Summer School- IDEAL Tourism

Information and communication technologies for promotion and development of sustainable tourism around cultural and natural destinations.
The case of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

August 25-September 5, 2014
Università della Svizzera italiana
USI Lugano – Switzerland

Summer school IDEAL-Tourism seeks to contribute to capacity building and knowledge advancement in the interdisciplinary research field, cross fertilizing tourism and technology studies, and in particular around the use of ICTs for the promotion and development of sustainable tourism at cultural and natural destinations.


The summer school blended online activities as well as a two-weeks residential seminar.
Online activities started two months before the residential seminar, and were comprised of preparatory readings and discussion activities.
The residential seminar featured lectures by leading international scholars, as well as applied skills seminars on research methods lead by expert post-doc researchers. In addition participants developed a group-work projects.

IDEAL summer school attracted 24 participants from 9 different countries (Switzerland, Italy, Greece, China, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Canada and UK).

Content Area Professor Related seminar topic Seminar leader
eTourism Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni Lugano, Switzerland
(see profile)
Reputation in online media and quantitative approaches Dr. Elena Marchiori
Semiotics and intercultural communication in tourism Prof. Marcel Danesi
Toronto, Canada
(see profile)
Argumentation in user-generated content & social media Dr. Silvia De Ascaniis
ICT in developing contexts Prof. John Traxler Wolverhampton, UK
(see profile)
Photo-elicitation and social meaning in developing   contexts Dr. Sara Vannini
Sustainable tourism development Dr. Font Xavier and Laura Higa Eda, Leeds, UK
(see profile)
Digital storytelling and local players’ involvement in tourism communication Dr. Amalia Sabiescu

You can download the promotional brochure here

Some of the comments from the participants of the IDEAL Tourism Summer School 2014

“Excellent organization of the summer school, very kind staff and welcoming environment. I would repeat it. Thank you!”

“I would say that the summer school was very interesting and I learnt a lot from it that I am going to share with people back in Africa and enhance efforts to ensure sustainable tourism development in the communities.”

“The multidisciplianry approach to this summer school should be maintained. I loved it so much, I benefitted a lot from it. I thank the organisers from deep within my heart and hope we continue to collaborate more closely.”

See further comments on our FaceBook group.


IDEAL Tourism Summer School was sponsored by the Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE); it has been also supported by the City of Lugano, Area Tourism and Events, Fondazione del Monte San Giorgio, and the Castles of Bellinzona.

More information about the next UNESCO Chair Summer School coming soon.

If you are interested in participating or hosting the next summer school we would be glad to hear from you at