CO-CREATION IN THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL TOURISM: THE CLOUDLEDGE SYSTEM
Cultural Heritage Tourism (CHT) is gaining attention globally, with growing numbers of tourists seeking to gain an in depth appreciation and understanding of the nature of the places they visit, rather than mere recreation. Educational offerings targeting tourists could help bridge this gap. Educational tourism is an area with significant growth potential, in which ICT technologies and solutions can help create new value-added tourism products and services to advance local economies. Nonetheless, educational tourism goes beyond a mere product-centric view of learning, calling for the creation of a shared value among all stakeholders through the systematic promotion and valorisation of cultural and natural heritage resources.Meeting the need for personalized tourist experiences calls for continuously developing educational tourism services and new processes of value creation.
The present paper explores the design and development of educational tourism services, drawing from the work of the CLOUDLEDGE (“CLOUD Learning on the EDGE of TOurism and Culture”) project and the principles of value co-creation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004)
As value shifts to tourist experiences, an educational tourism platform should represent a forum for co-creation experiences: educational tourism services are shaped and continuously adapted through the interactions of consumers with service providers.
This implies a need for rapid development, and continuous adaptation and enrichment of educational offerings. On the backend side, this translates into tailored content creation and easy content reuse, re-purposing and improvement, which in turn call for access to sources of relevant digital content (Cultural Heritage repositories) and domain expertise, besides technical skills and authoring environment capabilities.
Drawing on the above, the paper proposes a Co-Creation Cycle for educational tourism services design and development.