Saturday, January 4, 2014

Catania capital of online museums: PhotoSpotLand acquires Museumland

Founded in Catania in 1999 (one of the first Italian startups) Museumland, the worldwide portal for museums and cultural destinations, has been acquired by PhotoSpotLand, a Catania, Italy-based startup headed by the entrepreneur and photographer Mario Bucolo.

PhotoSpotLand will use the Museumland portal as a "product", with its 20 thousand museums in 142 countries, which will allow the company approaching the target of cultural tourism, creating synergies between culture, photography and travel lovers, and also rendering possible services of tickets sale for museums, archaeological sites and exhibitions, tour bookings, merchandising and all services (transportation, package tours, hotels) that are related to cultural tourism.

Museumland is turning back "de facto" to its origins, or better said to its founder, since it was founded by Mario Bucolo (who then sold it in 2007) on the basis of his more than twenty years activity (since 1991 onwards) in marketing and communications of museums (it is was also nominated for the presidency of ICOM Italy) which was among the first to advise museums (in dozens of international conferences) in how and why to have a presence on social media and start blogging. But the connection with Museumland regards also the director of content and social media of PhotoSpotLand, Mrs. Cinzia Costanzo, who at the time headed the portal of the museums.

To take care of the portal will now be the PhotoSpotLand team (Mirko Santangelo for design and Luca Marturana for development) that, within the first quarter of 2014, will update the website, the management software, and especially the database (not updated since 2007) so as to integrate it in a single platform for web and mobile to link people with common passions such as tourism, photography and culture, even in real life.

The integration of Museumland will allow the operation of PhotoSpotLand also on the whole system of the liked activities to the "cultural tourism": hotels, shops, restaurants, travel networks and agencies, transportation companies, which in this way will be able to integrate and to propose their clients and the attractions of traditional photographic interest (including events) and those of purely cultural interest. 

"The company will finally be able to implement what had been planned since 1999 but that had perhaps anticipated the market conditions well in advance. By integrating Museumland in PhotoSpotLand the company will be able to convey, and let tourists live the 'values ​​of beauty' both in visual and cultural terms, involving them and even letting them to become actors, enabling them to contribute directly through the sharing of contents created by themselves. But above all, contents will be pulled out of the labyrinth of the virtual, facilitating and increasing the knowledge of the territory and of real knowledge among people. 'Social travel' then finally understood and returned to the etymology of the word "social", stated Bocolo, founder and director of PhotoSpotLand.

Bucolo states also that " The field of museums and culture has only recently been opened to the digital world: at the beginning of 2008, only forty museums in the world had a blog and only a few dozen were on Facebook or, earlier, on MySpace. The industry is very closed, especially because those who work knows to act in an area that is tempting too many persons, in terms commercial exploitation, carried out behind the same cultural organizations." adding that "The cultural system, at the international level, is made up of networking and trust, we can not improvise on this market, and you also need to understand how to make synergy: what for others it may be a startup dedicated to the world of culture, for PhotoSpotLand only becomes a feature within a company and serious investors do not invest in features but in company ". The entrepreneurial adventure goes on, with a new look, enlarged and increasingly interactive.

PhotoSpotLand, based in Catania and New York, is a community whose mission is to link, even in real life, people with the same passions as travel, photography and culture. It does not share pictures but the most beautiful places where, how, when and with whom to go to take the best pictures.

Museumland, born in 1999, has been updated until 2007 reaching over 20 thousand sites on museums and cultural destinations in 142 countries. It was the first thematic portal in the museum sector and has helped thousands of small and medium-sized museums (such as the African museums) to have visibility on the web. Museumland is now an established brand , also linked by the ministries of culture of different nations worldwide.