If the traditional sea-sun-and-sand vacation leaves you cold and the round of museums, historic sites and artistic venues that are the backbone of cultural tourism seems old, you may be ready to become part of the new “creative tourism” trend, if you’re not on board already.
“Creative Tourism” was given its name in an academic paper in the early 2000s, and its definition in a UNESCO meeting held in 2006: “Creative tourism is 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.”
In essence, creative tourists don’t want to simply be passive observers and consumers, they want to be participants in the country or community they’re visiting. Rather than just visiting a pottery studio, for example, they want to learn how to make the local style of pottery; rather than just enjoying the local cuisine, they want to learn how to cook it. They’re in pursuit of creative fulfillment, intellectual stimulation, cultural encounters and an adrenaline rush of their own making.
Creative tourism appears to be attractive to boomers and millenials alike. And it’s also attractive to a number of nations and cities that, in recognition of the revenue that could come, are creating infrastructures to supply the demand. Santa Fe, in the States, New Zealand and South Africa are ahead of the curve in branding themselves as creative tourism havens. Look for more localities to woo these tourist dollars.