Today, many up-and-coming tourism destinations are experiencing rapid growth directly because of their links to popular culture: television, film and music. OUTPACE harnesses the power of film induced tourism and popular culture to develop a new highly innovative pedagogy to support the acquisition of transferable, entrepreneurial and digital skills in the tourism sector.
While a number of ‘first-mover’ local businesses have capitalized on trends, the tourism sector’s response to the opportunities has been fragmented. Evidence suggests that companies perform well on providing traditional services but are less able to respond to the more complex motives of pop culture tourists which rely on the mythology and perception of a destination rather than the real place (MacCannell, 1999; Selwyn, 1996 in Lexhagan et al.) and are ill equipped to offer the immersive, aspirational and emotional-based experiences that new generations of tourists come to expect (VisitBritain, 2016).
OUTPACE will produce a rise in the number of tourism businesses which develop innovative products & services based on the opportunities afforded by pop culture tourism, thus generating more market-responsive & dynamic regional tourism economies by developing and implementing four key tourism rescources:
- Pop Culture Tourism Alliances & Actions Plans which bring together tourism and creative/cultural industies stakeholders to analyse regional skills gaps audits, create an action plan and mechanisms for ongoing collaboration.
- Pop Culture Tourism Resource Pack which uses narrative text, examples and case studies to introduce tourism, creative industries and cultural heritage stakeholders to the concept of Pop Culture Tourism and its ability to transform regional tourism economies.
- Open Education Resources for Pop Culture Innovators are tools to enable HE, VET and business support organizations to adopt a systematic approach to training learners in the development of innovative and sustainable products and services based on pop culture opportunities.
- Pop Culture Tourism Innovators’ App which gives direct access to training and collective learning for educators, students and entrepreneurs interested in moving into tourism and the digital content for same through creative industries.
To get involved with the OUTPACE project on the ground in Leitrim, email Grace or Val. To find out more about the project at EU operational level, check out the project website: www.popculturetourism.eu or follow our facebook page for news and pop culture tourism tips: www.facebook.com/outpaceeu