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ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research Group Expert Meeting
12 - 13 April, 2018 - Barcelona, Spain

Participatory culture and new challenges for tourism: Responses to the challenges of mass cultural tourism

Please find the draft programme for the meeting HERE



In 2018 the European Commission celebrates the European Year of Cultural Heritage with the aim of promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion and strengthening a sense of identity. The initiative draws attention to the new challenges that the cultural heritage is facing in recent years, such as the impact of the digital shift, the environmental and physical pressure on heritage sites, the reduced public budgets, and the falling participation in traditional cultural activities.

Beyond merely commercial approaches, the touristic sector can stimulate virtuous uses of the cultural heritage that allow either to keep it alive and guarantee its preservation. If increasing tourism activity can threat the preservation of cultural heritage, the participation of local communities in the management and promotion of the cultural heritage can mitigate the risks related to the banalization of cultural landscapes in mass tourist destinations.

In the last few years, the touristic model of Barcelona has been widely discussed. For instance, one of the most visited World Heritage Sites in Barcelona such as Parc Güell  has been surrounded by several controversies among residents due to the decision of restring the access in 2013. Barcelona is thus asked to give responses that mitigate the conflict around cultural tourism that also will be scalable in other cities and heritage sites.

Coping with scenarios as such, the touristic sector is thus expected to foster encounters between local communities and visitors as a strategy to keep tangible and intangible heritage alive and enact intergenerational dialogue and practices.  New technologies have to be the main driver in encouraging co-creation process between audiences, both tourists and locals, and cultural heritage.

This expert meeting will gather in Barcelona a group of researchers presenting contributions which address the conference themes from a range of subject fields including, but not limited to; leisure studies, tourism, geography, cultural studies, sociology, gender studies, ethnic and racial studies, and social and anthropology of tourism. The aim of the meeting is to propose key advances into the understanding and analysis of the relationship between tourism and cultural heritage.  

The workshop is open to academic researchers and practitioners at any career stage with an interest in tourism. The meeting will be organized by the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research Group, which has been monitoring cultural trends around the world for the past 25 years. The meeting with be hosted by the Ostelea School of Tourism and Hospitality, Campus Barcelona, affiliated to the Lleida University and partner of  EAE Business School and member of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization).



Within this context, the expert meeting organisers welcome presentations on the following topics:

  • Responses from touristic sector to congestive heritage sites
  • Participatory approaches and social innovation in cultural tourism
  • Private-public collaboration in the management of touristic heritage sites
  • Heritage promotion strategies and policies
  • Basic challenges in sustaining of Culture Tourism Destinations
  • Cultural heritage, tourism and climate change
  • The role of new technologies in engaging cultural tourists in tourist destinations
  • Gamification techniques in engaging cultural tourism
  • New participatory narratives for cultural heritage
  • The role of online peers’ interaction for cultural heritage enhancement
  • Co-creation in cultural tourism experience
  • Food, wine in cultural destination



Abstract submission

Abstracts (300 words maximum) should be submitted before December 15th, 2017, by making use of this ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM.

Within January 15th, contributors will receive a confirmation of its acceptation or solicit revisions, and the
final program will be issued before March 30th 2018. The book of abstract will be available in e-format.



Important dates

Abstract submission : November 30th, 2017
December 15th, 2017
Notification of acceptance : January 15th, 2018
Meeting : April 12-13th, 2018
Full paper submission : May 1st, 2018


Publication details

Participants are welcome to submit their full papers AFTER the conference. The full paper submission date is May 1st 2018.

Soon we will update you about the publication possibilities.


Scientific committee

  • Herman B. Mendolicchio - Universitat de Barcelona
  • Ernest Cañada - Universitat de Barcelona
  • Jordi Gascón - Universitat de Lleida
  • Szilvia Gyimóthy - Aalborg University
  • Massimo Leone - Università degli Studi di Torino
  • Xavier Medina - Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
  • Saida Palou - University of Girona
  • Greg Richards - Tilburg University
  • Antonio Paolo Russo Universitat Rovira i Virgili
  • Pier Luigi Sacco IULM Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione di Milano
  • Mel Solé - Universitat de Barcelona
  • José Antonio Vázquez - Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, México

Local Organising Committee - Research Group Ostelea School of Tourism and Hospitality:

  • Albert Beltran i Cangròs
  • Pablo Diaz Rodríguez
  • María del Pilar Leal Londoño
  • Jose Mansilla Lopez
  • Claudio Milano
  • Sheila Sánchez Bergara
  • Elsa Soro
  • Raúl Travé Molero




Provisional programme

Thursday, April 12 - 2018
16.00 Arrival and registration
16.30 Opening session and Welcome by SIG coordinator and GRIT board members
17.30 First session of 4-5 presentations
20.30 Social Dinner

Friday, April 13 - 2018
9.00 Second session of 4-5 presentations
11.00 Coffee Break
11.30 Third session of 4-5 presentation
13.30 Lunch
15.00 Open debate: key insights from the sessions and advances in postdisciplinary research on cultural tourism
16.00 Organisational meeting of the SIG Cultural Tourism
17.00 Closure



Packages: ATLAS members Non-Members

Meeting materials, coffee breaks, lunches.

€ 150 € 200


Cancellation policy

If written cancellation is received before April 1st 2018, a refund of all meeting fees will be made, minus an administration fee of € 50. No refund will be possible after April 1st 2018, but substitute delegates can be nominated.


Conference venue

The meeting will take place at:
Edificio L’Hospitalet-Grupo Planeta
Avda. Josep Tarradellas i Joan 171 - 177,
08901 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona

Google map link:

We would like to suggest to book flights landing at Barcelona Airport. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the meeting.




  • Contact
    Please contact: e-mail
  • Registration
    Submit this form to register for the conference.
  • Abstract submission form
    Submit this form to submit an abstract for the conference.


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