Digital and social ICT in the interpretation of Cultural Heritage: a new paradigm for valorisation?Guendalina Ciancimino
, 2016, master's thesis
Abstract: Today it is widely acknowledged by international institutions, national and local
administrations, and the civic society at large, that the whole of Cultural Heritage
(CH), in its tangible and intangible forms, is part of our individual and collective
memory, a marker of cultural identity and at the same time a demonstration of
social heterogeneity and complexity. This has led to a progressive recognition of the
importance of not only protecting, but also valorising CH, through its promotion and
the facilitation of its fruition.
Benefiting from CH depends on what and how is done to promote it and also to create
a competitive advantage for the ‘cultural economy’ which is based on its reproduction.
Tourism is an industry which uses CH and to some extent achieves the objective of
its valorisation, widening the market for its fruition and the significance of heritage
for different ‘publics’, but only to the extent that it is sustainable in its widest sense.
This sets a number of challenges regarding how the heritage is offered, explained, and
made accessible to visitors.
In this sense, the valorisation of CH is at the core of value generation in tourism,
and the use of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) is the channel
through which increasingly cultural resources are experienced in competitive and
sustainable way. New ICT tools restructure the relationship between image and
word, leading to new ways to imagine and interpret CH, and offer great potential
for value creation in tourism whereby perception and visual processing are essential
elements of communication and experience. Interpretation, which can be informative,
inspirational and entertaining, spurs understanding and appreciation, and ultimately
engages visitors in CH. Besides, online social networks have a central place in the
shaping of experience of the contemporary visitor and offer potential for a smart
This Master thesis aims to demonstrate that managing the flows of information through
the new technologies may indeed enhance CH valorisation, and that the introduction
of digital devices and virtual technologies should follow a visitor-centred approach.
It also intends to acknowledge that the application of ICTs can have a significant return
in terms of economic income, stimulating and generating a stronger understanding
among cultural and public institutions and organizations.
The first section of this work reviews the relationship between CH and its social
dimension, presenting CH as a lever to enhance social and economic development;
it presents ICT and their relation with cultural tourism, illustrating the ongoing
transformation of visitors into active actors in the valorisation of CH.
The second section presents two case studies of digital devices applied to CH
valorisation in different contexts; the impacts of the two projects in relation to heritage
itself, its users and the territory are carefully analised.
The research represents a starting point for more work encased in contemporary studies
on the management of CH, as well as in the developing area of digital interpretation,
towards a more general development of a model of sustainable CH tourism.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: CH management, cultural tourism, ICT, interpretation, CH experience
Published: 17.03.2017; Views: 3411; Downloads: 183
Fulltext (2,87 MB)