Increasing competition between regions, cities and places for resources to support development is placing increasing emphasis on culture as a source of differentiation, inspiration and narrative. At the same time, widespread use of similar "cultural economy" strategies poses problems of serial reproduction effects or the copying of culture (Richards and Wilson, 2006).
In the field of cultural tourism, policymakers are faced with increasing problems of trying to distinguish themselves from their competitors, both locally and globally. It seems that almost every tourism destination is now trying to attract cultural tourists. The popularity of cultural tourism as a development option is due to a wide range of factors, related to both the demand for, and supply of, cultural tourism (Richards, 2001). Cultural tourism has come to be seen as a "good" form of tourism which can attract the right kind of tourists who will appreciate local culture and inject much needed money into the local economy. As a result, cultural tourism has become an increasingly interesting form of development for national governments, local authorities, commercial tourism suppliers and the cultural sector.
As the complexity of cultural tourism grows, so new approaches to development and marketing are required. In the past, the range of cultural resources involved in developing cultural tourism was relatively limited, and tended to consist mainly of "sites and monuments". These days, the de-differentiation of culture and tourism means that cultural tourism covers a greater range of cultural resources. These include not just traditional tangible cultural resources such as museums and monuments, but also increasingly intangible features of culture, such as lifestyle and atmosphere.
This means that tourism and culture are becoming increasingly hard to distinguish. In this new landscape of cultural tourism development, the public sector-led development and marketing models of the past are being discarded in favour of complex models, which involve a wider range of actors and cultural resources.
This volume looks at some of the consequences of this shift in case studies from around the world.
In Chapter 1, Rene van der Duim examines the legacy of César Manrique on the island of Lanzarote. He argues that the Manrique Model was effectively an "environment-led" form of tourism development, which emphasised the important linkages between society, culture and environment. Through the application of actor-network theory, the development of innovation on the isalnd over time is examined, particularly in the light of the rise of mass tourism.
In the very different setting of Northern Jutland in Denmark, Peter Kvistgaard shows how tourism policy has developed over time in Chapter 2. He shows how local changes in actor-network relationships in fact mirror changes in the global environment. These changes have seen the policy field becoming more complex, with greater numbers of actors and higher economic stakes. Kvistgaard argues that the "creative capital" of the different actors involved in the policy field has been important in the development of creative strategies in tourism.
The creation of destination consortia and networking is the focus of Chapter 3, in which Ella Hastings analyses the factors, which encourage tourism actors to collaborate in tourism development and marketing. She presents a model describing the formation of destination consortia, which is then tested against nine case studies in the UK.
Zélia Breda, Rui Costa and Carlos Costa examine the role of networks and partnerships in the internationalisation of small tourism enterprises in Chapter 4. Using case studies of river cruise tour operators, adventure tourism firms and event organising enterprises in Portugal, they look at the performance of tourism SMEs and their engagement in networking. They show that internationalisation is a very important objective for these firms, who are constrained by lack of resources and government support.
In Chapter 5 the role of networks as generators of creativity in tourism SMEs is examined in a Finnish context by Tuovi Soisalon-Soininen and Kaija Lindroth. They carried out qualitative research on firms in one particular network, which revealed problems with cooperation. Most firms gathered creative ideas from organizations outside their own region, or outside the tourism sector. In this case, therefore, the network was not a source of creative development, but rather a platform for co-operative marketing.
The relationship between tourism development and creativity is examined by Diane O'Sullivan in Chapter 6, who explores links between food and sustainable tourism development in Norfolk, UK. An action research project is described in which local food producers are facilitated in their development of food products for tourists. A five-step guide to developing sustainable food tourism is presented.
All of the papers in this volume were presented at the ATLAS conference on Tourism, Creativity and Development, held in Barcelona in November 2005 (other papers from the conference have been published in companion volumes by ATLAS, as well as Richards and Wilson, forthcoming). This event was designed to explore the interfaces between tourism, development and creativity, particularly in the context of potential collaboration between the creative and tourism sectors.
Some 116 delegates from 24 countries gathered at the University of Barcelona to listen to an interesting set of keynote presentations, over 60 workshop sessions and round-table debate. The many and varied workshop presentations provided a wide array of different approaches to tourism and creativity, ranging from the creative marketing of tourism, to the creative re-packaging of cultural tourism to the development of "creative tourism".