What do we mean by Creative Tourism?
The concept of Creative Tourism appeared in the 2000′s, and is defined as a:
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 examples of the endless list of experiences that the new generation of travelers is looking for!
This new way of discovering a foreign culture by experiencing it has been growing for the last decade. Nowadays, tourists no longer want to attend traditional sightseeing tours, they need to feel involved into the destination’s daily life and to co-create signature experiences with the locals.
This requires to manage the tourism sector 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, who are 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.
- Unseasonality of tourism, which allows a better distribution of the activities along the year.
- Geographical outsourcing: minor interest from creative tourists in the “tourist hotspots”.
- Self-confidence of the locals thanks to this new interest for their culture and traditions.
- Community empowerment and professionalization.
- Social cohesion through the co-creation of meaningful storytelling.
- Sustainability relying on authenticity and creativity as main 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”.
Among the great diversity of creative tourists… we could meet:
- A traveller who participates in a cooking class to meet locals or to share experiences with his peers.
- Choirs who travel with the purpose of giving concerts in each place they visit.
- Groups of dancers, sketchers or photography 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.