Sintra (1995) Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (2012) Historic Centre of Évora (1986) Historic Centre of Guimarães (2001) Historic Centre of Oporto (1996) Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture (2004) In Portugal – 15 sites Monastery of Alcobaça (1989) Monastery of Batalha (1983) Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon (1983) Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde (1998) University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (2013) Natural Laurisilva of Madeira (1999)
  23. 23. UNESCO WHS and ICT
  24. 24. Five main areas of intervention for ICTs Widen access Increase ownership and promote interpersonal encounters Enrich visit experience Dis- intermediate (some) relationships Upgrade knowledge / skills in MSMTE
  25. 25. #1: Widen access _1 Provide access to information and share experiences online E.g.: websites ¦ wikipedia ¦ videos ¦ ….
  26. 26. #1: Widen access _2 E.g.: Evaluation of online presence of WHSs in Latin America 131 WHSs - 124 websites >> 34% are managed by governmental institutions, 24% NGOs, and 20% belong to Tourism Boards The remaining 20% is represented by info portals, private organizations and travel agencies >> Social media (57 Facebook profiles, 34 Twitter and 28 Youtube channels)
  27. 27. #1: Widen access _3 E.g.: 129 African WHSs: 24 dedicated websites Lessons learned: Quality of online content (accuracy ¦ authority ¦ currency ¦ objectivity ¦ coverage) and usability of online communication tools
  28. 28. #2: ENRICH VISIT EXPERIENCE While onsite: mobile access ¦ location based services (LBS) ¦ augmented reality (AR) ¦ multiple voices ¦ …
  29. 29. #2: ENRICH VISIT EXPERIENCE The case of mobile apps July 2013, on iTunes apps 140 out of 981 WHSs >> 70 Europe, 41 Asia, 13 North America, 6 South America, 5 Africa, 3 Oceania, 2 Central America >> 47 sites had more than one app WHS and/or UNESCO logo present in 12.2% and 11.3% of apps explicit reference to world heritage in 56.5% ¦ year of inscription: 31.3% ¦ specific sustainability hints: 9.6% ¦ actual reason of inscription: 7.8% ¦ UNESCO and its 1972 Convention: 4.4% Schieder, T. K., Adukaite, A., & Cantoni, L. (2014). Mobile Apps Devoted to UNESCO World Heritage Sites: A Map. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2014, pp. 17-30
  30. 30. E.g.: Patrimonio Ticino Lessons learned: Open source ¦ no data roaming ¦ clear statement on Outstanding Universal Value ¦ promotion of responsible/sustainable tourism
  31. 31. #3: Increase ownership and promote interpersonal encounters Digital story telling ¦ informal learning ¦ gamification ¦ …
  32. 32. E.g.: WHACY – World Heritage Awareness Compaign for Youth (play it! www.whacygame.org/retosa) Lessons Learned: collab. ¦ informal learning + empowerment ¦ 100k+ students involved
  33. 33. #4: DIS-INTERMEDIATE (some) RELATIONSHIPS Distribute info ¦ support communication and promotion by local players
  34. 34. E.g.: www.ilhademocambique.org (collab. ¦ unexpected payers (Multimedia Center) ¦ local involvement ¦ MSMTE) E.g.: www.olgasproject.com (from NGO’s to tourism communication) Co-Design of eTourism Application. The Case of Ilha de Mozambique By Salomao David and Lorenzo Cantoni Download PDF Communicating Tourism Sustainability Online. The Case of Victoria Falls World Heritage Site. By Maria Garbelli, Asta Adukaite and Lorenzo Cantoni Download PDF
  35. 35. #5: UPGRADE KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS eLearning ¦ Open Educational Resources (OER) ¦ Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  36. 36. E.g.: elearning.ticino.ch ¦ www.elearning4tourism.com
  37. 37. eTourism Research: USI perspective Online Communication by Destination Management Organization
  38. 38. DMO online communication Listening Speaking Being aware
  39. 39. Listening to User Generated Contents by travelers (and prospects) and to their online behavior  Benchmarking of online presence in mobile apps and websites  Reputation studies in online media  Argumentation analysis  Evaluation of pictures taken by visitors  Usages' analysis and Big data
  40. 40.  Online communication and promotion strategies  Back-linking ¦ Social Media ¦ Search Engine Marketing  Usability analysis & eye-tracking Speaking in a usable way to the right people Being aware of such dynamics Evaluation of maturity Understanding of public policy perspective and eGovernment practices
  41. 41. Conclusions • eTourism domain ¦ • Trends ¦ • UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) and ICT ¦ • Research perspectives • Fast developing domain • Needs to be understood and managed • Interdisciplinary approach • Research centers + public bodies + industry representatives  successful & sustainable development of the industry
  42. 42. www.unescochair.usi.ch www.elearning4tourism.com Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska Università della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano, Switzerland) nadzeya.kalbaska@usi.ch

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