“e-Heritage and Tourist Experience: empowerment of “botton-up” process
Heredina Fernández Betancort1
Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Lanzarote (EUTL)
[email protected]
Agustín Santana Talavera
Universidad de La Laguna
[email protected]
Diolinda Ramirez Gutierrez
Universidad de La Laguna / EUTL
Summary:
For longer than a decade, coinciding with the reduction in travel prices, internet
consolidation and the popularization of mobile information, competition between
tourist destinations has increased exponentially. The need to diversify the offer
has been seen in many of them, and the cultural and natural heritage have been
particularly interesting for re-designing products and the projected image. It is
also in this period that the emphasis is focused first on the experience and, later,
on the emotions that products emphasize in the tourist.
This group of processes, that struggle between the defence against
competitiveness and the design of tourism experiences, is set in a context with a
population circulation for leisure purposes never seen before (a figure close to
1,000 million of international leaps, as well as technological developments that
promote prior knowledge and understanding in situ of the cultural characteristics
of destinations. Notwithstanding the economic financial and social crisis, tourism
is apparently promoting a form of "cultural nomadism", in which the reference to
heritage sites becomes almost constant.
The question that arises is dual. On the one hand, to what extent the heritage use is
the core asset of the tourist experience and the promoter of emotions in the XXI
century tourist. On the other hand, in what way the design and technological
presentation of the heritage sites condition the necessary satisfaction in their use.
It is understood that in current tourism approaches e-business and content
virtualization are no longer optional. The trend seems to indicate that heritage
sites have managed to increase its audience through new channels, and even
virtual visitors exceed those who traditionally walk their rooms or areas. This
prominence of the web can be explained by the ease of access and a novelty effect,
Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Lanzarote (EUTL)
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
C/ Rafael Alberti, 50. 35507 Tahíche (Lanzarote)
1
but it could also be determined by the own characteristics of the access, where the
user has come to play a "greater" role over processes, selection and significance
finally presented, even above those determined by the same visitor.
However, it is not so clear that all visitors feel comfortable with these new
representations of heritage, or that all its promoters have accepted the heritage resignificance (adaptation of heritage for tourist visits) as a need in the growing
culture consumption.
A better knowledge of the emotional-behavioural typology of heritage visitors and
the preparation of the destinations and its heritage agents, might help to
understand the degree of mutual effect and the existing tensions in the exchange
between tourism planning and museographic and heritage proposals, or what it
should be the same, between sites, users and uses.
This work, geographically located on the Canary island of Lanzarote, focused its
aim to establish the empowerment of the tourist in the heritage presentation.
Starting from a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, the
intention is to establish the degree of the existing tensions in heritage sites, the
construction of the tourist experience and the existing pressure on the design and
presentation of such cultural products.
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