Improving the visitor experience at Valencia Cathedral

Improving the visitor experience at Valencia Cathedral
Country: Spain
City: Valencia
Institution Type: Sacred/Solemn
Exhibition Type: Permanent
Content Type: Audio
Players: XP-2, GT3, XP-3
Language: Japanese, Spanish, Valencian, Russian, French, Italian, German, English

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Client profile
Built upon the site of a Roman temple, Valencia Cathedral incorporates a number of architectural styles including Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque. The Roman Catholic cathedral also houses artistic treasures and relics—including the Holy Chalice and two Goya paintings.
Challenge - improving visitor experience
Valencia Cathedral is an active place of worship and a popular cultural attraction. Visitors enjoy the best experience at the Cathedral by taking an audio tour during the set opening hours. This was not always the case. In the past, there had not been any set opening hours and very little explanatory information provided to visitors. This created some challenges:
  • the Cathedral was not able to track visitor numbers to fully understand support requirements
  • Visitors lacked information about the art, architecture, and history of the Cathedral
  • Congregations were at risk of being disturbed during services
The Cathedral needed a new approach to effectively manage visitor flow, offer visitors the best possible experience, and maintain silence and order in the Cathedral.
Solution - a strategic approach to supporting visitors
Antenna International worked closely with the Cathedral to understand their existing visitor management approach and develop a vision of how that could look in the future. The Cathedral considered the visitor experience from start to finish - booking, ticketing, admissions, engagement and movement throughout the grounds. They created a strategy, and with Antenna's support, implemented set opening hours and an admission fee in place.
Antenna provided staff on site. A fully dedicated team lead by the Site Manager has built ongoing relationships with travel agents, tour, and cruise ship operators and tourist associations, and manages individual and group booking. This keeps the process running smoothly.
A one-hour audio tour was created to help visitors understand the art, architecture, and history of the Cathedral, and guide them through the grounds. Narrative and explanation are combined to provide background context and communicate the Cathedrals message in a way that resonates with people of different cultures and faiths, without alienating anyone.
Visitors enjoy the tour during the Cathedral’s regular cultural visiting opening hours. The tour is distributed to on a hand-held on-site device. It is available in Valencian, Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian.
Result - satisfied visitors and a well-managed environment
The tour and new visitor management approach launched in July 2005. In 2016, the tour was extended to include the new museum on the Cathedral's grounds. 
The Cathedral receives a large number of visitors, with up to 25 tour groups daily at peak periods. The Cathedral is now able to both support visitors and retain order and stillness within the grounds. Visitor feedback has been very positive. Comments include:
  • "I would also strongly urge one to take the audio guides, as there is a wealth of information which one would otherwise miss out on." Visitor, Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom
  • "...the tour which came with an audio guide which was excellent and very informative..." Visitor, Paisley, United Kingdom
  • "You also get an audio guide which was very informative and not overly long." Visitor, Madrid, Spain
The key to success has been a close collaboration between Antenna and the Cathedral. Antenna's deep experience working with sacred and solemn venues allows them to engage in an effective manner, build trusted relationships with key members of Cathedral staff and deliver appropriate services.
The Cathedral has realized their strategic vision and will continue to work with Antenna for the foreseeable future.

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We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

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