Creating new cultural visitor experiences on islands: Challenges and opportunities
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Cultural tourism is increasingly recognized as an important motivation for international travelers in search of experiencing the cultural heritage, arts, philosophy and institutions of another region or country. The UNWTO reports that 37% of all international trips include a cultural component and that cultural tourism is growing at 15% annually. Creative tourism, a subset of cultural tourism, is one of these new forms of tourism. While cultural tourism is considered a passive observation of things of the past such as artifacts, creative tourism is the transfer of the past into the present and the future via communication between locals and visitors. This interest in participatory experiences is creating many challenges and opportunities for island destinations who have had to focus on their uniqueness to „create‟ attractions that attract visitors. On the island of Newfoundland, Canada, the French Shore Historical Society are developing new creative tourism products through local craft traditions in an effort to make connections on an emotional, physical and intellectual level with visitors. On Pašman Island, Croatia, the support of international tourism consultants is resulting in the development of four traditional, theme-based villages that will offer an authentic and traditional visitor experience that represents the Mediterranean way of life. This article will explore the challenges and opportunities in island destinations of planning and promoting creative tourism using participatory action research. Results will illustrate the important role of the public sector in providing assistance to creative tourism development, and the importance of island residents in taking advantage of local cultural and natural resources to generate local benefits that foster sustainability. For both the Island of Newfoundland and Pašman Island, creative tourism is providing a potential opportunity for a win-win-situation for local residents, if it is planned and developed properly.
Hull, J. S. and Sassenberg, U. (2012) 'Creating new cultural visitor experiences on islands: Challenges and opportunities', Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, 4(2), p.91-110