Events & News

15 Years of Touriseum: Think workshop, research center and entertaining museum

In 2003, the Touriseum – the South Tyrol Museum of Tourism – was opened at Trauttmansdorff Castle in Meran. It is the first and only museum in Europe that is devoted exclusively and in depth to the topic of tourism.

Touriseum Meran

The Touriseum is the first and only museum in Europe that is devoted exclusively and in depth to the topic of "tourism." It presents both aspects: 250 years of tourism from the point of view of both tourists and locals alike. It shows how tourism came to Tyrol and how it changed the region and its inhabitants. Year for year, about 200,000 visitors come to the castle and explore its museum. The museum is situated right in the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle – Thus, the cost of admission to the gardens includes a visit to the museum. At the Touriseum, visitors can embark on an exciting journey through time. The museum shows that tourism is and was influenced by many different factors. A concourse consisting of twenty rooms with exciting exhibits allows guests to journey through 250 years of tourism in Tyrol. The exhibits represent a charming combination of casualness and depth, of entertainment and history.

In recent years the "South Tyrol game" – has become very popular, drawing big crowds and especially families. Numerous new scenes and interesting details were added in 2018. Not only the technical equipment used in the background was modernized now, after 15 years: Brightened up with selfie-stick, infinity pool, and alpine chalets, the wooden tourism pinball machine – Europe's largest – has an area of 20 square meters. It ironically reflects the latest developments in the field of South Tyrolean tourism. Further, until November 4, 2018, you can also view the curvaceous "Head for the hills!" exhibit at the Touriseum. This exhibit focuses on Alpine passes and their attraction and significance to tourists. On November 10 and 11, 2018, the Touriseum will be presenting the second edition of the "Vintage Market Meran."

Since the Touriseum was inaugurated in 2003, the behavior of tourists as well as the tourism sector itself and the attitudes of the inhabitants of the tourist areas have undergone a fundamental transformation. The Touriseum recently conducted a conference during which was discussed how the new issues and questions resulting from these changes should be dealt with. Patrick Gasser (the Touriseum's coordinator) and Evelyn Reso (research assistant) discussed current core topics and tasks at the museum: Topics ranged from current research projects to future innovative exhibition projects. The main speaker at the conference was the European ethnologist and professor at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies of the University of Zurich, Bernhard Tschofen. He addressed the exciting question: How does tourism come into the museum? And especially: How does it come back out? During the subsequent panel discussion – moderated by Harald Pechlaner, the president of the Touriseum's advisory board, Karin Dalla Torre, director of the South Tyrolean Provincial Museums, Heinrich Dorfer (hotel manager and district president of the HGV), Andrea Leonardi (of the University of Trento), and Bernhard Tschofen discussed with the other participants how the Touriseum can be further developed so as to remain a place of thoughtful reflection and discussion about this eminently important topic for South Tyrol in the future, as well.