This week, Professor Claire Wallace will be participating in the first meeting of the SPOT consortium on Cultural Tourism, to be held at Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic.
Part of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project, Social and Innovative Platform on Cultural Tourism and its potential on deepening Europeanisation, the consortium will focus on how cultural tourism is changing and draw on case studies from across 15 European regions.
The traditional forms still exist – museums, art galleries, landscapes, historical sites, festivals – but both cultural destinations and the tourists are under transformation. Many ‘cultural tourists’ see themselves neither as seeking culture nor as tourists; there is increasing evidence of people seeking to experience culture rather than merely observing it.
The focus of the Aberdeen component is on 'Media Tourism', that is, tourism created by popular media outputs such as Harry Potter, James Bond, and Outlander, which have made an important impact on Scottish tourism.
Professor Wallace has worked for many years on the rural digital economy and cultural heritage, while Stephanie Garrison, a Research Fellow on the project, has just submitted her thesis on fan following of the Outlander series, and has given several talks, including 'Fan Events as Community Building: Online Outlander fan communities and tourism to Scotland' and 'Imagined Communities in Social Media: Outlander Facebook Fan Communities and the Journey to Scotland'.
For updated information on the SPOT project, visit Professor Wallace's personal website, here.