Tourism Gets Creative


From baking a croissant in Paris to learning how to weave according to Mayan tradition or dancing the Rumba in Barcelona, many travellers are looking to interact with locals in creative ways while discovering foreign cultures, reports Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

“Creative tourism is a new form of travelling, that can satisfy classic tourists, as well as other profiles like seniors, singles, MICE, food and wine lovers, as long as they are invited to participate actively in creative and authentic activities,” says Caroline Couret, co-founder and director of the Creative Tourism Network.

Whether it’s engaging with an artist or taking part in cooking classes with a chef, the Barcelona-based organization promotes creative tourism around the world and works with destinations to develop itineraries for visitors to experience. The international network also designates locations as Creative Friendly for their authenticity, originality and sustainability in creative and artistic activities.

“We thought that an international network would be useful for the destinations to learn how to create this new segment, as well as for those new travellers to identify the destinations and platforms that are labelled Creative Friendly,” says Couret, who also manages the Barcelona Creative Tourism program.

Cases of creative tourism worldwide range from the village of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli in Quebec, which has many artists and artisans from various artistic fields including woodcarving and stained glass, to the picturesque ville of Cerdeira, Portugal, which runs programs in chestnut woodcraving and ceramics among many other offers.

While a creative tourist used to refer to a creative person who wanted to improve upon an artistic skill while on vacation, she says it has evolved to include a wider profile of travellers seeking to have more interactivity within a destination.

“Creative tourism is increasing exponentially,” she says. “We can find it associated to more and more tourist segments and destinations. We are collaborating with organizations like UNWTO and UNESCO that recognize the potential of this new generation of tourism.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.