SciTour is a research project, exploring and developing Natural and Cultural Heritage in Western Algarve as a Science Tourism product, in the fields of: Geology, Paleontology, Archaeology, and Marine Biodiversity, as these have the most potential and a large enough number of assets clustered in our area of intervention. These are sustainable resources that are currently undervalued, underdeveloped, and underused. With tourism being the most significant industry in the region, the Algarve already benefits from accessibility and an existing infrastructure for visitors making it easy to build upon. Developing Science Tourism as a new product helps to diversity the current offer and to counter the seasonality of tourism with an all year round and sustainable resource that is suitable for both internal and external markets. The diverse geographical distribution of this resource, that goes beyond the coastline, has the potential to further develop the local economy in areas that tend to attract fewer visitors in the present? Sea and Sun? model as the main drive. Scitour project is a unique nexus between Education, Science, Communication, and Tourism. The Research team envision a systemic and practical approach that integrates a broader strategy for Science Tourism, Science Communication, and Science Content dissemination that has gathered interest and support from local municipalities, operators and other stakeholders. Our collective goal is to carry out the research, develop the tools and produce the contents to not only engage and attract new visitors to new locations but also to engage both these new visitors and local populations alike, contribute to their literacy and build upon the success of the project work, mission and values. Scitour research project is a first step to validate and later coordinate a regional strategy towards the creation of a world-class offer that can help differentiate the Algarve region, countering its peripheral placement as Europe is expanding eastwards and increasing our competitiveness against emerging and sometimes lower-priced new tourism markets. Furthermore, this strategy of research, development, and valuing of our natural resources can become a calling card to attract researchers and experts to come to visit, stay and study, bringing the potential of making discoveries, publishing new works, sharing new insights and knowledge, further strengthening the relevance of our natural heritage and expanding the local talent pool.
Partners: Lagos Living Science Center (Lead Partner) (Portugal), University of Algarve (Portugal), University of Lisbon (Portugal) and University of Minho (Portugal)
CinTurs Researcher(s): Cláudia Henriques (coordinator UAlg)
Budget UAlg: 156.560,07€
Funding institution(s): FEDER by CRESC Algarve 2020
Period: 2021 - 2023