On Thursday 22nd April 2021, at 15:45-17:00 our partner Breda University of Applied Sciences will participate in (and moderate) the Digital Skills for PostCovid Tourism webinar! If you are interested in attending sign up to the event here.
Technology is transforming visitor attractions. The use of digital technology is now commonplace in attractions, including museums, to engage visitors, enhance their experience, interpret information and bring history and stories to life. Today, visitors can see and expect more uses of technology in museums including interactive media exhibits, use of smartphones, augmented and virtual reality and interactive apps, to create memorable and personalized experiences. Additionally, virtual tours have played a key role in engaging with visitors during Covid-19. Digital skills are thus becoming increasingly important in the tourism industry. The importance and demand for digital skills across tourism sub-sectors is highlighted by the Next Tourism Generation Alliance.
Typically, when people think of sustainable tourism they consider how it impacts the environment. But, it also takes into account the current and future economic, social and environmental impact of its activities.
In order to have sustainability fully incorporated into tourism there is a lot to consider, from laws and regulations to the local people and demand from tourists. That is why, it is important to not only look at sustainable tourism from the perspective of the tourism provider but also from that of an individual tourist. Every cog in the machine is crucial to ensure that sustainable tourism thrives.
According to the recent UNESCO report “Museums around the world in the face of COVID 19”, 90% of museums, globally, have been forced to close their doors during the corona crisis and more than 10% may never reopen. Most cultural professionals have been forced to work from home and many have adapted their traditional roles to support different departments and functional areas of expertise. Faced with extremely challenging times, the management and staff of cultural institutions have been able to respond in rapid and creative ways to the social and cultural needs of their societies, taxing their professional skills. Museums and heritage institutions have experienced several changes during this process, many of the trends and new practices will remain after the crisis and management and staff will need to be ready to welcome those changes. Through this thought-provoking and stimulating period, NTG digital and socio-cultural skills have become even more prominent for museum and heritage professionals. This piece presents some of the most interesting initiatives developed by museums around the world during the lockdown period and the way professionals have responded to the challenges. It also presents some of the trends that will probably continue after the crisis.
Helping people to acquire key digital skills is vital to the recovery post-Covid as we all know. However, one issue that we are seeing at a global level at People 1st International is just how important it is for the efforts of employers, banks, NGOS, other funding bodies and government agencies to be aligned, so that key stakeholders are in the loop on key initiatives. This will both ensure that there are no unnecessary overlaps between projects, and that funding for skills development is spent in the best possible way.
Dr. Agnė Vaitkuvienė is the President of the Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association, the owner and manager of the homestead “Provansalis”, and a lecturer at Vilnius University. She has been teaching at Vilnius University since 2006, in the courses – Interpretation and Communication of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Lithuania and Cultural Heritage and Tourism. She therefore combines “the best of two worlds”: practical experience as a small rural tourism entrepreneur, and at the same time a profound understanding and vision about the importance of training and skills development in this sector.
During the months of July and August 2020, only 50% of the hotels in Spain have been open, as opposed to 100% that would have been in a normal year, a year in which we would not have been living through a pandemic. The figure is even worse for the month of September, when the operating hotel offer did not exceed 30%. From October onwards, the hotels have had to gradually close, until there is a remainder called “refuge hotels” of barely 10% of the existing capacity in Spain, as establishments open to facilitate the accommodation of transport or health personnel throughout the country.
How can a hotel emerge stronger from the COVID-19 Crisis? In her study “Future Hotel – The Smart Resilient Hotel” (original available in German + English) Prof. Dr. Vanessa Borkmann, head of research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), points out fields of action and possibilities. One result: Digitalization promotes resilience in hotels.
On 7 and 8 October Next Tourism Generation alliance partner Cardiff Met University attended VAC2020, (#vac2020), a 2 day virtual conference, to gain a better understanding of the concerns of the UK Visitor Attractions sector in 2020.