Creative Tourism as an Inductor of Co-Creation Experiences: The Creatour Project in the Algarve

Creative Tourism as an Inductor of Co-Creation Experiences: The Creatour Project in the Algarve

Sónia Moreira Cabeça (Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being (CinTurs), University of Algarve, Portugal), Alexandra R. Gonçalves (School of Management, Hospitality and Tourism (ESGHT) and Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being (CinTurs), University of Algarve, Portugal), João Filipe Marques (Faculty of Economics and Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being (CinTurs), University of Algarve, Portugal) and Mirian Tavares (Faculty of Human and Social Sciences and Research Centre in Arts and Communication (CIAC), University of Algarve, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3156-3.ch013
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Abstract

Creative tourism is characterized by the opportunity that gives visitors to develop their creativity through active participation in learning experiences that are characteristic of their destination. That implies a relationship between visitors and residents in which the exchange of knowledge is central. Being an interactive process, the learning and doing of a creative tourism activity is an exercise of self-affirmation that expresses the creative potential of each participant. That is to say, creative tourism experiences are co-created by tourists and their hosts. Tourists and residents are co-designers in creative tourism, as the CREATOUR experiences prove. In this chapter, the authors intend to present the project activities in the Algarve. After contextualizing co-creation within the creative processes, their research is centred on the creative experiences and discusses the opportunities resulting from co-created activities. They also look at the survey applied to the participants in the experiences to better understand their feelings towards co-creation and creative processes.
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Tourism demands new metaphors based on being, doing touching and seeing, rather than just “seeing”. (Perkin and Thorns, 2001, p. 189)

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Introduction: Creative Tourism

The search for the humanization of relationships and the creation of affective bonds is a phenomenon that can be observed in several areas of our daily life. This statement seems rather accurate when addressed to a certain type of tourists, willing “to break themselves entirely from their home lives and engage sincerely with a different way of living” (Amadeus Traveller Trend Observatory [ATTO], 2015, p. 4) when travelling. In fact, the demand for unique experiences, emotions, cultural information and active participation when travelling is a major trend in tourism worldwide (Pine & Gilmore, 1999; ATTO, 2015; Canalis, 2016; European Travel Commission [ECT], 2017; Turismo de Portugal, 2017). Destinations are valued by their story, their symbolism, the emotions they raise, and what they make the tourist feel. Tourists seek to learn more about the culture of their destination and to have a sense of the places visited. They can also cognitive, affective, and socially benefit from their tourism experiences, developing emotional links with the places visited and with the people that inhabit it (Gu & Ryan, 2008; Ilincic, 2014).

The pattern of tourism consumption described above meets the creative tourism definition: “[to] travel directed toward an engaged and authentic experience, with participative learning in the arts, heritage, or special character of a place, and it provides a connection with those who reside in this place and create this living culture’ (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO], 2006, p. 3). Active participation, creative self-expression, learning, and community engagement (Cabeça, Gonçalves, Marques & Tavares, 2019b) are key aspects of a creative tourism experience, which allow destinations to use cultural and social assets and its human capital as driving forces. This sustainable small-scale tourism – that presupposes the use of local resources – provides an immersion into local culture and interaction, and encourages self-expression and an intensive social interaction between visitors and local residents.

The strong interaction between residents and tourists in creative tourism is mainly driven by the learning process that this type of tourism presupposes. Going beyond a mere learning “lesson”, in creative tourism the tourists learn and do; are taught and produce. In this process, the creativity and the opportunity for self-expression must be guaranteed. The residents, as the practitioners and rulers of their traditional know-how (Cabeça, 2016) have also an active role, providing and co-creating the experiences with visitors.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Creative Tourism: A type of tourism that develops the tourists’ creativity through their active participation in experiences which are characteristic of their destination.

Algarve: Region in South Portugal, well known as a “sun and sea” destination. It is one of the most touristic regions of the country and tourism is its main economic driver.

CREATOUR Project: Portuguese research project that aims to develop creative tourism destinations in small towns and rural areas of Portugal.

CREATOUR Pilots: Cultural and creative organizations that offer creative tourism activities and are partners of the CREATOUR Project.

Place-Based Tourism: The use of the destinations’ cultural, social and human capital in the tourism offers. Provides an immersion into local culture and intense interaction between tourists and local residents. Strongly linked with the territory.

Co-Creation in Tourism: interaction process between residents and tourists in which both have active roles in the tourism experiences.

Incubation Project: A project that focus in collaborative processes, in which the implementation of activities by the research partners is a key exercise.

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