Project "Experiential Tourism and Interpretation of Cultural Heritage" 

Premise:

As predicted by Pine and Gilmore in 1999, we are witnessing a transition from the service economy to an experience economy, the transformation now regards not only sectors historically linked to tourism and culture but also services and the marketing of products (experiential marketing). It is no coincidence that, just to mention Italy, the Dossier of the Strategic Plan for the development of tourism for the period 2023-2027 approved in May 2023 by the Productive Activities Commissions of the Chamber and the Senate contains the terms "experiences" and "experiential" more than 30 times emphasizing on several occasions how Tourism and Experiential Marketing are a strategic element for tourism development. The same strategic plan also highlights the importance of both the quality of tourist offers certified through a brand, and the training of experience professionals. All this entails the need for businesses (and individual professionals) to prepare for what we could call the Experiential Transition which will allow them to make their products and services available in the form of "Experiential Offers". Finally, since Cultural Heritage is often the "raw material" of many experiences, it is appropriate to promote innovative and holistic tools that allow its promotion and valorisation, in the name of protection and sustainable development.  

La Experiential Transition it is therefore based on five important pillars:

  1. The ever growing Experiential Offerings in the experience economy and the organizations interested in offering them.
  2. The Guarantee of the Quality of the Experiential Offers
  3. The professions concerned and their recognition in accordance with the law
  4. Corporate and professional training
  5. Cultural Heritage is the basis of many experiential offers

The project

The project was born as a response to the ongoing Experiential Transition and has the following objectives:

  • Promote and enhance the Experiential and Quality Culture and facilitate the transition of companies and society towards an experiential economy (Experiential Transition)
  • Promote and enhance experiential skills in the tourism, cultural, entertainment and commercial fields
  • Promote innovative and holistic tools for the promotion, enhancement and protection of Cultural Heritage

To achieve these objectives, various initiatives have been activated:

1) “Experiential Tourism and Interpretation of Cultural Heritage for Innovative Tourism” Campaign

    • 1.1) The Web of Knowledge: Creation of in-depth web areas with articles, in-depth fact sheets and guidelines that can be used free of charge.
        • Special “Tourism and Experiential Marketing” 
        • Special “Museums, Ecomuseums and Interpretation Centres”
    • 1.2) Dissemination of Skills:

Possibility to take advantage of the following basic courses for free:

        • SPE200: Foundations and Practices of Experiential Tourism (16 hours online)
        • SPE201: Fundamentals and Practices of Heritage Interpretation (16 hours online)
        • SPE202: Fundamentals of Destination Management (16 hours online)

The first two courses aim to promote experiential literacy and a holistic approach to the valorization of the territory, introducing the fundamental principles of experiences and interpretation of cultural heritage, with practical examples that illustrate their application.” The third course aims to promote the concept of Destination Management, introducing the basic knowledge to measure and evaluate the Quality and Competitiveness of Tourist Destinations.

               Scholarships for free use of the following professional training courses:

        • TAS60: Consultant for Experiential Tourism (300 hours online)
        • TAS83: Head of Experiences (200 hours)
    • 1.3) The Books of Experiences: Series of publications dedicated to exploring various aspects of Experiential Tourism and the Interpretation of Cultural Heritage. These volumes offer a complete and detailed overview, ideal for professionals, scholars and enthusiasts in the sector. 
        • 1.3.1) Experiential Paths and Interpretation of Cultural Heritage Vol. 1: Origins and Theoretical Principles This volume explores the roots and theoretical foundations of experiential tourism and cultural heritage interpretation, providing a solid foundation for further studies and practical applications.
        • 1.3.2 Tourism and Experiential Marketing: Principles, Case Studies, Experiential Quality Seal, Skills and Professional Profiles An in-depth analysis of the principles of tourism and experiential marketing, enriched by concrete case studies. The volume also examines the Experiential Quality Mark and outlines skills and professional profiles in the sector.
        • 1.3.3 From Ecomuseums to Heritage Interpretation Experience Centers (CEIP) An overview of the progress from the ecomuseum concept to modern Heritage Interpretation Experience Centres, exploring the evolution and innovation in the field.
        • 1.3.4 The Skills Cycle for the Construction of Professional Profiles and Training Standards This volume focuses on developing the skills necessary to build effective professional profiles and training standards in compliance with international standards such as EQF and ECVET.

The Experience books are available on the market, including the Amazon platform, where they can also be purchased using the Culture Bonus and the Teacher's Card Bonus. To facilitate access to the books by scholars and interested parties, it is possible to download the volumes for free from the ACADEMIA.EDU website. You will find detailed instructions for attending the courses and for downloading them in the information sheets on the dedicated page of the campaign "Experiential Tourism and Interpretation of Cultural Heritage for Innovative Tourism"

Furthermore, both the courses and the books of the Experiences will soon be available in English.  

2) Standardization, Enhancement and Promotion of Experiential Skills 

    • 2.1) Professional Competence Standards: Establishment of schemes containing the skills of experiential professionals in line with the European EQF and ECVET standards
    • 2.2) Certification of Skills: Certification pursuant to the law of the skills of the experiential and eco-museum figures involved (Certificate of Quality and Qualification pursuant to law 4/2013 which allows, among other things, to obtain professional assignments in the Public Administration (DPCM 14/10/2021)
    • 2.3) Creation of experiential databases: The first multimedia databases were created, integrated and with Web 3.0 technology to which it is possible to ask to be entered for free:
        • Database of Experiential Offers
        • Professionals Database of Experiences
        • Database of Training Paths
        • World database of Ecomuseums and Cultural Heritage Interpretation Experience Centres
    • 2.4) Experiential Quality Mark ®: Establishment of the "QE" Experiential Quality Mark which assumes the important function of guarantee towards users as it certifies the ability to create quality experiential offers.
    • 2.5) International Experience License (IEL) (TM): Establishment of the International License of Experiences (PIE) which certifies the possession of the experiential skills necessary to operate in the Experiences sector.
    • 2.6) Professional Training: Implementation of corporate and professional training courses 

All companies, trade associations and parties interested in the project can request further information on individual aspects and evaluate their participation as a partner: experience@centrostudihelios.it

Areas of Focus

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