Culture, Sustainability, and Place:
Innovative Approaches for Tourism Development

11 to 13 October 2017
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

Key Activities

Three interlinking dimensions are core to the CREATOUR’s incubator/demonstration dimension: IdeaLabs, Pilot Initiatives, and Strengthening Network/Cluster Formation. These dimensions are informed and guided by multidisciplinary Research activities, knowledge-advancing Annual Conferences, and the development of a range of Publications and other outputs.

IdeaLabs focus on providing support for content development and linking creativity to place. They provide regular points of contact to guide development of pilot initiatives, support other project actions (cultural mapping; post‐pilot reflections and evaluations; and post‐project sustainability discussions), and foster intra‐ and interregional organizational connections among cultural/creative organizations and with the tourism sector.

Each year, two regional IdeaLabs will take place in each project region. Two national IdeaLabs take place with 2017 and 2018 Conferences.

Participatory cultural mapping workshops will be held in the initial IdeaLabs to examine existing mapped cultural data and fill in gaps/add local area resources and inspirations. Results are used in later IdeaLabs to “connect creativity to place” and inform the development of pilot initiatives.

Pilot Initiatives
Partner cultural organizations will develop and implement an array of Pilot Initiatives (i.e., creative tourism offers). Pilot creative tourism offers are implemented in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Evaluations of the Pilot Initiatives, informed by knowledge base developed in research activities, the IdeaLabs, and through data streams developed in the project, provide regular analysis of the processes, outcomes, issues and impacts of the pilot initiatives. The research gathers data through data‐forms filled by organizations, visitor‐participant questionnaires, site visits (and participant‐observer field notes), ePortfolio contents, interviews, focus groups, and discussions at IdeaLabs and Conferences. Regular analysis and synthesis of data for formative evaluations will inform refinements of the pilot initiatives, later IdeaLabs, conferences, practitioner booklets and policy recommendations to address needs and gaps.

Projetos selecionados na 1.a Chamada de Projetos Culturais/Criativos no âmbito do projeto CREATOUR [março de 2017]
Selected Projects from the 1st Call for Cultural/Creative Projects within the CREATOUR Project [March 2017]

Strengthening Network and Cluster Formation
This dimension focuses on the development of post‐project sustainability options and strategies. This work focuses attention to the broader relations among the organizations presenting creative tourism experiences, models and strategies for cross‐sector alliances with tourism and other community actors, and roles for local authorities and regional agencies. It is informed by, and developed through, interactions and discussions in IdeaLabs, cross-sectoral focus groups and meetings, consultations with Advisory Council, and international best practices.

CREATOUR develops a system for monitoring and creating a baseline of knowledge to track macro‐changes during the project and place project activities and findings in wider contexts. It includes 5 dimensions:

  1. International scan and analysis of best practices and issues in creative tourism projects and networks
  2. Cultural mapping
  3. Inventory of cultural courses/workshops
  4. Benchmark and analysis of visitor/tourism profiles
  5. Benchmark and analysis of cultural/creative sector characteristics

These research lines are brought together in a “meta‐analysis” process to discuss and synthesize findings, conduct SWOT analyses by region and overall, identify key issues and elaborate implications, and interpret patterns that appear. This process will be conducted annually to provide a comprehensive view of the cultural and tourism sectors in the four regions and a general knowledge base from which to launch pilot creative tourism initiatives.

Annual Conferences
The annual conferences will be 4 days long: 3 days of activities open to the general public (keynote speakers' sessions) and to a more specific audience (IdeaLabs, professional training sessions), and 1 day of internal meetings (for Project and Steering Committees, Advisory Council). The conference will take place in a different region each year (Centro; Norte; Algarve) in May of 2017, 2018, and 2019. The final conference will feature a Creative Tourism Showcase.

Three types of publications will be developed: academic, professional, and policy-oriented. Beyond individual scientific articles, CREATOUR will develop an international book and special issue of a scholarly journal. It will also develop two booklets on best practices and recommendations for action, directed to the cultural/creative and tourism sectors, and a briefing report with policy recommendations, directed to local authorities and regional agencies (culture, tourism, regional development, etc.). An English booklet will share CREATOUR's experience internationally.

Other Outputs

  • An electronic portal hosting project materials, including cultural maps with App interactivity and ePortfolios
  • An online course (MA level)
  • A series of advanced training sessions
  • A final documentary - IdeaLabs, conferences, meetings, and pilot projects will be documented (photos, video, interviews, field notes, etc.) to create a documentary of activities and findings.