About the Creative Tourism

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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.”

Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards, 2000

Blowing glass in Tuscany, performing a concert in Barcelona, making your own BBQ in Porto Alegre (Brazil) or even producing chill out music in Ibiza, …   are some of the many experiences the creative tourists are eager to live when they travel

This new way of discovering a foreign culture by experiencing it, has been growing increasingly 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. They don’t want to be considered as “tourists”.

– The Creative Tourism’s assets:

The growing demand for Creative Tourism arouses the interest of the destination managers and local governments, seduced by the opportunity to attract a high value tourism by simply fostering their intangible heritage (workshops) and optimizing the use of existing infrastructures (venues rental).

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

  • Diversification of the tourist offers without any investment, just by optimizing existing tangible and intangible heritage.
  • Positive effects upon the profitability of the cultural infrastructures thanks to this new demand.
  • Quality tourism endowed with a high added value and purchasing power.
  • Authenticity and sustainability as it uses the creativity as mean resource.
  • Positive effect on the self-confidence of the local people thanks to this new interest for their culture and tradition.
  • Its deseasonalizing character allows a better distribution of the tourist activity along the year.
  • The geographical outsourcing. The minor interest of creative tourists in traditional “tourist attractions” contributes to a better spatial distribution within the destination.
  • Intangible heritage recovery.

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?

Evolution of the creative tourist’s profile:

If we consider the reasons that lead the visitor to choose this type of creative journey, we can observe a recent development. Until five years ago the tourist was a creative person who practiced an artistic activity in the country of residence and wanted to improve it during the holidays (painting courses, dance, guitar, etc.), now there is a new trend, so tourists generally add to their traditional program of visits more creative and participatory activities, with the aim of living cultural and human experiences.

It is difficult to paint a standard portrait of those new tourists who, by definition, want to be “unique”!
– They can be solo, 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), or can even 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 single traveler who participates in a cooking class, in order to meet the locals or to share experiences with other foodies.
• An amateur choir or orchestra who travel with the purpose of offering concerts in each place they visit.
• A group of dancers, sketchers or photograph lovers, whose travel purpose is to practice their hobby.
• The families that take part in a mosaic class during their stay, in order to feel themselves “less tourists”.

General outlines of creative tourists:

They represent the new generation of tourists.

Comparing with “conventional tourists” they are:

• More skilled – in TICs, languages, humanities, among others.
• Polifacetic: they belong to a wide array of social communities.
• Prosumer: they produce valuable contents and experiences themselves.
• They look for more interactivity.

About their expectations:

• They want to experience the local culture by participating in artistic and creative activities.
• They want to live experiences where they can feel themselves as a local.
• They do not look for the “monumentality” or the “spectacularity”…
• They are prosumers and share their experiences on social medias.
• They are exclusive regarding the way they travel: once experienced the creative tourism, they no longer want to come back to a conventional circuit.
• They spend a substantial part of the budget for the fulfilment of these activities/experiences.
• They use to combine many types of tourism, during the same journey: creative, culinary, eco-tourism, slow tourism.