Creatour: Creative Tourism Initiatives As a Tool to Promote Sustainable Rural Futures in Portugal.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Fiona BAKAS, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Nancy DUXBURY, CES, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Addressing the theme of how sustainable rural futures can be realized by taking into account 21st century realities, this paper presents a unique project on the future of rural economic development and social cohesion through the initiation of creative tourism products in rural areas and small cities.

The promotion of crafts to fuel rural socio-economic development is gaining momentum and simultaneously a change towards what is known as ‘transformative tourism’ (Pritchard et al. 2011) is observed, as tourists demand more immersive experiences. Creative tourism, which differs from cultural tourism in terms of being an active transfer of the past into the present via local-visitor interaction, rather than a passive observation of the past (Richards & Marques 2012), offers a novel rural development tool that this paper investigates through a co-creation approach.

The CREATOUR project investigates how rural organizations, tourists and rural communities interact and forge new alliances in the Portuguese context. This three-year project started in 2016 and has 20 pilot projects, which will grow to 40 by 2018. Pilot projects are entrepreneurs or organizations who propose innovative creative tourism products for rural areas and small cities, which will be actualized by the end of the project. Whilst at a preliminary stage, by the time of the conference, this project will have a large amount of data from tourists (through questionnaires handed out by pilot projects), IdeaLabs (meetings of pilots and researchers for knowledge exchange), e-portfolios, a documentary and researcher site visits, which we intend to analyze and disseminate.

Pritchard, A., Morgan, N. & Ateljevic, I., 2011. Hopeful tourism: A New Transformative Perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), pp.941–963.

Richards, G. & Marques, L., 2012. Exploring Creative Tourism: Editors Introduction. Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, 4(2), pp.1–11.