Duarte, B., Teixeira, C. M., Martins, I., Engelen, A. H., Costa, R. L., Adams, J. B., Bebianno, M. J., Melo, R. A., & Fonseca, V. F. (2022). Editorial: Emerging Topics in Coastal and Transitional Ecosystems: Science, Literacy, and Innovation.

The digitalization of cultural routes and virtual storytelling has emerged as a way of showcasing to individuals the heritage of different cultural universes. Regarding this fractional environment, and as a by-product of the international EU funded iHERITAGE project, (B_A.2.1_0056), the goal is to create, through an innovation-driven growth process and technological transfer, brand strategies for the affirmation and better knowledge of intangible realities in the Mediterranean region. The Sicilian Tourism Department in Italy is the project’s lead beneficiary, with representative partners throughout six Mediterranean countries (Italy, Egypt, Spain, Jordan, Lebanon, Portugal). The case study in Portugal is being developed in Tavira, through the intangible cultural heritage of the Mediterranean diet. The research based on the cultural experience, the history of the landscape and the sense of identity and continuity of knowledge is reassigned into a digital platform—the creation of apps and, within this, the design of a virtual route that navigates key geographical places. These apps will later revolve around one of the cultural elements of the Mediterranean, namely, the olive oil activity, with a detailed presentation of the manufacturing process, as well as its didactic interpretation and dissemination about the protection and conservation of Mediterranean research. The methodological approach is developed through the analysis and interpretation of a detailed list of references, fieldwork in a plurality of sites, contextual inquiries and interviews. As a powerful tool for internet marketing and research, these apps will reinforce identity, hospitality and tourism enterprises connected through the virtual itinerary, allowing a closer interaction between tourists and locals, endorsing the rise of technological development, as well as to drastically reduce environmental and ecological risks.

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