The third International Conference of the CREATOUR Project is devoted to Creative Tourism Dynamics, with a particular focus on communicating, engaging, and connecting travellers with local communities and place through creative tourism. The CREATOUR approach to Creative Tourism highlights four elements: active participation, the learning and creation process, creative self-expression, and a link to the local community and sense of place. Creative Tourism creates a privileged relationship between tourists and residents, which derives from the immersion of both in local culture through the active participation in creative learning experiences. In this context, it is important to better understand how to identify and reach travellers, how to involve communities in the design and production of creative experiences, and to learn from initiatives being developed internationally.
What is creative tourism?
The vision of creative tourism guiding CREATOUR’s pilot activities is centred on active creative activity encouraging personal self-expression and interaction between visitors and local residents, inspired by local endogenous resources (place and people), and designed and implemented by local residents. A working definition of creative tourism has been established as sustainable small-scale tourism that provides a genuine visitor experience by combining an immersion in local culture with a learning and creative process. As such, four dimensions are key: active participation, creative self-expression, learning, and community engagement. The creative tourism approach allows the destination communities and regions to benefit from significant advantages, and enables artistic and other creative activities to play a driving role in broader socio-economic development.
Who is organizing?
The conference is organized within the project CREATOUR: Creative Tourism Destination Development in Small Cities and Rural Areas (Desenvolver Destinos de Turismo Criativo em Cidades de Pequena Dimensão e em Áreas Rurais). The overall objective of CREATOUR is to develop and pilot an integrated approach and research agenda for creative tourism in small cities and rural areas in Portugal, developing strong links within and amongst regions. CREATOUR is a national three-year project (2016-2019) funded under the Joint Activities Programme of PORTUGAL 2020, by COMPETE2020, POR Lisboa, POR Algarve and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.
Building on a twofold approach, CREATOUR intertwines Theory and Experimentation, combining multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological frameworks, cultural mapping, and benchmarking exercises with the development of an array of Pilots, or creative tourism case studies. The project builds on three interlinking dimensions of recent cultural and creative industries development in Portugal: (1) the development of artistic and creative industry hubs (“arts centres” or “creative factories”) in repurposed former industrial buildings or in restored heritage sites in many small cities and rural areas; (2) growing attention to the (re)vitalization and valorization of tangible and intangible cultural traditions throughout the country; and (3) the growth and development – and heightened visibility – of culture- and design-related creative products in Portugal.
CREATOUR promotes the potential for the development of human-scaled, interactive, creative tourism featuring creativity- and culture-based experiential tourism experiences. Focusing on smaller cities and rural areas in which active cultural organizations and creative enterprises currently operate, the project aims to foster new or enhanced tourism offers building from local strengths, knowledge, skills, and traditions. The project aims to develop a sustainable creative tourism that is socially, culturally, environmentally, and economically rooted in specific places and is sensitive to these dimensions. It aims to give added value to cultural and creative traditions, skills, and knowledge as well as to emerging creative practices and pathways.
The local conference organizer is CIEO (Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics / Centro de Investigação sobre o Espaço e as Organizações), University of the Algarve.