October 2023: Grassroots Tourism Hackathon in Matera, Italy

3rd, 4th and 5th October: 3 days of learning, exchange and inspiration.

The Grassroots Eco-Health Tourism partnership has gathered young tourism entrepreneurs, project managers and mentors in Matera for a hackathon, a format borrowed from the IT sector and applied to the tourism sector by keeping the must-have ingredients:

  • challenge-based approach
  • fast-paced environment
  • fair competition
  • final rewards

Three speakers led the presentations:

  • Vania Cauzillo, an energetic stage director and Jill-of-all-trades who highlighted the possible synergies between tourism and cultural and creative enterprises;
  • Elvira De Giacomo, a tourism expert who shared some numbers behind Matera-Basilicata2019 (the foundation for Matera’s year as a Capital of Culture);
  • Sara Simeone, a sustainable tourism expert, part of the team at Materahub who curated the whole hackathon.

Following a draft of the Experience Design Guide, available soon on Grassroots’ screens, participants came up with 6 ideas on #ExperienceTourism alternatives to the big flows, and benefitted from some mentoring. The ideas are:

The Splash of Colours, which aims to bring the true story of the Lövgärdets neighbourhood in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the leadership of Linn from Tikitut Community-based tourism (www.tikitut.se), with the support of Daphnée and Véronica.

Off the Map, by Margaux, to decentralise mass tourism between Nice and Cannes, France, with support from Melissa, Arci and Clotilde.

MakeYourTrip, an app that uses open data to suggest tailor-made itineraries in Matera, designed by Alina, with support from Bláithín (Your Wellbeing Warrior), Dona and Valérie.

Fire souls by Alaa Barbou (with Olywyn, Tala and Adrianna), a new experience for L’Alternative Urbaine, for which he works for.

Keep it ‘Wheel’, a cycling tourism experience in County Sligo, Ireland, devised by Grace-Marie, Clémence, Emma, Linda.

Living histories, a model tourist experience in the historic districts of #Matera, devised by Raffaele, with the support of Bérénice, Caitríona and Paula.

In addition, one morning was dedicated to a ‘test’ version of a treasure hunt in the neighbourhood of Matera called Serra Venerdì, gathering feedback to propose it again in the future, in an improved version. For the occasion, 6 Finnish guests from OSAO joined Grassroots on a field visit to Matera.

Not only the local TV (TRM) came to the hackathon (see here from minute 59); there were also networking occasions with locals and with participants to Off-the-Beaten-Track, for women changemakers.

Participants have 6 months to incubate these ideas, getting in touch with valuable stakeholders for the real development of above-mentioned tourism experiences, before taking them to Brussels to accelerate them, and potentially fund them through other funds and projects.

Stay tuned!