Tourism has been regarded as one of the most important social movements in the contemporary world. Many of its protagonists, professionals, travelers and tourists, in the process of discovery of new experiences, cultures and landscapes, were often their guardians, without knowing it, by keeping in their possessions those who are now the cornerstones for the establishment of a collective memory.

In Portugal there has always been a desire to establish a museum dedicated to tourism. The idea of creating a museum of Tourism, or at least a small museum that should welcome the elements of existing publications and tourism, first appeared in an article published in the Journal of Tourism (1982).

In 2011, the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE) designed a pioneering project in Portugal and internationally, which consists in the creation of the Virtual Museum of Tourism aiming at the musealisation of tourism.

The virtualization presents itself not only as a most efficient and easier way to gather the museum pieces to display and archive, but at the same time to dramatically reduce the investment needed to meet the implementation always postponed of such an infrastructure.

The mission of MUVITUR is to gather the tangible and intangible heritage associated with the manifestations of leisure, tourism and hotel activity. It aims to collect, organize, display, and distribute digital objects related to tourism, leisure and hospitality, by developing a digital aggregator platform of digital contents.

As such, it intends to restore, investigate and preserve memories through exhibitions, events and research projects that consolidate knowledge and allow perspectives of the history of these activities. It aims to rebuild, investigate and preserve memories through exhibitions, events and research projects that allow to consolidate knowledge and outline the history of the tourism industry.

The Museum seeks to give life to sets of images, places, landscapes and social environments, worthy  as an historical record of the way Portugal and the world have designed and experienced for tourism purposes in the last 150 years.

The value proposition in the base of MUVITUR focuses on the creation of a virtual community of content providers, encouraging collaboration between network members who share similar goals.

The Virtual Museum of Tourism catalog now presented results of an aggregator system of digital and digitized content available on the network of the Portuguese and foreign entities involved.

Based on a museum database management software, works as a theme aggregator designed for contents collections of librariesarchives, museums or other entities, public and private, holding material described in their information systems, subject to the themes of leisure, tourism and hospitality.

In the initial phase of the public presentation of MUVITUR its our intention to do a demonstration of what MUVITUR can integrate and offer. a sample of the collections, both national and international, of the entities which were available to start this virtual community. They also presented a set of experiences that aim to make an approach to the new content that a project of this nature allows to produce.

Is sought in this way to have a demonstration effect of the project's potential, and test at the same time the possibilities for using the same collaboration methodologies and sharing in future work with other institutions, both national and international, where is clear and desirable our ambition to be a global tourism museum in the medium term.

MUVITUR will comprehend three main domains of development: exhibitioner, searchable archives, and community services. The museum will focus on a number of subjects related to tourism such as leisure, hospitality, catering, entertainment, transportation, tourist areas, among others.

Once available the searchable database, fundamental as a supplier of content to various other products and services such as the above shows, MUVITUR will also contribute to education and research, producing, mediating and disseminating e-content learning, exploring new technologies for the development of immersive environments (Tourist Ambientário), and facilitating spaces for e-forum and video conference.

A perspective of growth and diversification could be contemplated the possibility of creating an online store with playback of digital content or direct sales of products and tour operators services (catering, entertainment ...).

MUVITUR intends to develop, amongst other possibilities, 3D reconstructed environments; virtual story telling; navigations in real time, which will potentiate virtual learning and research environments as well as virtual travels through time and space.

This idea will permit to explore the collection of digital objects that this institutions -possess, combining a variety of media that enable, through its nature, to explore connectivity, multiple-accessibility and augmented reality environments allowing surpassing the traditional methods of interacting and communicating with visitors, and the spacial confinement of strict physical museums, having the possibility of a true worldwide diffusion of this virtual objects and documentation that testify tourism history.

MUVITUR has technology that provides interactive virtual exhibitions that offer an experience of traveling in time and space truly memorable.

These different targets will be able to enjoy “virtual tours on demand” guided by an “avatar character” as a virtual assistant to help on each one’s travelling preferences.

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