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Abstract

This work aims to illustrate the relationship between cultural tourism and local heritage education by presenting the results of the pilot project "PatriMOIne local - Classes en action", which involved around one hundred and fifty primary school students from two Alpine municipalities in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland. The project was conceived and implemented by the Institute of Tourism of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO), in close collaboration with the School of Pedagogy, the municipalities and the various endogenous territorial resources. This highly formative experience lasted eighteen months and allowed students to immerse themselves in the history and study of the local cultural heritage, in order to acquire new knowledge and skills. During "Heritage Days" students played the role of ambassadors in an authentic and innovative way, explaining to families, communities, and visitors the cultural beauties of their territories, with the support of drawings, videos, and multimedia presentations. By participating in the project, students dedicated their time to an experience of active citizenship, strengthening their sense of belonging to the territory.

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