Although the implementation of European projects requires a great deal of effort, tourist destinations recognize their importance in improving the tourist offer.
With a total budget of 2,5 million euros co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the project Interreg Italy-Croatia S.LI.DES. (Smart strategies for sustainable tourism in LIvely cultural DEStionations) is intended precisely for the development of innovative tools, strategies and policies that will help destinations in the sustainable management of tourism on the Adriatic coast on the Croatian and Italian sides. Innovative tools developed using digital technologies will help reduce anthropogenic pressures on local cultural and natural heritage, as well as the disposal of resources that make up the destination's identity (crafts, cultural and creative industries) and increase the competitiveness of the local economy.
Five partner cities are involved in the project: Dubrovnik, Šibenik Venice, Bari and Ferrara. From a scientific and technical point of view, the cities are assisted by Croatian partners, the Institute for Tourism and the College of Crafts - an institution for adult education. The Italian partners in the project are the University of Venice Ca'Foscari, as the lead partner, then CISET (International Center for Tourism Economics), ECIPA (Training and Services Agency), SIPRO (Ferrara Development Agency) and CAST (Advanced Studies in Tourism) at the University of Bologna). Their scientific expertise is based on the development of innovative technologies and solutions for more efficient tourism management.
Project S.LI.DES. it is an excellent opportunity for partner cities to develop a database, as a kind of repository (engl. datahub) which contains tourist, economic, social and environmental data, including a dynamic map of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and real-time tourist movement data. The development of such a database is a big undertaking since it involves a significant amount of diverse data. Given that the data are located in numerous, unrelated databases, quality cooperation with data owners, ie private and public bodies operating in the destination area, is needed.
In addition to the above, the database will also include data on the popularity and places of stay of tourists downloaded from the web services GoogleTrend and TripAdvisor. Some data will be collected online by surveying local craftsmen whose activity is related to art, handicrafts, authentic products and / or folk customs. Data on tourist movements will be collected using sensors and cameras, the procurement and installation of which is also one of the project activities. Ferrara was the first of the partner cities to complete the installation of six sensors, thus arousing great interest from local stakeholders within the tourism sector who saw an opportunity for many applications and requested the installation of additional sensors for their needs.
Each partner city will have access to the data via a specially adapted control panel (engl. dashboards) which will enable the presentation of key performance indicators (engl. KPI) and thus help local government stakeholders in better management of tourism in the destination. For example, in places where large crowds are created (eg Dubrovnik city walls), visitors will be offered a choice of alternative routes where they will be able to meet local artists and craftsmen. The aim of the project is to innovate the products of local craftsmen in order to provide tourists, in addition to shopping, with an authentic experience of making art objects.
The estimated duration of the project is 30 months, but due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 disease, it will be extended to 42 months. The project should be completed by June 30.06.2022, XNUMX. years.