Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 01:03
The tourist potential of the Region of Murcia is very broad. In addition to its characteristic climate and its beaches, this territory has innumerable cultural attractions, related to heritage and art, which attract numerous visitors each year, but which could seduce more if public-private collaboration were encouraged and if these kindnesses they knew how to communicate better. These are some of the conclusions reached yesterday at the ‘Cultural Tourism and Heritage’ forum organized by Turium in collaboration with LA VERDAD, sponsored by the Murcia Region Tourism Institute and CaixaBank, and in collaboration with Hotel Nelva.
The meeting, which was inaugurated by the Minister of the Presidency, Tourism, Culture, Sports and Spokesperson, Marcos Ortuño, included a round table, under the name “Today’s art for tomorrow’s cultural traveler” and moderated by the journalist from THE TRUTH Alexia Salas, who had the participation of the director of Porto Gallery, María Porto; the founder of the T20 gallery, Carolina Parra; the general director of VP Hotels, Javier Pérez, and the director of Artizense, María Macías.
“Public-private programs are a happy marriage,” said María Macías. The CEO of Artizense emphasized the key relationship between companies and the Administration to carry out artistic projects, an opinion shared by María Porto. “You can’t depend on Daddy State for everything. There is a private initiative that must be sought », she declared.
Carlota Pérez-Reverte: “The important thing is not to have digital tools, but to offer a meaningful experience”
To achieve this synergy, the speakers made clear the importance of unifying the tourism and culture sectors and promoting the value of Spain as a benchmark. “Until we create the country we have, we will not be able to transmit it,” lamented Porto, while Javier Pérez advocated “taking advantage of our ambassadors, because Spain is in fashion.”
In this work to extol Murcia as a tourist and artistic attraction, there is nothing more important than communication. “We have it all: climate, gastronomy, art, archaeology… and it must be transmitted, because what is not communicated is not known,” said Carolina Parra, who took advantage of this space to request the construction of a modern art museum in Murcia.
The Region can boast of having a vast heritage. The value of its sites, its museums and its surroundings, among others, were some of the aspects discussed at the second round table of the meeting, entitled ‘Archaeological heritage, an opportunity for future tourism’, which was moderated by the content director of Turium, Marta Orbe, and in which were the director of the Museum of the Roman Theater, María Elena Ruiz; the archaeologist and director of the Manuel Benedito Foundation, María Jesús Rodríguez; the regional and operations director at GVAM, Daniel Poveda, and the expert in heritage and cultural tourism, Carlota Pérez-Reverte.
“The discovery of the Roman theater raised the self-esteem of the city,” said María Elena Ruiz. The professional, who reviewed the history of the site, highlighted the port city as a place with an enormous heritage that has been known to “manage and turn into a cultural product.” The union of all the sites of the city under the tourist identity ‘Cartagena Puerto de Culturas’ would not have been possible without the work of the archaeologists, professionals who have had, as María Jesús Rodríguez indicated, to give a twist to their profession. “We thought that we should have conservation work and we were not given to touristification, but the enhancement of heritage has shown us that this makes it better preserved,” she stressed.
The new forms of touristification have included technology as a resource that is increasingly essential and which, as Daniel Poveda pointed out, is generating two trends: the personalization of the experience and the connection with the visitor. “This allows us to offer segmented recommendations with the specific interests of these visitors,” he added, while Carlota Pérez-Reverte recommended doing research before applying digital tools, “because the important thing is not only to have them, but to offer the visitor a significant experience ».
The attendees were able to enjoy the interview with the official historian and member of the General Directorate of Museums of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Elisabetta Scungio. The expert highlighted technologies as “an opportunity and a challenge” and explained the reorganization of the Ministry of Culture that took place in Italy in 2014, “with a view to enhancing heritage and recognizing its economic potential”, and the creation of organizations such as the General Directorate of Museums or initiatives such as the Great Pompeii Project, which sought to stop the degradation of this enclave.
The closing of the act was carried out by the director of the Institute of Tourism of the Region of Murcia, Juan Francisco Martínez.
Culture, a strategic ally of sustainable development
The general director of Turium, Germán Jiménez, was in charge of presenting the report ‘Heritage and art, catalysts for tourism of excellence’, by its creator and art expert, Fran Picazo. The document highlights the crucial role that cultural tourism can play in sustainable regional development and reaffirms its importance as a generator of new businesses and skilled jobs. “It can contribute to the diversification of destinations and the enhancement of heritage,” indicated Germán Jiménez, while pointing it out as a way of “betting on the future, because what has to do with contemporary art ensures younger tourism with the ability to influence. In all this new environment, the companies in the sector have had a strategic ally, technology, which is key to “establishing that preamble of contact with the tourist. We cannot wait for it to arrive, we have to seduce it beforehand”, indicated Picazo, who advocated concentrating the entire offer of a destination in a single information channel to maintain the attention of those who consult. Finally, Fran Picazo stressed the importance of establishing tourism strategies taking into account the return on investment, “which is no longer worth measuring only in economic terms, but rather we begin to qualify the data from the emotional and marketing point of view”, concluded.
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