CB Area of Greece and Albania is an area rich of tourism assets originated from culture, history, natural beauty, monuments, tangible and intangible heritage, food and unexploited social authenticity. Several projects have been and are implemented to exploit the authentic assets via the form of “cultural routes”, a term to describe a well-established concept for travel experience, a product of creative tourism that thematically link together different attractions and interesting destination points in local, regional or cross border level.
Arguably today, in the continuously evolving and demanding global tourism market, the most significant, systemic trend worldwide is the demand for “experiential travel” under the concept of “memorable experiences”.
Experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, region or place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food and environment.
The new approach therewith is the basis for a “holistic travel experience”. The goal of tourists is to more deeply understand a travel destination’s culture, people and history by connecting with it more than just by visiting it. SMART TOUR project, at the time when tourism demand is becoming increasingly “memorable”, will create a unique platform supporting it, acting as a driving factor in the experiential tourism offering and in the immersion of tourists to local heritage. SMART TOUR platform is mixing Immersive Reality with cloud-based tools, content management technologies, opens standards and access. Immersive cloud driven technology will be coupled with capacity building actions, creative actors and stakeholders networking, clustering and experiential destination management methodologies and strategies. Platform will be offered to the cultural routes actors as a toolkit through cloud infrastructure of the public Academic Networks of Greece (GRNET) and Albania (RASH).
The innovative concept that SMART TOUR will be demonstrated to three pilots of the unique heritage of the CB area: “UNESCO Roots Experiential Identity” focusing on UNESCO Heritage, “Antiquities Routes Enhanced Travel Experience” focusing on Ancient Cities and Theatres and “Museums in the Era of Experience” focusing on Museum of Typography of Ioannina and the Museums of Gjirokastra/Berat. The project will draft an “Experiential Tourism Market Potential” study for the CB region, a unique “experiential travel brand” and will disseminate the new market potential via establishment of a “Cross Border Network of Creative Experiences Actors” and will involve the international scientific community via the organization of the Final Scientific Conference “Technology as a driving tool for enhanced cultural experiences” in Ioannina. SMART TOUR approach to will enhance the tourism product of the CB area with experiential travel offerings that will be inspirational, personalized and memorable.