First impressions count

Interpretive hosting in Norwegian National Parks - getting your visitors into the heart of your heritage, Image: Norwegian Parks Association/ Hans Ola Østby)


The final touches are being made to the Module on Interpretive Hosting (MIH) as countries open up and tourism returns after Covid-19 restrictions.

IE’s Module on Interpretive Hosting (MIH) is a 16-hour training workshop tailored for tourism and hospitality providers who don’t necessarily know about heritage interpretation but want to offer more meaningful experiences to discover local heritage where authenticity, quality and values are important.

For many tourism businesses, food is a key ingredient of any memorable holiday experience but it’s food for thought that really makes all the difference when it comes to interpretive hosts. This is a more elusive, dynamic ingredient but it’s what makes the difference between a satisfying ‘tick the boxes’ visitor experience and a far more fulfilling one that will be remembered long after visitors return home. It comes unexpectedly and can be a revelation for visitors, such as an unstaged encounter with a local person.

The MIH builds on the purpose-related dimension to visitor experiences. It encourages tourism providers to consider their businesses, design new and improved immersive experiences in which the local community is a true partner and not a consumer product.

Time is short for business participants, so this two-day workshop combines practical interpretive methods and time for reactions and debate to grasp the potential of interpretation for their businesses and nurture collaborative ventures for new products and untapped potential.

As interpreters, we all know that when we engage with people, if it’s not relevant to their lives, it’s a waste of time. This is why the MIH enables participants to use interpretation as a valuable tool for tourism businesses, destination management companies, clusters, branded associations and networks to connect more deeply with their customers, add value while optimising the sustainable and meaningful promotion of local natural and cultural assets.

Visit the training section on the brand-new IE website for further information, or contact IE’s Training Coordinator, Valya Stergioti: [email protected].

If you would like to take part in this module, you can find our upcoming training events here.

Alternatively, if you would like to organise an MIH for your organisation, please contact one of our certified interpretive trainers, or write to [email protected].

Sandy Colvine is Chair of Interpret Europe’s Supervisory Committee and a member of IE’s Training Team. He lives near Montelimar in France where he runs Mistral Translation and Consultancy. Sandy can be contacted at: [email protected]

To cite this article: Colvine, Sandy (2021) ‘First impressions count’ in Interpret Europe Newsletter 2-2021, 15.

Available online: https://interpret-europe.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Newsletter-Summer-2021.pdf

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