Creative Tourism Webinar: Cultural Tourism is …

” … a honeypot with ants (or ‘ads’) crawling all over it”, that’s how creative & cultural tourism research expert Greg Richards described the situation of cultural tourism as a mass market activity in the opening of this year’s world-first Creative Tourism Webinar organized by the City of Santa Fe: http://santafecreativetourism.org .

Cultural tourists “go away without being changed by the experience”. The “amount of disillusionment” among a growing number of travelers has led many to “look for more engaging forms of consuming culture … such as those offered by [creative tourism] and individual experiences that give a real connection.” Thanks Greg, for sharing these interesting thoughts with us today!

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Growing success of the “creative tourism movement” around the globe

Creative tourism is a “style of doing tourism” including living like a “temporary local”. Over the last decade, there has been an enormous growth of destinations engaged in the promotion of creative cultural tourism as a competitive edge on the global market.

One of them is the city of Santa Fe: Today, over 300 different workshops are offered for people coming to Santa Fe, with prices ranging from $30 for a cooking lesson to a 5-day-photography tour for up to $600 including accommodation. During the last season only, more than $22.000 were raised in workshops, room sales and sold work of participating artists. Santa Fe successfully strikes the balance of community management through successful “building-business-classes” and using social media as a means of intermediation or “experience brokers” vis-à-vis interested tourists (called the “DIY Santa Fe campaign” using blog software, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Today’s webinar too was chaired by Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger and Santa Fe Creative Tourism Consultant Brent Hanifl.

Another successful creative tourism destination that has emerged on the global market isThailand. The “Discover The Other You” Creative Tourism Campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been hugely successful in recent months, creating many million hits to its website http://www.discovertheotheryou.com/ and allowing visitors to engage with local Thai people through cooking classes, Thai massage workshops, etc.

Austria (Kreativ Reisen Österreich), too, is mentioned alongside the likes of Spain(Barcelona Creative Tourism) and New Zealand (Creative Tourism New Zealand, the first country to establish a professional marketing organization dedicated to the promotion of creative tourism).

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