Museum and tourist agencies stand to benefit greatly from creative partnerships in designing and implementing tourist activities tailored to families and children under 15.
This was the main conclusion of the research “Family Day at the Museum” supported by PERFORM and conducted jointly by the Institute of Economic Sciences and Culture Development Institute (ZAPROKUL) in co-operation with the Holding Company 4SE and tour operators and museums.
Museums are institutions of culture that explore, preserve and present the heritage and thus present an important factor in the building of cultural identity. A visit to the museum is an indispensable part of a tourist travel. Still, when it comes to domestic tourists in Serbia, visits to local museums represent the least popular activities in their free time. On the other side, particular museum events and special exhibitions attract a very large number of visitors. Although there is a relatively small number of innovative museum programmes for families and children under the age of 15, there is an interest for such types of programmes in Serbia.
PERFORM supported a research on examining the possibility of applying a concept of family days at the museums in the development of cultural tourism in Serbia.
"Family Day at the Museum" is a tourist concept that numerous museums all over the world practice and it is about special guidance through permanent and/or temporary exhibitions for children and their parents with supporting programmes such as short performances, video screenings or workshops. Unlike other programmes, this concept provides active involvement of children, with the help of curators and parents. The concept is designed for the local tourists, but can be very attractive for tourist families on their holidays as well, since it provides a completely different experience compared to routine visits to local museums currently offered in travel packages.
The research focused on:
- Common practices in museums in Serbia with regard to cultural tourism, as well as the relationship between museums and the local population – with a special emphasis on families and children;
- Conceptualising (cultural) tourism in local communities and relationship with the concept of family holidays;
- Cultural tourism as part of a strategy for sustainable development of selected cities and municipalities.
The study before you gives concrete recommendations for the development of a comprehensive tourist programme for families in Serbia.
The second phase of the project will be supported by 4SE and it foresees testing of the developed tourist programme and training of the staff of the participating tourist agencies, which should take place by mid-2018.
Research “Family Day at the Museum” is part of PERFORM’s initiative to support social science research sector in developing a cooperation with the private sector, which has been on a low level in the past. Social sciences need to improve the applicability of their research, so that the private sector can benefit from them and offer an alternative source of funding to the SSR sector.