BUDAPEST STUDY VISIT - 11th April 2019

The concept of the cognitive-emotional access is essential to TOURIBOOST. It includes physical, mental and spiritual accessibility. Providing for cognitiveemotionally accessible experience, each Local Attraction Plan in TR/TR/HU/NL/IT/GR shall offer a richer heritage communication in the recreational learning environment.

TOURIBOOST defends the thesis that the Cultural Heritage Environment should be accessible to everyone, including people with mobility or sensory impairments, the elderly, parents with small children and anyone who is temporarily disabled as a result of illness or injury. Improved access can increase visitation. However, increased visitation must be managed so as to ensure it does not accelerate deteriorate the Cultural Heritage Environment.

Concluding we may say that attractions, are the magnets that entice a person to travel to a particular cultural heritage place, and can make part of the real place experience of a cultural heritage place region. They include the unique features of a place that reflect history, life style and environment, in other words they provide cultural heritage consumers with a non-exchangeable sense, the sense of place.

Any time a location is identified or given a name, it is separated from the undefined space that surrounds it. Some places, however, have been given stronger meanings, names or definitions by society than others. In order to survive, visitor attractions must satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers. Customer care and communication skills are very important, and staff with a role to play in ensuring customer satisfaction must be supported in their development. Close attention must be given to the continued professional development of those running and managing historic attractions and this must include the fostering of skills in management, business management, marketing and fundraising.

Visitors wish to understand and experience local stories, to relate to their own cultural background. Landscape character, streets and nightlife, open-air activities, museums and special events, local life-styles should be perceived as novel, original and common elements at the same time: It is very likely then that visitors be aligned to the values of the local residents as it has originated from valid, distinctive, authentic history. The 6 Pilot Projects produced by TOURIBOOST aim to manage and interpret their heritage assets it in a manner that enhances the visitors’ experiences, conveying at the same time distinctiveness (novel elements), authenticity (original elements) and familiarity (common elements).

Accessibility is approached according to a broad definition, which includes both the physical and the perceptual accessing of culture and heritage. This is because, although the term ‘accessibility’ usually tends to be thought of in connection to physical disability, in the particular cases of culture and heritage it also crucially involves the ability to perceive ideas and understand meanings. At a symbolic level, central to all artistic expression, a piece of visual art is much more than paints on canvas or deformed stone shape.

Partners visiting the Castrum

The term ‘accessibility’ is usually presented as physical disability. Nonetheless, the term can refer to very different groups of people that can face insurmountable accessibility problems. The topic is getting even more complicated when speaking about accessibility to culture and heritage. What is culture and what is heritage? How can culture and heritage be accessible? What are the reasons that prevent someone from accessing culture? Is the process of accessing culture and heritage interactive? Does physical access to culture precede mental access or does the opposite apply.

As declared at the European Round Table on ‘Human Rights and Cultural Policies in Europe’, held in Helsinki in 1993, everyone has the right to produce, participate and access cultural life (Fisher et al., 1993). Multiculturalism, pluralism and diversity are the key words that summarize the dominant discourse on accessibility to culture and heritage. No one can be excluded from either producing or accessing culture/heritage. Here, the focus is on the phases, or moments, involved in the process

Thus, there are two main phases of accessibility that may either precede or succeed each other:

  1. Physical Accessibility: In this phase, the visitor to/ receiver of a cultural good uses his/ her body structure and functions in order to move inside the product in its original material manifestation or experience sensorially its tangible or intangible reproductions. Hence, through the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) and their combination (kinesthesia), s/he can collect either stimuli for further interference with culture/heritage (impulse) or experiences concerning the already adapted information (integration). A crucial sub-group that is facing effects during that moment of accessibility is physically disabled people. In addition, once we talk about visiting and experiencing culture/heritage with one’s body (museums, archeological sites, cultural centers), there is also an exclusion of people from culture/heritage because of economic reasons (the price of tickets).
  2. Perceptual Accessibility: This could be the definition of the phase of understanding culture and heritage and has to do with the perceptiveness of the receiver. The cornerstone is the human mind and its function. The levels of mental accessibility and perceptiveness are closely linked to the receiver’s educational background, way of living and habitual mode of intellectual operation. The sub-groups that can possibly be kept out of that phase are people that are indifferent about accessing the types of culture/heritage products being offered and people with mental and learning disabilities. The theoretical model of the moments of accessibility to culture/heritage is completed by the existence of a third phas e referred to as “Appropriational Accessibility”.
  3. Appropriational Accessibility: That phase is the combination of the two previously acquired phases: those of Physical and Mental Accessibility. Firstly, the visitor/receiver may consider culture/heritage as part of himself/herself. S/he may feel emotionally attached and connected to the products of culture/heritage (“exoikeiosis” from the Greek word εξοικείωση meaning familiarization/ emotional investment). At a second level, the body and the mind of the visitor/receiver use the adopted experience and knowledge in order to intertwine his/her own story (narrational production) and, in so doing, reproduce the cultural product in novel, appropriated form. This final moment represents the apex of accessibility, the ultimate goal to be aimed for by policy makers in the field, if accessibility to culture and heritage is perceived generically.

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In terms of THEMATIC ONSITE LECTURE & WORKSHOP 2 held in Budapest, the topic was about ATTRACTION PLANNING. Tourism is an industry of knowledge based activities. Accessibility to attractions and tourism goods and services and the ease of experiencing the destination are critical considerations for visitors and influence length of stay, the expenditure level and customer loyalty. Accessibility to resources and ease of experiencing the destination are critical considerations for visitors. Timely and relevant information distribution is one of the most essential elements for a destination’s success.

During study visit in Budapest we visited inner-city mother church, aquincum museum and roman archaeological park with a guided tour. The church building and the square in front of it covers a large Roman relic, a four-sided camp with dimensions of 86 by 84 meters. The Roman camp was completed in 350 AD and it was used after 375. A three-naved church, built in the 11th-12th century, occupied the place of the old command building near to the southern wall of the 4th century Roman camp. Excavations between 2014 and 2015 provided information about the Roman and medieval remains found under the church floor. The archeological finds of the excavations are displayed in the new crypt beneath the floor of the church. In addition to the Roman heritage, the Inner-city Parish Church has a particularly rich history, making it an invaluable asset in heritage tourism development in Budapest.

The Civil Town amphitheatre is the smaller of Aquincum's two amphitheatres. Its remains lie beyond the northern wall of the former Roman town. The building, already in operation in the mid-2nd century, was renovated multiple times during the 3rd century. Based on its structure, the almost circular building (its axes are: 86.5m x 75.5m) can be classified as an earth amphitheatre. In such amphiteatres the slope for seats was created by ramming earth between two ring walls. The stone benches of spectators were placed on this, some of which carried the inscribed name of their owner. The roughly 6-7000 spectators could enter the partially-covered stands from a ramp on the outside. The arena, which was surrounded by a 3-metre-high wall, could be entered through a gate on either side of the east-west axis. On the southern side of the western gate stood a sanctuary of Nemesis, the goddess of amphitheatre games. During the excavation of the sanctuary, a fragment of the goddess’s statuette was found along with a number of inscribed altars.

Aquincum was one of the most important Roman settlements along the Danube river. Aquincum Museum, a branch of Budapest History Museum, opened in 1894. Its permanent exhibitions present, among others, the unique Aquincum organ, mosaics, statues, tombstones, and other valuable archaeological finds from the Governor’s Palace. The Museum's Archaeological Park displays the remains of around a third of the Aquincum Civil Town including the most characteristic public buildings and dozens of private houses, reflecting the town’s layout during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The Museum is the largest collection site of Roman archaeological and historical monuments of Budapest.

Therefore, the Workshop focused on geographical-physical, digital and cognitive-emotional accessibility comparing existing information provisions from signage to mobile telephony applications and cutting edge technology examining contents and customer satisfaction. Accordingly trainees in TR/HU/NL/IT/GR selected 5 tourism assets in each country that were providing the correct mix of infrastructure elements to satisfy the heritage experience. We reviewed the milestones of our project activities step by step based on each IOs.

These are:


Partners will need to fill in the templates (Local Attraction Plan) with the following parts: asset selection, heritage significance, info/documentation, heritage narrative, audience development, product design.

For ACCESSIBILITY of the assets we visited during onsite tour, we discussed these assets in terms of these features below:

  • Physical – well connected and secured
  • Economic – we did not pay (6,50 Euro for the church with the guide, 5 Euro for the museum with the guide)
  • Digital
  • Cognitive – touchable
  • Emotional
  • Multisensory (haptic-sensometric-visual-auditory)

The design and delivery of the cognitive, emotional and multisensory experience as the actual product/service at heritage places are of utmost importance. It ensures that tourism stakeholders to utilize the dynamics of culture to generate six experienced-base tourism products and services with commercialization potential in the Project Area.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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