Creative tourism as a strategy for regional development and cultural heritage promotion: Sojourning abroad and creativity enhancement

  • GI Bessone
  • JP Spencer
Keywords: Creativity enhancement, creative tourism, community participation, cultural exposure, regional development, sojourning.

Abstract

This article investigates the contemporary tendency of cultural sojourning (spending a certain length of time abroad) in culturally rich developing contexts and its positive influences on creativity enhancement. Sojourners are individuals - often creatives - who move to a foreign context for some time in order to experience the local culture, find a better work-life balance, and increase their productivity. When, at a wider framework, the design discipline supports the tourism industry, this phenomenon could be a key factor in heritage protection/promotion and for the empowerment of indigenous communities. The reference context investigated in this work is South Africa, where promoting the encounter between sojourners and local communities could contribute to making a shift in regional development, cultural enrichment, equality, and social integration link to an inclusive approach that considers all the stakeholders involved. The active involvement of stakeholders through a participatory approach is assumed as the enabler of the processes of cultural enrichment and acculturation through a direct positive “contamination” of ideas and skills. The research led to the definition of a set of guidelines to inform the design of creative-based touristic systems and development projects aiming to spark urban regeneration, safety, and accessibility to networking opportunities and an alternative education model based on the direct and active participation of people coming from different social and cultural backgrounds. Designing an effective proposal could be a positive hint for growing contexts in need of integration and equality, contributing to better conditions and bringing attention on specific issues while providing an answer to the contemporary tendency of sojourning for creativity enhancement.This work has been developed as a literature-based research on sojourning and creativity enhancement and constitutes the basis for a site-specific meta-design proposal shaped for Cape Town; informed by on-site investigations that include visits to local cultural and artistic institutions and associations, the participation to design-centred events, field trips, discussions with locals, and site visits for the collection of audio-visual documentation.

Keywords: Creativity enhancement, creative tourism, community participation, cultural
exposure, regional development, sojourning.

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print ISSN: 2411-6939