Loulé Criativo: a role model for creative tourism

Loulé Criativo is undoubtedly one of the most successful creative tourism programmes, both in terms of the quality of the tourist experiences it offers and the virtuous ecosystem created throughout the territory, making creative tourism a driver of sustainable development.

The municipality of Loulé, located a few minutes from the Algarve coast, has preserved its intangible heritage, the result of centuries of coexistence between different cultures. The creation of the Loulé Criativo programme has made it possible to transform these skills and traditions into authentic experiences of creative tourism, attractive to international and local visitors.

Loulé is even one of the few destinations to have maintained its activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the participation of national tourists in creative tourism activities. One of the keys is precisely its expertise in designing experiences that are not folklorisation or touristification of folklore, but rather the transmission of knowledge in a more creative and playful setting, conducive to exchange between generations and cultures.

Among a wide variety of activities, constantly renewed and adapted to the seasons and the festive calendar, the Loulé Criativo programme offers the possibility of modelling clay according to the potter’s instructions, of weaving cane or palm leaves into baskets or other utensils, of learning how to prepare a typical dish of the regional gastronomy, of recreating a platabanda, so characteristic of the traditional architecture of the region, or even of taking part in an artistic residence.

The success of Loulé Criativo has led the municipality to bet on the creative economy with the creation of a creative pole, including a residency and an incubator where international designers choose Loulé to co-create with local craftsmen and artists.

More info at: https://www.creativetourismnetwork.org/portugal/