Local culture awaits you in Sigüenza. Image: Antonio Negredo

When the pandemic comes to an end, there will be a need for new ideas in tourism. What role can heritage interpretation play in this?

‘Recreating tourism through heritage interpretation’ is the title of our next Interpret Europe Conference (#iecon21) that is due to take place 1 – 4 October 2021 in Sigüenza, Spain. Only in May will we be able to decide whether we can follow this plan, or whether this conference needs to be turned into another web conference. In any case, it is time to call for your papers.

Experiencing heritage should bring an added value to people’s lives. Encouraging more meaningful experiences can lead to more mindfulness among visitors as well as among local people. Can interpretation support communities around heritage sites to re-launch tourism in a more sustainable way?

In many countries and regions, tourism contributes to the development of heritage communities. Over the last year, the tourism ecosystem has been greatly impacted by the global pandemic, which has meant a forced shift – into a more resilient, sustainable and interconnected direction?

There is a need to rethink tourism’s success, both at the destination and visitor level, by encouraging heritage interpretation. Closer cooperation between tourism and heritage interpretation could lead to new approaches from which especially smaller communities might benefit.

Our 2021 conference aims to share and exchange the theory and practice of interpretive approaches to the development of tourism and to rethink the role heritage interpretation plays in tourism and in community development at tourist destinations.


When you prepare your proposal, please consider questions such as:

  • Why is heritage interpretation a suitable tool to recreate tourism after the crisis?
  • Can heritage interpretation empower communities and make them more resilient?
  • Can heritage interpretation also lead to more sustainable tourism?
  • How can heritage interpretation help to foster human values as defined by UNESCO?
  • How can heritage interpretation make tourists and local people more mindful towards our common future?

Apart from dealing with these questions, we also welcome presentations and workshops that focus on the theory and practice of heritage interpretation as a discipline. Besides theoretical essays, descriptions of case studies of outstanding sites, or remarkable practices may also fulfil the requirements. 

Interpret Europe conferences attract up to 200 attendees from as many as 40 countries. Besides four keynote addresses in the plenary, 60-80 workshops and presentations are run over four days in parallel, in different strands. The call refers to these parallel sessions.

Presentations can be 25 or 55 minutes long, including ten minutes for exchanges of views. We generally recommend keeping presentations as short and as inspiring as possible. Workshops can be 55 or 85 minutes long and need to be differentiated by ensuring the active involvement of the participants.

A dedicated Review Team will consider all paper abstracts and decide whether they are a sufficient basis for a workshop or presentation.

Please submit an abstract of your presentation or interactive workshop by 1 July 2021 using the template on www.interpreteuropeconference.net/call-for-papers. You will find all information about requirements for this abstract there.

Conference proceedings will be published on the IE website from the day that the conference begins. They will have their own ISBN and include all full papers received by 3 September 2021.

Delivering a full paper is not mandatory for giving a presentation or workshop. Either can also be based on the paper abstract. Paper abstracts are published as part of the proceedings.

Our IE Conference, ‘Recreating tourism through heritage interpretation’, will be organised by our institutional member, Travindy Spain.

If you have any questions, please contact the Conference Manager, Ángela Rodríguez from Travindy: management@interpreteuropeconference.net.

Nuria Mohedano is IE’s Events Coordinator. She can be contacted at: nuria.mohedano@interpret-europe.net.

To cite this article: Mohedano, Nuria (2021) ‘Recreating tourism through heritage interpretation: Call for papers’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2021, 35-36.

Available online: https://interpret-europe.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Newsletter-Spring-2021.pdf