Seeking to advance use of innovation and cutting-edge technologies into cultural tourism practices, destinations and products, the International Seminar on Harnessing Cultural Tourism through Innovation and Technology will be held in Hamedan, Iran alongside the 40th UNWTO Affiliate Members Plenary Session (12-14 November 2018).
The seminar recognises the significance of innovation in managing and promoting cultural tourism, which is one of the largest global tourism markets, and the opportunities of integrating innovative governance into the management of cultural tourism destinations. Through disrupting the sector and creating opportunities for improving governance, competitiveness and cultural resource preservation, innovation and technology are instrumental in enhancing cultural tourism development.
The seminar will feature three panels, exploring how big data, innovative business models, digital services and marketing, and other new technology can ensure long-term sustainability, profitability and competitiveness for cultural tourism products while preserving their authenticity. The keynote panel will explore how innovation and technology generate new opportunities for, and motivate new players to enter, the cultural tourism sector.
An estimated 4 out of 10 tourists choose their destination based on its cultural offering. The conference will explore how this choice is increasingly motivated by intangible factors such as a place’s culture, history, traditions and atmosphere, or its association with famous people, ideas or events.
Host city Hamedan, historically home to Iran’s famous scientists and poets, is nowadays known for its rich heritage of handicrafts, namely pottery design. The small town of Lalejin in Hamedan Province was designated the World Pottery Capital by the World Crafts Council on July 2016. Nearby Alisadr, the world’s largest water cave, is another renowned tourist attraction.
The seminar, which also spans the UNWTO Affiliate Members’ 40th plenary, is jointly organised by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organisation, and Alisadr Tourism Company.