CREATIVE TOURISM IN SMALL CITIES AND RURAL AREAS: LESSONS FROM THE CREATOUR PROJECT, PORTUGAL
Bridging culture/heritage, tourism, and local development, CREATOUR is a three-year research-and-application project that is developing an integrated approach to creative tourism development in small cities and rural areas across Portugal. The project takes a cultural development approach, fostering a diversity of "bottom-up” ideas and experimentation, coupled with knowledge-sharing and capacity-building through networking. The project involves 5 research centres and 40 pilot projects that are independently designed, implemented, and managed across four regions. In the context of limited knowledge of creative tourism models in small communities and rural areas, these pilots are our co-researchers of creative tourism development approaches and challenges in extra-metropolitan areas. This paper presents an overview of the types of models being developed and some of the lessons learned in implementation.
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