Cultural Tourism Goes Virtual: Audience Development in Southeast European Countries

Welcome to the world of the post-modern traveller!

This book aims to fill a gap in research, into the ways we use the internet before, during and after taking cultural tourism trips. In particular, what is a quality website and how does this impact on cultural tourism?

The findings reported here come from a comparative research study in the nine countries of Southeast Europe (from Albania to Slovenia, in alphabetical order). The first part of the research was the same for all countries involved. It provides an overview of the digitization in each country and an assessment of the extent to which its cultural sector engages in e-business. The second part of the research focuses on best practice, where a split is needed between countries that practise on-line sales and bookings, and those that do not.

These countries may well provide a laboratory and a showcase for the take-up of information and communication technology and services in the cultural sector. The figures reported in this book suggest that the household internet access rate was still rather low in those countries, but growing and with differences between countries. Slovenia was above the European Union average. Broadband internet access was generally low and, even though business sector internet access is quite high (72 – 96%), only a very small number of companies were practising e-commerce.

This book should be of interest to

Cultural institutions seeking to develop their internet presence, because it brings together relevant research and best practice on making virtual space more effective;

* Researchers of information and communications technology, especially in the cultural sector, given the wide range of statistics and research findings collated here;
* Policy makers, because some benefits appear only to come when there is a vision and development strategy that paves the way for more e-commerce;
* As well as anyone with an interest in researching or marketing to the Southeast European countries, because of the detailed, state of the internet report for each country.

Paul Allin, Chair, Arts Research Limited


Jointly published by Culturelink and the Institute for International Relations, Lj. F. Vukotinovica 2, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

ISBN 978-953-6096-49-7