Alternative and Creative Tourism (pdf edition)

Alternative and Creative Tourism (pdf edition)

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Edited By Greg Richards and Antonio Paolo Russo
Arnhem: ATLAS, 124 pp
September 2014
ISBN: 978-90-75775-693

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PDF Edition

This pdf edition may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes by the person who purchased it. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone else is expressly forbidden.


Main Description

This ATLAS publication stems from a joint meeting held by the Association's Cultural Tourism Research Group and the City and National Capital Tourism Research Group in Barcelona in 2013. Both of these groups have an active research interest in the development of tourism in cities, and in particular the way in which culture, creativity and tourism interlink.



Chapter 1: Alternative and creative tourism: Developments and prospects
Greg Richards and Antonio Paolo Russo

Chapter 2: Inbetween experiences: Challenging the problems with dichotomous thinking in tourism
Ole Kjaer Mansfeldt

Chapter 3: Community Participatory Approach for Creative Tourism: Case studies from Thailand
Nonthawan Songserm and Jutamas (Jan) Wisansing

Chapter 4: Creative and relational tourism in Barcelona
Greg Richards

Chapter 5: Urban Explorers: looking for the real (outer) London?
Robert Maitland

Chapter 6: Cinema and city image
Monica Gilli and Sonia Ferrari

Chapter 7: Exploring the Biennial concept to promote new relationships in art, culture and alternative tourism
Rafael Machado, Carlos Fernandes and José Paulo Queiroz

Chapter 8: Gastronomic events as creative tourism experiences
Goretti Silva and Marta Cardoso

Chapter 9: Benefits of Creative Tourism Experience – The Tourist Perspective
Milica Ilincic

Chapter 10: Not only low-cost. Home swapping as an alternative tourism strategy
Francesca Forno and Roberta Garibaldi


In chapter 2, Ole Kjaer Mansfeldt from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – School of Design and Roskilde University in Denmark outlines the development of the experience economy, and how this is creating new “in-between” experiences for tourists. The concept of in-between experience presents a dynamic between experience-scapes and escapes from tourism-dominated precincts, as exemplified in many “live like a local” experiences or the rise of “alternative” forms of tourism such as Airbnb.

A case study of community involvement in creative tourism in Thailand is analysed presented by Nonthawan Songserm of the Assumption University of Thailand and Jutamas (Jan) Wisansing of the Perfect Link Consulting Group, Bangkok in Chapter 3. Using Appreciative Inquiry and Participatory Learning and Action techniques they show how local communities can be engaged in the process of developing creative tourism and interacting creatively with visitors. They identified three different groups with respect to the development process, namely facilitators, community based organisations and observers, all of whom have their own role to play. This project is part of a national programme of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration, which has selected creative tourism as one of the main areas for sustainable tourism development in Thailand.

In Chapter 4 Greg Richards reviews the growth of alternative and creative tourism as a counterweight to the increase in conventional tourism in recent decades. In particular “live like a local” or “relational” forms of tourism are becoming important, even though the “local” providing these experiences is rarely a native of the city. Expats and migrants seem to have a greater transcultural skills base to develop such products, or else have fewer possibilities to get involved in the established tourism industry.

Robert Maitland analyses the growth of alternative tourism destinations in the suburbs of London in Chapter 5. Here, groups of “urban explorers” go off the beaten track to discover new and exotic locations that they consider to be the “real London” (even if they are not always clear what this means). This is part of the general search for “everyday culture” (Richards, 2011) that has at least supplemented, if not in some cases replaced, the “high culture” typical of traditional modes of cultural tourism. The fact that these new tourist spaces are currently under-researched Maitland (Chapter 5) links to one of the “dirty little academic secrets: we research and represent the places we like to visit ourselves.”

In Chapter 6 Monica Gilli and Sonia Ferrari trace one mechanism for making places desired by academics and others – the link between film and tourism. They analyse the use of film as a means of distinction for cities, underlining growing efforts to attract filmmakers and film festivals. Movie-induced tourism has been particularly important in generating visits to cities such as Florence (A room with a view) and Rome (La dolce vita), and now other cities are trying to replicate this success. The historic centre of the Italian southern town of Matera has experienced a renaissance largely as a result of films such as Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ, which has also attracted other filmmakers. The paper emphasises, however, that the planned efforts to attract filmmakers to places are often less important than the whims of the filmmakers themselves.

Chapter 7 by Rafael Machado, Carlos Fernandes and José Paulo Queiroz examines the development of an art Biennale in the small rural city of Vila Nova de Cerveira in Northern Portugal. This event has run since 1980 and is now the second most prestigious event in the country, in spite of the predominantly rural location. Their research emphasises the role of local “switchers” in linking this space to the global flows of the art world.

Goretti Silva and Marta Cardoso outline the use of creativity as a new buzzword in tourism, and how traditional cultural attractions increasingly need to develop new creative elements (Chapter 8). They examine the case of the Santarém National Gastronomy Festival in Portugal, which they argue needs to develop engagement with the consumer through interaction and co-creation. At present this event takes place in a tent on the edge of the city, so there is no physical link with the city. Most visitors are from the local area and are day visitors, so economic impact is relatively low. The festival is declining because it is not creative or dynamic.

Milica Ilinic analyses the outcomes of creative tourism experiences using a benefits-based model of experience in Chapter 9. The links between activities, setting, experience and benefits were analysed in a case study of the Espai Boisà in Barcelona, where tourists cook traditional Catalan dishes. She found that learning and participation related motives were linked to cognitive, affective and reflective benefits. Espai Boisà was generally perceived as authentic and memorable, even though the experience is effectively “staged”.

Finally, Chapter 10 by Francesca Forno and Roberta Garibaldi examines the growth of home exchange as a form of alternative tourism in Italy. In spite of the fact that home exchange has been slow to take off in Latin countries for cultural reasons, there is a growing number of house swap participants in Italy. Their survey indicated that the majority of participants were well educated city dwellers. They also have a far higher level of generalised trust than the Italian population as a whole, which facilitates their swapping activities. This form of “relational tourism” was also stimulated by knowing somebody else who had participated.

Taken together these contributions to the growing literature on alternative, creative and relational forms of tourism can hopefully advance our understanding of this new frontier. The next step will be the production of a volume of invited papers on New Localities in Tourism to be edited by Paolo Russo and Greg Richards, which will pick up many of the themes raised here and develop them further.


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