CultSense – Sensitizing Young Travellers for Local Cultures
Travel provides the perfect opportunity for cultural education and can at best help to bridge a gap and increase understanding between travellers and the local population at a destination. The goal of the Erasmus+ project CultSense is to address the issues of increased mobility pressures and even conflicts between locals at a tourism destination and travellers. User pressures and tensions have been growing in Europe, with cities like Barcelona or Lisbon generating media attention for what has been referred to as “overtourism”. CultSense aims to develop long-term solutions and support more locally sensitive travel practices that are mindful and respectful of local customs and ways of life.
This partnership is composed of the following organisations: Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (lead part), University of Girona, Spain; Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal; Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania. The associated partners WYSE Travel Confederation and the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) will provide important channels to disseminate the results of the project.
The partners will work as nodes in the network, introducing pertinent issues in different geographical areas, providing expertise and experiences as well as attitudes. The diversity will stimulate learning and innovation within the network and contribute to develop the European dimension to intercultural awareness.
Based on an innovative holistic methodological approach, this project aims in the first place to develop learning modules for students within Tourism, Leisure and Culture (TLC). Secondly, a pedagogic toolkit for teaching staff will be developed and training will be provided. The tools will be co-created by students and teaching staff at the partner institutions. CultSense will eventually contribute to a better relationship between the local population on destinations and mobile young people. Through the development of methodological and pedagogical tools, this project will raise awareness among young TLC students and provide teaching staff with tools to integrate modules and work towards sensitization for local cultures.
Founded on experiences from this project and feedback from the TLC students, the material can be further developed to also include students of other fields of study. Sensitizing young travellers to better understand and respect local norms, values, beliefs and cultures of the places they visit, can further enhance their travelling experience and contribute to acceptance and tolerance of travellers by local residents of a destination. As Henry Miller wisely stated, “the destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.
Texten har granskats av Novias redaktionsråd och publicerats 3.2.2021