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Tourism and Information Technologies at UNESCO World Heritage sites

6 December 2017

The 8th seminar of UNESCO Chair and UNITWIN-UNESCO network will be organized around two major themes: 

  • Digital technologies servicing tourist experiences at World Heritage sites
  • Webanalytics and Big Data. 

The workshop will explore the current and potential role of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies)  for enriching visitor experiences at World Heritage sites throughout the travel cycle (before, during, and after). 

Before travelling, tourists use the internet to collect information about the World Heritage destination, make reservations and buy services. We will explore how to generate useful content focused on the demands and needs of visitors, how to get a relevant position on search engines, relevant online communities and social networks and effective ways to improve an online presence. 
During the trip, ICTs can improve the travel experience at World Heritage sites and even exceed previous expectations of tourists. How can information be accessed quickly and comfortably? Which applications can be used by visitors to monuments that are part of cultural routes? How will augmented reality, virtual environments and 3D animations help users enjoy the visit in a different way? 

After the trip, tourists use new technologies (social networks, blogs, etc.) to share their experiences, recommend and evaluate the destination. Businesses can use ICTs to discover the degree of visitor satisfaction, and how to improve accordingly. Finally, we will ask whether feedback and reviews should be accompanied by responses (especially in case of negative comments). 

Webanalytics and Big Data

Webanalytics and Big Data have become a key resource for obtaining visitor information of WH sites, through the analysis of large volumes of data from diverse sources such as logfiles, social networks, mobile devices, apps, official databases, etc. This kind of data analysis focuses on real user actions rather than surveys, opening many possibilities for cultural tourism, which can improve its services, management and decision-making processes. During this section of the seminar, we will ask the following questions: 

  • Where and how can you obtain this volume of data? How can the data be analyzed?
  • What data is most useful?
  • Which data is freely available?
  • Where are the limits of privacy?
  • What is the most effective way to manage visitor flows?
  • How can you use Big Data to analyze the tastes and preferences of tourists? 

Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University / IREST – EIREST
World Heritage Centre
Association of French World Heritage sites
UNESCO Chair USI – Università della Svizzera italiana

States Parties 1
Regions 5
Africa Arab States Asia and the Pacific Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean
Keywords (text)

Sustainable Tourism, Cultural Heritage


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

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UNESCO Headquarters, Room XII, 7, place de Fontenoy Paris 75007