CultSense Project

Sensitizing Young Travellers for Local Cultures

Project Summary

With the increase in mobility overall, and of tourism in particular, many places have been feeling increased visitor pressure. This has led to complaints from local residents in places that experience overcrowding. Since the numbers of visitors to many places are increasing, learning how to be a better traveller can be part of the solution. By working directly with young travellers, CULTSENSE aims at contributing to improve this situation on the long-term.

CULTSENSE aims to address the issues of increased mobility pressures, and tensions and conflicts between locals and travellers. By creating a specialised educational approach to developing more understanding attitudes towards other cultures, CULTSENSE aims at providing tools to HE students (who account for the biggest share of young travellers) and HE teaching staff. By focusing on Tourism, Leisure and Culture (TLC) programs, the project aims to provide support tools and disseminate them widely through different channels and networks.

We believe that education plays a major role in addressing the challenges of mobility which are also related to citizenship. By sensitizing young travellers to local cultures, the project contributes to better quality of life for locals, more meaningful experiences for travellers and an overall better understanding of European values and identity.

The partnership is composed by the following organisations: Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (lead partner); University of Girona, Spain; NOVIA University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal; Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania; together with associated partners WYSE Travel Confederation and the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education.

Objectives

CULTSENSE aims to develop tools for sensitizing young travellers to understand and respect better the local norms, values, beliefs and cultures of the places they visit. The tools will be co-created with and for students and teaching staff. Based on an innovative holistic methodological approach, this project aims firstly at developing pedagogic modules that can be integrated in different courses, in particular in Tourism, Leisure and Culture (TLC), areas in which (potential) young travellers are more inclined to be aware of local cultures. Secondly, a pedagogic toolkit for teaching staff will be developed and training will be disseminated. CULTSENSE will ultimately contribute to a better relationship between residents and travellers, even in crowded places.

Target groups

CULTSENSE is directed at TLC students and teaching staff in the partner countries. For the latter, a training programme will be designed, which aims at supporting and stimulating knowledge exchange and dissemination in different points of Europe so as to reinforce the scope, impact and spillovers of the project.

Activities

  • Development of methodological tools and framework.
  • Development of tools and resources, such as website, videos, case studies and pedagogic toolkit.
  • Dissemination through social media, conferences and publications.