The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has spearheaded 𝐎𝐂𝐓𝐀𝐈 – an AI-centric project funded by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) with the support of its research partners, Culture Hint and Culture Venture, and with the essential backing of Spazju Kreattiv.
The Superintendence is interested in developing and promoting scientifically-sound research in the sustainable use of historic sites, and in exploring ways to increase access and attendance to these often-challenging places. The scope of the project is to develop a transferable methodology combining the use of AI and audience development techniques in the cultural tourism sector using Malta’s national arts centre, Spazju Kreattiv, as the research subject. The project utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) to forecast visitors’ behaviour and attendance in a historic environment, creating a model that can be transferred and adapted to any other historic environment which is open to the public.
This project specifically sought to increase the daily footfall inside Spazju Kreattiv, which is housed at St James Cavalier in Valletta, a scheduled Grade 1 historic monument. Culture Venture designed and implemented surveys outside Spazju Kreattiv as part of the audience development efforts, whilst Culture Hint used its FlowHint monitoring devices to monitor people flow outside of Spazju Kreattiv, to make use of its forecasting algorithms to predict the flow in advance, and its optimising engine to implement shifts outside Spazju Kreattiv to convert non visitors into visitors.
Preliminary results, which will be published soon, indicate that the methodology developed during this project has led to a successful discernible increase in the visitation rates, proving the viability of the use of advanced technology in the valorisation of cultural heritage.