The recent financial crisis in Greece gave rise to a fruitful debate on a regional and national level. The discussion was based on studies, public forums, and consultations and established the need to transform the tourism industry into a main pillar of our economic development as a country.
This objective is connected to the need for a re-evaluation of our overall tourism strategy and the formation of a development strategy that puts emphasis on quality, competitiveness, innovation, and technological know-how on an international level. The main elements of this strategy include the connection of tourism with the natural and cultural resources that Greece has to offer, the integration of new technologies on every aspect of the tourism sector, as well as the transfer of interest to the supply of a holistic experience for visitors
Based on these three elements, Pros-Eleusis (Personalized ROuteS in Eleusis) seeks to enhance domestic entrepreneurship in the tourism and cultural sectors by adopting an innovative approach to the overall tourist experience i.e. the establishment of an ecomuseum and the development of a digital tool that provides personalized and dynamic tours.
For the purposes of this project, we are using Eleusis as a case study. The city has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021 and is the ideal site to develop and test this project.
The objectives of Pros-Eleusis are defined based on three desirable outcomes and are consistent with the national strategy on research and innovation in the tourism industry:
1. Differentiating the Greek tourist product by having the development of experiential tourism as its main axis. Pros-Eleusis adopts the experience-centric approach of an ecomuseum for Eleusis, a city largely outside the main tourist path, but one that is expected to attract thousands of visitors up to 2021. This approach aims to create a competitive advantage for the differentiation, promotion, and qualitative enhancement of the tourist product of Eleusis, but also of any other city or area that chooses to adopt it.
2. Improving the competitiveness and quality of the services provided by businesses in the tourism and cultural sectors, by utilizing information and communication technologies. Over time, these services develop to respond to the needs of the market, as well as the channels that they are offered through.3. Transferring technical know-how from researchers to business, and utilizing the results of said research in the tourism and cultural sector. Pros-Eleusis mobilizes an ecosystem of partners that incorporates and interconnects research centres and tourism and cultural sector businesses. The members of the partnership take advantage of the know-how to support and expand their capabilities in the context of this project.