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International Symposium Announcement

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Virtual Culture and Its Impact on Cultural Tourism: Experiences from South-East Europe

Zagreb, Croatia, 14-15 June 2007

Organized by Culturelink Network / Institute for International Relations
In partnership with UNESCO Office in Venice - UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (BRESCE)

With the support of: Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Croatia; Ministry of Culture, Croatia; City of Zagreb Office for Education, Culture and Sports; Zagreb Tourist Board; Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall; Dekod telekom; Event


The Culturelink Network / Institute for International Relations, with the support of the UNESCO Office in Venice, is organizing an international symposium on Virtual Culture and Its Impact on Cultural Tourism: Experiences from South-East Europe, to be held in Zagreb, Croatia on 14-15 June 2007.

Globalization has brought a number of changes in people's everyday lives which also affect people's holiday activities and habits: the ever growing industrialization and eventually greater earnings resulted in more free time, which is often used for travel. When focusing on the type of the new tourist, except her/his higher education and greater earnings, studies show that the post-modern traveller is keen for individual programmes ("Do-It-Yourself") and Internet bookings (Tourism Highlights 2003:1). The mentioned changes are also evident in the cultural tourism sector, whereas three types of virtual activities are offered: pre-holiday, during-holiday activities and post-holiday virtual activities. Pre-holiday activities are reflected in bookings or pre-holiday on-line sales which are offered through the Internet, but also initial information search is done through various existing on-line resources. Many new ICT systems have emerged recently as to complement or to directly affect tourists' during-holiday activities while Internet is also an opportunity to extend the holiday experience even after the holiday itself, marketing the destination by way of post-holiday virtual activities.

This symposium will focus on the topic of cultural institutions' and organizations' web presence and their impact on attracting cultural tourism market. In line with the new individualized cultural tourist profile, some cultural institutions and organizations have realized the importance of quality Internet presentations of their activities, not only for enhancing the domestic sales of their programmes but also aiming at the foreign tourist market. Thus, they not only worry about the presentation of their institution but offer various multimedia possibilities, virtual tours and on-line booking/sales. Preliminary research into cultural institutions' sales reports show that the Internet sales have rapidly been growing even taking over 'traditional' (box-office) sales but also have a growing and strong impact on attracting cultural tourism market.

This symposium is to present research studies and best practice examples of cases that confirm a great role of cultural institutions' and organizations' virtual presence and its impact on cultural tourism regardless of the sector they belong to (public, private, civil). Thus, the cases may include websites of cities (focusing on local cultural content), public cultural institutions, festivals, cultural NGOs or private cultural organizations operating in cultural industries sector.

The symposium will gather cultural practitioners and experts from South-East Europe. The results of the symposium are expected to be reflected in the local/national cultural policies stressing the importance of digital culture. A publication containing research studies of digital culture and its impact on cultural tourism based on the same methodology for all countries participating at the symposium (Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia) is planned to be produced and will contain concrete proposals for cultural and cultural tourism policy planning.

The working language of the symposium will be English.

In order to register, please fill in the registration form and submit it to tourism@irmo.hr.

For more information, please contact: Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, PhD, Culturelink/IMO, Vukotinovićeva 2, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia, tel.: +385-1-4877489; fax: +385-1-4828361; e-mail: daniela@irmo.hr; http://www.culturelink.org/tourism.html


Institute for International Relations
Institute for International Relations
Ministry of Culture
City of Zagreb
Zagreb Tourist Board