Percurso das Memórias or Route of Memories is a community development association whose mission is to contribute to the economic and socio-cultural development of local communities. It does so through community tourism, aiming at preserving and disseminating their social-cultural identity.
Together with local community members, the Route of Memories designs Community Tours and sells them to tourists. These tours are operated and conducted by local people who live in the visited territories, assisted by interpreter-guides from the Route of Memories, and are composed of traditional activities, set up by the communities themselves. They reveal important aspects of the communities’ socio-cultural identity, such as traditions, memories, stories, typical food, music and dancing, local festivals, and other arts and crafts. The revenues generated with these sales are distributed between the community members involved and the association, to ensure the sustainability of the project. Currently, the project is active in six parishes of Oporto’s historic center (Sé, Miragaia, Vitória, S. Nicolau, Santo ildefonso e Cedofeita) and in the upcoming years the goal is to extend the project to other historical centers and territories of Portugal.
1. Define which should be the target group(s) for the organization’s tours and design a strategy to reach them.
- At the moment they define their target group as community tourists: national, but mostly international tourists seeking traditional and historical products of the local community and looking for alternative, authentic and genuine experiences that allow for a direct contact with the locals.
- To reach them, the Route of Memories believes that they should have a strong presence in the international networks of community-based tourism, social tourism, responsible and solidary tourism. How can they reach these networks?
2. Develop the Marketing and Communications strategy and respective plan for selling Community Tours.
- The traditional tourism market in Oporto is currently controlled by travel agencies and thus, the founders want to explore other channels in order to increase their sales, including online ones.
- How can they sell their tours directly to tourists or to the entities/organizations/specialized agencies of the countries of origin of the tourists without needing or depending on local intermediaries?
- How can their target group know that they exist even before they come to Oporto?
3. Define the concept for an optimized web presence (Website, Facebook and any other) in order to increase the number of guided tours sold.