[MEDUSA sister projects] MEDGAIMS - Gamification for Memorable tourist experiences
This article forms part of a series of publications under MEDUSA project, where we present projects related to ours around the Mediterranean (“sister projects”). We always aim to join forces, find synergies and make a change all together!
Gamification for Memorable tourist experiences is a project implemented in Lebanon, Spain, Italy and Jordan for a total budget of 2.3 million. This project is funded by the European Union under the 2014-2020 ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme and targets Business and SMEs development in Lebanon, Spain, Italy and Jordan. MED GAIMS heavily relies on local communities to conceptualize and implement games, through self-employment or startups, for both high (technological) and low-skilled (manual, organizational) individuals, new employment/business opportunities will be created for young people, women and local SMEs. The project will also influence the improvement of tourism reputation of concerned destinations offering enhanced experiences tested at the cultural level, fostering the exploration of more sites, longer stays and return visits.Today’s demanding and discerning tourists don’t want just to observe, they wish to experience places. This experiential tourism trend is relevant to off-season travelers who choose this time of the year not only to lower costs but also to avoid crowds and increase chances for authentic interactions with locals. That's why MED GAIMS project will develop games in physical and virtual format to create experiences for tourists, giving a necessary competitive edge to the attractiveness of less-known sites. The project seeks to increase tourism flows, covering all niches and segments like off-season travelers, creating jobs opportunities and start-ups for game entrepreneurs. Gamification is culturally sensitive – we do not all have the same sense of what is fun – so multicultural, cross-border evaluation of the initiatives will be performed by the project before opening them up to international tourists. Eventually, 40 games will be selected and implemented in 12 tourism sites from 8 destinations. In Lebanon, this project is implemented by the American University of Beirut where they organize technical seminar on “experiential tourism’’, workshops and outreach for the people to reverse engineering popular games and come up with games that would work well in the context of tourism.