DIGITIZATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE AS A POTENTIAL FOR INCREASING MUSEUM ATTENDANCE IN CENTRAL SERBIA
Serbian cultural institutions, including foundations and museums, are faced with various ongoing challenges. One of them is an increasing lack of interest in cultural events by cultural consumers. Each year, there is a significant decline in the number of cultural consumers interested in cultural and historical exhibitions and displays. The number of museum visitations in Central and Western Serbia has dropped more than 200.000 in just two years. The aim of this study is to find an answer to the following question: Can the digitization of material culture, supported by new technologies, lead to the development of cultural tourism? Over the past few years, many museums have started the process of digitizing their tangible and intangible cultural heritage. However, the number of visitations will not be increased solely by digitization. It is necessary to combine some digital tools with new technologies, and duly implement them in the marketing strategies of cultural institutions. The main challenge is the fact most people are not properly informed about the possibilities of the digitization application. This research shows that young people express some level of interest. However, the problem with young people is the fact they have limited knowledge about culture and history, especially when it comes to their own region. Some of the digital applications that can be used to increase people’s interest in cultural institutions are: virtual tours, augmented reality, video games, and storytelling. To increase the number of visitors, new technologies should be properly implemented into the marketing strategies as an instrument of integrated marketing communications.
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