Creative Tourism

Santorini Traveler - - EDITORIAL - ED­I­TOR Ifi­ge­nia Ge­or­giadou, direc­tor of HCC

Let’s

imag­ine that we all are trav­ellers, visi­tors of an un­known city. We can choose: there is a tourist guide, who is very ea­ger to show us all in­ter­est­ing sites and the city and come with us for a sight­see­ing. We are go­ing to travel by coach and we will go to mu­se­ums, parks and mon­u­ments. We will lis­ten to in­for­ma­tion on the his­tory of the city, a bit about the lan­guage of the in­hab­i­tants and their ori­gin, a bit about their cus­toms and feasts. At the end of the day, tired but happy with what we have man­aged to see in only one day, we will have some rest, hav­ing the slight im­pres­sion that all these pic­tures and in­for­ma­tion have been some­what mixed in our head.

We could do some­thing else, though: take a map of the city from the book­shop and walk around on our own: we will stop at a cof­fee shop, in or­der to fol­low a strange game that is played by some clients there. We will turn left, guided by the in­cred­i­ble smell of a fresh-made sweet at a bak­ery. We may meet a man cook­ing his meal the tra­di­tional way and be in­vited to help him and have a “meze”. We will get lost in a small road and feel anx­ious for a while, un­til we find our way. We may en­ter a pot­ter’s work­shop and learn why the Greek pots are so unique since an­tiq­uity. We will fi­nally find where we are through body lan­guage and some words of Greek ori­gin, whenwe will com­mu­ni­cate with a lo­cal, who will show us the way. We will def­i­nitely be tired to walk for many hours, as it will take much time to get into con­tact with the city and learn some­thing about it.

But in the evening we will be pleased with our­selves. We will have walked on foot, with our own rhythm, our own steps all those roads and we will have tasted this city. It will be us who will have con­trol over our itin­er­ary. Learn­ing a cul­ture through Creative Tourism ac­tiv­i­ties is some­how like the in­di­vid­u­al­walk in an un­known city. It only of­fers a struc­ture to build your knowl­edge, a way to work, not a ready-made recipe for learn­ing. It is only an “ap­proach” in the es­sen­tial mean­ing of this word: com­ing closer to the learn­ing ob­jec­tive, with a strong will to learn, to con­quer the un­known city you were al­ways dream­ing to travel to.

Creative Tourism is con­sid­ered a new gen­er­a­tion of tourism by in­volv­ing the tourists them­selves and the lo­cals in the cre­ation of the tourist prod­ucts (cocre­ation).

The Creative Tourism con­cept ap­peared in the 2000s, and de­fined as a:

‘‘Tourism which of­fers visi­tors the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their creative po­ten­tial through ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in cour­ses and learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, which are char­ac­ter­is­tic of the hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion where they are taken.” Crispin Ray­mond and Greg Richards, 2000

To­day tourists gen­er­ally add to their tra­di­tional pro­gramme of vis­its more creative and par­tic­i­pa­tory ac­tiv­i­ties, with the aim of liv­ing cul­tural and hu­man ex­pe­ri­ences. This trans­form those into a vis­i­tor, who wants to see, to touch, to smell, to speak, to laugh to­gether with the lo­cal peo­ple.

They want to ex­pe­ri­ence the lo­cal cul­ture by par­tic­i­pat­ing in artis­tic and creative ac­tiv­i­ties.

• They want to live ex­pe­ri­ences where they can feel them­selves as a lo­cal.

• They do not look for the “mon­u­men­tal­ity” or the “spec­tac­u­lar­ity”

• They are pro­sumers and share their ex­pe­ri­ences on so­cial media.

• They are ex­clu­sive re­gard­ing the way they travel: once ex­pe­ri­enced the creative tourism, they no longer want to come back to a con­ven­tional cir­cuit.

• They use to com­bine many types of tourism, dur­ing the same jour­ney: creative, culi­nary, eco-tourism, slow tourism.

So ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties by and with the lo­cal peo­ple. Try to come into con­tact with lo­cals in San­torini, take part in dif­fer­ent Creative Tourism Ac­tiv­i­ties and cre­ate your own unique trip as voy­agers of cul­ture!

INFO

Hel­lenic Cul­ture Cen­tre www.hcc.edu.gr

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