SmartCulTour aims to support regional development in European regions, with special attention to rural peripheries and the urban fringe, through sustainable cultural tourism. The project redefines cultural tourism through a contemporary lens and provides a comprehensive measurement framework for supply, demand and impacts. In order to support knowledge-led destination management, a decision-support system (DSS) will be developed for widescale monitoring purposes across European regions. The DSS will synthesize both traditional and non-traditional data sources, the latter particularly related to big data analytics, thereby assisting smart regional development. Besides a contribution to conceptual development and cultural tourism measurement, the main objective of SmartCulTour relates to the facilitation of community-led rural development through field experimentation in 6 living labs. Prior to these living labs, a comprehensive desk research will identify significant sustainable cultural tourism policies, their impacts and critical success factors. These best cases will inspire a series of possible local interventions. Within the living labs, novel creative approaches to stakeholder engagement are tested, notably arts-based methods, serious games, and service design which will help to provide local context and support. A toolkit will be designed to help destinations implement local actions towards sustainable cultural tourism development. SmartCulTour will therefore contribute to theory development, empirical validation of best practices within a living labs setting, and procedural development, particularly by providing European regions with a set of strategies to optimally engage with stakeholders and co-create sustainable cultural tourism experiences.
KU Leuven - Belgium