The SPOT project is entering the second year
The Horizon 2020 project titled “Social and Innovative Platform on Cultural Tourism and its Potential Towards Deepening Europeanisation (SPOT)”, undertaken by the Faculty of Natural Sciences (RNDr. H. Kramáreková, PhD. – project head, prof. RNDr. F. Petrovič, PhD., doc. RNDr. A. Krogmann, PhD., RNDr. L. Petrikovičová, PhD. a Mgr. Henrich Grežo, PhD.) and Faculty of Arts, UKF (prof. PhDr. P. Ivanič, PhD.), is entering the second year. Altogether 15 partners from across the European Union and beyond are analyzing the diversity of cultural tourism and its benefits for the host communities and regional economies. Instead of viewing the visitors and local communities as two potentially opposing groups, the project aims to establish cultural tourism on a common basis. One of the innovative aspects of this project is the development of a tool for the analysis of the potential of cultural tourism and its development. It is tested on the ArcGIS server with the use of Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing Services. The project broadens the concept of cultural tourism and enriches the scientific knowledge by providing an integrated analysis of various forms of cultural tourism in different regions of Europe.
Our research is underway despite the ongoing measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer months, we conducted an online questionnaire survey focused on three target groups – tourists, residents and businesses & cultural institutions. We established close cooperation with the Nitra Municipality and Nitra Tourism Organization. The pandemic has also revealed that residence tourism in Nitra has long been based on business tourism (exhibitions, seminars, conferences) and the number of overnight stays in 2020 dropped by almost 50% compared to 2019.
The research team at UKF Nitra engages in regular workshops, which are held in relation to the particular project jobs. On September 7, 2020, we conducted an online workshop for the project partners titled Cultural tourism in particular case study areas, which was focused both on the perception of diversity of cultural tourism and its current status. The participants discussed the definition of cultural tourism and its contribution to europeanisation. Based on the presented contributions, a joint report is currently being drafted. Another important workshop titled SmartCulTour - IMPACTOUR was held on November 27, 2020, with focus on the future of cultural tourism in the next five years and discussions about the current barriers that hinder its development and potential outcomes.
Nitra has become a case study for the members of SPOT. Therefore, we have actively participated in the workshops leading to the formulation of Strategy for the Development of Culture, Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism in Nitra (2021 - 2031) and the draft Action Plan for the years 2021-2022. Other activities include our involvement in the project “Nitra - European Capital of Culture 2026”. The current candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2026 marks a new era for Nitra (and) its cultural life and it is a new beginning for the understanding of culture, creative industry and tourism in the region.
Text: Peter Ivanič, Hilda Kramáreková