NU lecturer shares tech for tourism in Finland
Over the last two weeks, a summer school has been visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites on a 1,700km tour of Finland. While on the road, Dr. Antony Harfield from Department of Computer Science & Information Technologyhas been one of the main instructors. He has been giving lectures in a high-tech conference bus to the 29 participants from 20 countries and sharing his experience of developing technology for sustainable tourism in Phitsanulok, Phetchabun and Sukhothai.
This is the fifth edition of the Summer School of the UNESCO chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites, established in 2013 at UniversitàdellaSvizzeraitaliana (Lugano, Switzerland). This year the topic is “Co-creating on-the-road ICT solutions to promote Sustainable Tourism in World Heritage Sites” and is the first time that the summer school has been taken on the road. It has been co-organized with the Department of Future Technologies at University of Turku in Finland.
The Summer School has given participants an immersive learning experience in Finnish nature, history and culture. Lectures by international scholars have been combined with visits to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely Fortress of Suomenlinna, Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, Petäjävesi Old Church, Old Rauma, Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäkiand two Biosphere Reserves, as well as with workshops involving local and national tourism stakeholders.The learning environment has included the road itself, with participants having classes and group work on the conference bus as they travel between sites across Northern Karelia and South-Western Finland.
Antony said thatit is inevitable technology will play a role in tourism, but thechallenge is “to find ways it can benefit touristswithout disrupting the experience of the place and whilehaving a positive effect on culture and the environment”. Through collaboration between Department of Future Technologies in University of Turku and Department of Computer Science & Information Technology at Naresuan, he plans to keep exploring solutions towards sustainable tourism in Finland and Thailand.
UNESCO chair USI : Photo
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