The Concept


What do we mean by Creative Tourism?

The Creative Tourism is considered
a new generation of tourism by involving
the tourists themselves and the locals
in the creation of the tourist products (co-creation).

The Creative Tourism concept appeared in the 2000′s, and defined as a:

“Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop
their creative potential through active participation in courses
and learning experiences, which are characteristic
of the holiday destination where they are taken.”

Author's imageCrispin Raymond and Greg Richards, 2000

Painting in Tuscany, being a “silletero” for a day in Medellín, participating in a craft workshop in Loulé (South Portugal) or in the charming villages of the Empordanet (Catalonia), taking part in a photographic route in the French Provence or in Urla (Turkey), preparing your chocolate in Quito, carving sculpture on ice in Canada, learning traditional dances in Brazil, participating in a cooking classes in Thailand, mixing like a DJ in Ibiza or even performing your own concert in Barcelona…

… are just some of the unless list of experiences the new generation of travelers are looking for!

This new way of discovering a foreign culture by experiencing it, has been growing for the last decade. Nowadays, the tourists no longer conform themselves in attending a traditional sightseeing tours, they need to feel involved into the destination’s daily life and to co-create their own experiences with the locals.

This requires to manage the tourism in a more creative way, which implies to overcome these new challenges by converting them into new opportunities and creating a value chain for the territories.

– The Creative Tourism’s assets:

Among the many virtues of the creative tourism, we can mention the following ones:

  • Adequacy to the new demand of the travelers eager to live unique experiences.
  • Diversification of the offers without any investment, just by optimizing existing intangible heritage.
  • Positive effects on the profitability of the cultural infrastructures thanks to this new demand.
  • Quality tourism endowed with a high added value and purchasing power.
  • Unseasoned tourism which allows a better distribution of the activity along the year.
  • Geographical outsourcing: minor interest of the creative tourists for the “tourist hotspots”.
  • Self-confidence of the locals thanks to this new interest for their culture and traditions.
  • Local communities’ empowerment and professionalization.
  • Social cohesion through the co-creation of meaningful storytelling.
  • Sustainability relying on authenticity and creativity as mean ressource.
  • Intangible heritage recovery.
  • Governance tool.

Creative tourism is a projection of a new tourism in which natural, cultural and
personal ressources are not manipulated and exploited but valued and enriched.

Jelincic and Zuvela, 2012

– Who are the creative tourists?

It is difficult to draw a portrait of those new tourists as they want to be “unique”.

  • They can be singles, couple, family or a group of travelers.
  • They can plan their trip themselves or contract professional services.
  • The nature of their creative activities can be educational (courses, workshops), can refer to the creation (art residency, co-creation with local artists) or the representation (performing concert, acting, exhibiting).

Among the great diversity of creative tourists… we could meet:

  • A traveler who participates in a cooking class to meet locals or to share experiences with his peers.
  • Choirs who travel with the purpose of offering concerts in each place they visit.
  • Group of dancers, sketchers or photograph lovers, whose travel purpose is to practice their hobby.
  • Families that take part in a mosaic class during their stay, to experience the local traditions.

As well as a long etc.


Creative Tourists in broad brush strokes

  • They share the same values based on ethical principles, authenticity, intangibles, know-how, permanent
    training, experiences and DIY trends.
  • They want to experience the local culture by participating actively in artistic and creative activities
  • They want to live experiences whereby they can feel themselves “like a local”.
  • They spend a substantial part of the budget for the fulfilment of these experiences.
  • They combine different types of tourism, during the same trip.
  • They are exclusive regarding the way they travel: once experienced the creative tourism, they no longer want to travel in a conventional way.