TIRANA, May 24
Berat’s Onufri Museum is the first national institution of its kind that offers onsite enhanced visiting experiences through digital tools. Starting Thursday, Albanian and international visitors can engage in a memorable storytelling experience through a multilingual audio guide. They can switch between Albanian, English, German, and Italian spoken commentary. Besides the fact that the guide serves to deliver meaningful experiences, it also helps to establish a barrier-free cultural landscape by providing equal accessibility to people with special needs.
Museums as part of the creative industry need a combination of multimedia experiences and innovative technology. Hence, it’s easy to strengthen their role as cultural hubs that can boost economic and social growth.
Official data confirm that museums were the favorite cultural sites for international visitors in Albania followed by castles and archeological parks during January – March 2019.
These numbers show that a multilingual scene unfolds, grows and evolves and it needs to be served in a best-expected way. In such a case, the power of digital tools can be harnessed to offer the perspective that is commonly known as service design.
To put it briefly, visitors are customers and the modern customer is used at getting what they want. They pay for experience and want to enjoy it in a personal way. Traditional experiences that appeal to one sense at a time are old-fashioned. Museums all over the world are looking for services that drive active participation and interaction through all senses on physical and cognitive levels. This is what Pine and Gilmore refer as the sweet spot in The Experience Economy. It is the spot where the four realms of experience, entertainment, aesthetic, the educational, and escapist meet to generate the context where participants can move.
Onufri National Museum seems to be the best choice for making the first step into embracing new art technology that translates the one-dimensional experience into a full audio-visual escapade. The project was funded by USAID and the Embassy of Sweden to Tirana and implemented by Creative Business Solutions through IntoAlbania Project.
Even though one can say ‘finally’, the good point in hindered use of digital infrastructure tourism is that better investment can be made in the sector while observing trends and learning from international examples. Museum management staff and not only, can see the better picture and define what the audience needs.
Museums worldwide are investing in augmented reality, VR, hologram displays, touchscreens to become fun and more engaging for people of all ages. Speaking of ages, all eyes in most industries are on the spending power of millennials. It’s simple, people with digital wallets opt for digital solutions. Crowdsourced reviews and WoM (word of mouth) to millennials value as much as a recommendation by an art critic.
Another strong point of Onufri Museum audio guide project is process automation. The museum staff will have more time and resources to focus also on digital visitors by providing better content and online presence.
Global travel and tourism are one of the fastest-growing and most valuable industries. The market is hot, especially for startups. Think about it.
Photo Credit: Berat Municipality